New Report: Green Marketing Brings in the Dough

Green forest
Many direct response marketers report that Green messaging is effective.

How effective is Green marketing, really?

That’s what the authors of Green Marketing: What Works; What Doesn’t – A Marketing Study Of Practitioners asked in a recent study by Watershed Publishing.  The report summarizes the real-life results of Green marketing by the audiences of five industry publications.

Some of the findings were predictable.  For instance, the most popular medium used was overwhelmingly the Internet.  No surprise, since online messages eliminate the need to generate the solid waste associated with print media, and because of the strong growth of online marketing overall.

Does Size make a Difference?

Perhaps it wasn’t particularly surprising that large and small companies (defined as having marketing budgets above $10 million and below $250,000, respectively) displayed differences in their attitudes toward and implementation of Green marketing.  Small companies were more likely to target consumers directly with Green messages, while larger companies tended to direct their Green messages to their own employees.

Smaller companies in general were far more likely to report that their Green marketing was effective.  (Does this have anything to do with the fact that small companies spent an average of 26% of their marketing budget on Green marketing, vs. 6% for the largest (over $50 million) companies?)

The Surprising Results

Other findings surprised even the researchers:

“The indication that green marketing is likely not a fad, frankly, surprised us.  When staff from the various participating publications – especially those hailing from ad agency backgrounds – opted to poke into the subject of green marketing, most felt a certain amount of cynicism, expecting to see similarly cynical opinions among the surveyed marketers. With that in mind, we set up the survey with certain “traps” built into the questions, to see if the industry would reveal the skepticism some of us felt.

That we didn’t see the level of cynicism we expected surprised and intrigued us.”

A respectable 28% of marketers reported that they thought Green marketing was more effective than other types of messages, vs. only 6% who thought it was less effective.

Great Green Returns

But wait – there’s more.  The numbers swing strongly in favor of Green messaging when you ask marketers who are really on top of things – that is, the ones actually bothering to monitor their results by using trackable methods.  Amongst direct-response marketers, a whopping 48% reported their Green marketing had increased response.  Those using the Internet, too, reported that Green messages were more or much more effective (43%.)

And here’s another tidbit that should perk up the ears of any marketer wishing to maximize profits: marketers using trackable methods were also much more likely (42-46%) to believe that consumers would pay more for Green.

Have you tested Green vs. conventional in your marketing messages?  What were your results?

Anne Michelsen is a freelance writer specializing in helping Green and renewable energy companies enjoy increased attention and greater sales through dynamic sales copy and insightful content.

Subscribe to Anne’s bi-weekly tips and insights into marketing, sales writing and sustainability, and get a complimentary copy of her Green marketing report, Making Sense of the Green Sector: What Every Marketer Should Know About Selling Sustainable Products and Services.