Green Marketing – Fundamentals of a Successful Direct Marketing Campaign

There are three elements to a successful green marketing campaign: being credibly green, addressing a need, and communicating in an environmentally friendly way. We will explore each in more detail.

First: Credibility. This requirement is somewhat unique in the realm of marketing. Consider the scenario where Harley-Davidson had to certify that all employees ride motorcycles or Whole Foods had to attest to the good eating habits of its employees. Neither do, of course.

If you are going to make green marketing claims, however, the first place your customers will look in assessing those claims is at you. Have you determined your environmental impact and are you taking steps to mitigate it. You need not have eliminated all environmentally unfriendly practices, but you should disclose them along with your plan to address them (sooner or later).

As part of establishing your green credibility, you should seek to obtain valid third-party certification and you should demonstrate executive level (ideally CEO) commitment to sustainable business practices. The third-party certification can come from any of array of private or non-governmental organizations with business practice evaluation programs. The executive level commitment should be on-going and incorporated into regular business oversight policies and procedures.

Second: Address a Need. This is the fundamental purpose of business overall, but often gets lost in the complexities and mythology inherent in green business. Products or services must solve for a need or leverage a trend in order to be successful. Green products and services do not get a pass just because they have environmentally friendly attributes.

Consumers, for the most part, are unwilling to pay more for environmentally friendly products, services, or green attributes added on to existing products and services. So address the need, just do it in a green way.

If you are incorporating green attributes into an existing product or service, be clear and specific with your claims. Set the green benefits in context and communicate in a straight-forward way. Any hype or promotional tonality is likely to ensure your audience views the message with a high degree of cynicism.

If you designing entirely new green products or services, then identify the need, and address it in an environmentally friendly way. Thus, you may reformulate a product using environmentally friends raw materials and manufacturing processes, but it still must perform as well as non-green competitors, and may only yield a modest price premium (if at all).

Third: Communicate using Eco-friendly Channels. One example of a recent perceptual shift is in financial services. Until recently, solicitations were viewed negatively primarily because of concern around the security of personal information and the potential for identity theft. Now those solicitations are a predominantly a bad thing because they kill trees. Imagine the reaction if a [paper] solicitation arrives in the mail offering a green product or service: instant credibility loss.

Be creative about how you promote the product or service. Investigate and leverage new channels, such as solar power billboards, or street advertising. Go beyond soy inks and recycled paper to leveraging virtual channels and viral marketing. Both are lower impact methods of getting the message out. Green is becoming very popular. Do it right by taking these fundamental steps and you will stand out; building a lasting, engaging relationship with your customers.

Why You Should Use Direct Response Advertising

When advertising your products and services, you have to write as if you are talking 1-to-1 with your prospect. You only have a few seconds to convince your passing reader that your message is for them, so you will want to make it worthwhile. Never produce advertising that is boring. Your goal should be to create advertising that works and that is it.

Could you imagine if you were advertising on TV and you only had a few moments to get your sales message across? Well guess what, you face the same pressure when you advertising online, in newspapers, and in magazines. It’s the job of your ad to convince a busy prospect that your ad is worth paying attention to – and this is not an easy thing to do.

You should know that the money that you invest in advertising could easily cost you a fortune. So you should try your best to make your advertising effective and work for you. Do yourself a favor and take a look at your ads, your headlines, your website, and even your direct mail pieces – does it look and sound like a lot of the other ads that you see?

Are you advertising your accolades instead of what’s in it for the prospect? Is your ads making the same promises as everyone else? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then you should revamp and re-evaluate your advertising pieces. Just because you see a lot of other business advertising their brand and company name, that doesn’t make it the best way of marketing your business.

A lot of businesses online and offline lose a lot of money simply because they advertise via traditional means. You don’t have to do the same and experience the same fate of these businesses. When you implement traditional ways of advertising, you set yourself up to lose tons of customers because of it. If you can find a way to try something different, then you will be one of the many people who can prosper in this economy.

If you do what you’ve always done when it comes to advertising, you will get the same results. It’s time to try something newer and better and that is more effective for your bottom line. This solution is direct response advertising. With direct response, your results are measurable and can be tracked. You’ll have an accountable measurement of how many sales you are getting and will be able to see how well your ads are performing.

With a predictable way of tracking your results you can lose. In all of your advertising, your goal should be to generate some sort of response. Don’t advertise just to get your name out there because this is an ineffective way of going about things. Instead, lead a prospect to your website or to a 1-800 number where they can call for more information.

With this way of advertising, you’ll know whether or not your advertising is working for you and if you need to change anything. Always use a testable and predictable means of advertising as it’s the best way to market your business. Good luck.

Search Engine Marketing – How Persuasion is Used in the Marketing Message

Search engine marketing is one form of inbound marketing, which uses the power of words to persuade consumers or people searching for information on the Web, to click on links which direct them to a specific webpage. Many of the concepts used in search engine marketing are grounded in the psychology field with regards to persuasion and the manipulation of people.

The participants in the Stanley Milgram study had similar reactions to authority figures in the experiment as high school football players do with their coaches. Within the Milgram experiment participants overrode their personal moral value levels by following instructions from the researchers and, in their mind, creating extreme pain for the research participant.

The similarities between the Milgram study participants and the high school football players show that when people are put into social situations where they are being directed by an authority figure there is often a pressure felt to perform the task as requested by that figure. No different with search engine marketing and social networking, people are persuaded and manipulated by the words they read from messages and advertisements posted by businesses and other online users. Is it possible that the motivation to please these authority figures in life could stem from childhood, where efforts are directed into learning and performing for parental figures as a way to receive recognition and rewards.

Persuasion is very much present in today’s marketing world. Whether online or off-line advertising, communication techniques in the form of pictures, sounds, colors and word choice are used to illicit specific emotions, thoughts, opinion and feelings in consumers in attracting them as leads.

If you are out to increase the effectiveness of your online exposure and attract prospective online customers, you owe it to yourself and the financial future of your business to learn everything you can about effectively using advertising in a virtual environment and facilitate company growth.

Do you want to increase the effectiveness of your online marketing techniques to dramatically grow your bottom line?

If so, read about and download my new free eBook 10 Ways to Write More Effective Ads.