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green marketing1

According to the American Marketing Association green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe. Thus green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, packaging changes, as well as modifying advertising. Yet defining green marketing is not a simple task where several meanings intersect and contradict each other; an example of this will be the existence of varying social, environmental and retail definitions attached to this term.

green marketing2

Ecological (green) marketing refers solely to the promotion or advertising of products with environmental characteristics. Terms like Phosphate Free, Recyclable, Refillable, Ozone Friendly, and Environmentally Friendly are some of the things consumers most often associate with green marketing. While these terms are green marketing claims, in general green marketing is a much broader concept, one that can be applied to consumer goods, industrial goods and even services. Thus, green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes of the production process, packaging changes, as well as modifying advertising.

green marketing3

Green marketing came into prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was first discussed much earlier. The American Marketing Association held the first workshop on “Ecological Marketing” in 1975.The proceedings of this workshop resulted in one of the first books on green marketing entitled “Ecological Marketing”. Environmental Marketing consists of all activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchanges intended to satisfy human needs or wants, such that the satisfaction of these needs and wants occurs, with minimal harmful impact on the natural environment.

the green marketing mix
The Green Marketing Mix
  • Product: A producer should offer ecological products which not only must not contaminate the environment but should protect it and even liquidate existing environmental damages.
  • Price: Prices for such products may be a little higher than conventional alternatives. But target groups may willing to pay extra for green products.
the green marketing mix1
The Green Marketing Mix
  • Place: A distribution logistics is of crucial importance; main focus is on ecological packaging. Marketing local and seasonal products e.g. vegetables from regional farms is more easy to be market “green” than products imported.
  • Promotion: A communication with the market should put stress on environmental aspects, for example that the company possesses an ISO 14000 certified. This may be publicized to improve a firm’s image. Furthermore, the fact that a company spends expenditures on environmental protection should be advertised. Third, sponsoring the natural environment is also very important. And last but not least, ecological products will probably require special sales promotions.
4 c s in green marketing
  • Customer solutions: These solutions go beyond selling physical products and present solutions to customer's problems. They imply knowing customers and their needs well and offering products and services that satisfy customer needs and that take into account social as well as environmental aspects.
  • Customer Cost: Customer Cost does not only include the financial price a buyer has to pay for a product or a service, it also considers the psychological, social and environmental costs of obtaining, using and disposing of a product.
4 c s in green marketing1
  • Communication: “Green” communication goes beyond promotion, which is a form of persuasion and a one-way communication from seller to buyer. Communication is a process of interactive dialogue within which it is essential to build trust and credibility.
  • Convenience: Means that customers want to use products and services that meet their needs and that are easy and convenient to access and use.
what makes marketing green
What Makes Marketing Green?
  • Operational sustainability: Service companies and manufacturers can improve operational sustainability by reducing everyday energy and water consumption, minimizing pollution, using greener materials and processes, and properly managing waste.
  • Green products: Companies producing products can do many things to improve the green factor of their offerings, including choosing sustainable materials, designing products to save energy and water, and making products that are less toxic and more natural than competitors goods. Greener products will also be packaged in an eco-friendly manner and will be made to be easily recycled or composted.
Sustainable marketing: You’ll also want to ensure that the actual marketing systems you use are green, which is really distinct from your operational sustainability which focuses on manufacturing and production. For instance, when printing marketing materials, use 100% post-consumer recycled paper made without chlorine (called “processed chlorine free”) and printed using plant-based dyes (like soy inks). You could also investigate tools like green web hosting, carbon offsets for any marketing emissions you may cause, recycling any unused materials from billboards and signage, ecological packaging, and so on.
  • Environmental causes: Any organization can choose to promote environmental causes. Nonprofits and NGOs will engage in green marketing to get the word out about their activities, but for-profits can also suppose environmental causes by making donations and advertising for these environmental do-gooders as part of a green marketing campaign.
evolution of green marketing
Evolution of Green Marketing

The green marketing has evolved over a period of time. The evolution of green marketing has three phases. First phase was termed as "Ecological" green marketing, and during this period all marketing activities were concerned to help environment problems and provide remedies for environmental problems. Second phase was "Environmental" green marketing and the focus shifted on clean technology that involved designing of innovative new products, which take care of pollution and waste issues. Third phase was "Sustainable" green marketing. It came into prominence in the late 1990s and early 2000.

benefits of green marketing
Benefits of Green Marketing

Companies that develop new and improved products and services with environment inputs in mind give themselves access to new markets, increase their profit sustainability, and enjoy a competitive advantage over the companies which are not concerned for the environment.

reasons for adoption of green marketing
Reasons for Adoption of Green Marketing
  • Opportunities or competitive advantage
  • Corporate social responsibilities (CSR)
  • Government pressure
  • Competitive pressure
  • Cost or profit issues
  • Green Marketing Mix
4 cs of marketing

Customer Value (Not Product Value)

A product is something you make which people come and buy. However, today, you can no longer succeed by making what you want and must instead find out what customer's want. Focusing on Customer Value allows you to reset your perceptions around what it is you are creating and bringing to the market, be it a product, service or some other value. Everything begins and ends with your customer and you exist to serve their needs. Value is what your customer is concerned about, not you, your fabulous product or anything else you do. Value is how you define marketing mix “products” and what you should seek to engage your customer with. It is the value you provide that defines you in the marketplace.

Cost (Not Price!)

Instead of thinking of price as something you charge, think of cost as something customers pay. This simple adjustment once again opens up a whole new way of thinking about sales and marketing. When you define marketing mix cost you tune into the customer dilemma of deciding how to spend limited money to satisfy unlimited wants. Are you providing enough capital to compete effectively? Your motivation in going to market should not be to maximize your gain but to maximize customer value. Therefore, you should ask how you can provide more for the same cost to the customer instead of asking to make more profit from a product.

Convenience (Not Place!)

The day is not far off when the majority of shopping will not take place in shops or through the traditional distribution channels of business. Your customers today are governed by purchase when, where and how it is convenient to them. Thinking about convenience not only allows you to open up to newer ways of connecting with customers and distributing products, but helps you shift into the mindset of providing an optimum overall experience for customers. To define marketing mix in terms of convenience reminds you that customers today are very busy and have many choices. It is no longer your right as a business owner but a privilege when customers choose you. Make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

Communication (Not Promotion!)

The final new market mix definition replaces the traditional notion of “Promotion” with Communication. This final concept of how you define marketing mix from the customer's perspective ties into creating Interactive Marketing Communication.

“Promotion” hearkens back to the day's of mass marketing which does not work anymore. Just like you cannot simply build a “good product” and expect people to buy it, so customers no longer believe everything you say at face value. Instead of virtuous pronouncement about how good your product or service is, customers today seek to be engaged and have meaningful interactions with you. You must therefore strive for two-way communication and building relationships