Green Marketing Term Paper

Pages: 11 (3752 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 33  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Energy

Green Marketing

Over the last decade or so the word "green" has taken on meanings far beyond the color of green. Indeed, in response to the urgent issues of climate change, pollution, and responsible consumer use of natural resources, green has come to mean a philosophy and a strategy that the consumer can adopt to reduce his or her "carbon footprint." And as a result of the popularity of "going green," manufacturers, corporations, and advertisers -- even the mom and pop store down the street -- are learning how to market green products, green services, and green lifestyles. This paper reviews and presents a wide range of green marketing examples, strategies and embraces Entrepreneur magazine's "7 Steps to the Perfect Marketing Plan" in the context of green marketing.

The 7 Steps to the Perfect Marketing Plan

Entrepreneur's John Jantsch explains that a marketing plan should be "a simple -- in some cases, one page -- document that specifically answers who you are, what you do, who needs what you do and how you plan to attract their attention" (Jantsch, 2009). When reviewing the marketing strategies of a number of companies, Jantsch's simple plan is often not fully met. Probably one reason that the "who you are" part of Jantsch's narrative is not always spelled out because, for example, consumers know Ford Motor Company and other major corporations very well, so no need to go overboard with every marketing plan. Still, the seven steps laid out by Jantsch are thorough and every new product launch by relatively unknown entrepreneurs should adhere to those steps faithfully and fully.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Green Marketing Assignment

One, "narrow your market focus" suggests that the plan should describe "the ideal customer" this product is to be marketed to, in the narrowest and "most detailed terms possible." Two, "position your business" means delve deeply into what "you do best and what your target market wants." If you're not sure what your niche is, phone a few of your clients, Jantsch suggests, and ask "why they buy from you." Three, "create education-based marketing materials"; this suggestion is a good one, especially the part where Jantsch urges marketers to "Recreate all your marketing materials, including your website, to focus on education." What is your core message and how effectively and succinctly can you spell that out to your target market?

Four, "never cold call"; find ways to "educate before you sell" and be certain that your marketing / advertising is "geared toward creating prospects, not customers." Ads placed in publications (or TV or online) should motivate viewers to "ask for more information." Five, "earn media attention"; built business relationships with reporters who cover the industry you are in and produce events that are newsworthy. Six, "expect referrals"; make every customer a "marketing and referral contact." And seven, "live by a calendar"; set goals, set appointments faithfully and set deadlines for yourself to accomplish certain pivotal goals within an exact time framework.

Review of Green Marketing Examples

Before launching a new marketing plan, the President of J. Ottman Consulting in New York, Jacquelyn a. Ottman, suggests that companies avoid "green marketing myopia" (Ottman, 2006). The example of myopic marketing Ottman, et al., put forward in this article is a 1994 product launch by Philips. The company produced the "EarthLight" which was an energy-efficient fluorescent light bulb (CFL) designed to use far less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. It was a great idea in one respect -- an estimated $20 in savings of the 5-year life of the bulb. But the myopic part of it was that Philips' bulb had a "clumsy shape" that was not compatible with conventional lamps. Also, the name, EarthLight" while "noble" only appealed to "the deepest green niche of consumers" (Ottman). The "vast majority of consumers will ask, "If I use "green" products, what's in it for me?'" Today of course the spiral-shaped CFL bulb is widely used and brings noticeable benefits to the consumer.

Still on the subject of green marketing in the energy industry, Portland General Electric (PGE) went into an "alliance" with Northwest Environmental Advocates (NEA) that made a lot of sense in 1999, and certainly does today. The arrangement was a shrewd marketing idea based on a growing green consciousness in the Northwest. NEA is a conservation group that developed Renew 2000, a "green-power marketing program for utilities," which basically meant that "50% of the premium from renewable energy sales" (such as wind power, geothermal, and solar) would be used by PGE to build renewable-energy plants, or fund "salmon habitat restoration projects" in the Northwest (Electrical World, 1999).

Journalist Tiffany Hsu writes in the Los Angeles Times that green "scene" has been "flooded with conferences, conventions, trade shows" and more in an attempt to fully capitalized on "the popularity of sustainability and concerns about climate change" (Hsu, 2010). Clearly trade show marketing is a smart way to go, but perhaps it is getting to be a bit of overload, Hsu explains. There are even conferences based on how to do a trade show, on how to run green meetings that "use sustainable carpets and biodegradable trash liners" and how to avoid using bottled water and printed brochures and schedules.

Hsu quotes Stephanie Corbin, the senior assistant at Tradeshow Week magazine, who said that prior to the economic slowdown "green was the hot topic" at tradeshows. While it's definitely slowed," Corbin explained, "and was put on the back burner for the recession, I don't think it's going away" (Hsu, 2010).

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a component of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. The NREL put out a "status report" in 2006 called "Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report (Ninth Edition)." Presently more than 600 utility companies (20% of all utilities nationally) are offering some kind of green power program which means that about one half of all utility customers in the U.S. have the option to "purchase some type of green power product" (Bird, et al., 2006). Bird's report shows that in 2005, about 0.2% of total U.S. electricity sales were from renewable energy sources -- and that totaled 8.5 billion kilowatt-hours. Of those kilowatt-hours wind energy provided 61%, biomass (including landfill gas) was 27%, hydropower was 6%, geothermal 5% and solar 1% (Bird, 2006).

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) put out a marketing report called "Promoting Green Purchasing in North America" which points out that there are "a number of obstacles that prevent growth of the North American green procurement market" (, 2005). Those obstacles include a lack of shared information between organizations and agencies; a lack of "shared information about successful procurement techniques"; a lack of information about "market segments within and outside the national governments"; a shortage of "existing life-cycle or cost benefit" tools; and there are too few government or third-party certification opportunities and there is "no common baseline of energy and environmental attributes for given products or services" (, 2005).

Ford Motor Company in 2005 "went environmental" -- and maybe a bit overboard -- to help market its Escape Hybrid vehicle (Plant. Willdale, 2005). In order to be really "green" (and cool) Ford constructed a billboard in downtown Toronto that had more than 750 living plants (talk about green), shrubs, vines and evergreens tangled above Dundas Square. The plants were "fed" by a "300-metre custom imgation system with 150 spray nozzles." Once weekly, crews went up in bucket trucks to trim and prune the billboard. This is an eye-catching kind of marketing and not very practical, but give Ford credit for doing this five years ago to celebrate the fact that they were producing a hybrid in competition with Japanese manufacturers.

In the world of Broker magazine, "green" is more than just "saving a tree or an ocean" (Finkelstein, 2008). Green also means "doing the right thing like making quality actions for the customer," Finkelstein asserts. In a column called "Green Marketing" Finkelstein also claims that the basis of the green movement (according to what Finkelstein heard from a marketing entrepreneur) is sustainable all right -- indeed, it is "building a sustainable relationship with the right customers" (Finkelstein, 2008). And even though Finkelstein has kind of twisted the logic of green into a tool for his own sales success, he does admit that another basis for the green movement "is the use of products that promote sustainability." The point of presenting this source? Now that green is hugely popular and widely used in marketing, one should beware the slick sales person who exploits the concept of green to his or her own capitalistic advantage.

Another article involving the president of Ottman Consulting, Jacquelyn Ottman, published in, suggests that of all companies, McDonald's was the very first corporation in the U.S. To truly innovate in a green context (Ottman, 2002). McDonald's innovated away from Styrofoam by using "quilt-wrap" packaging, and in doing so, Ottman asserts that McDonald's "ushered in a new era of corporate environmentalism." In fact Ottman… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Green Marketing" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Green Marketing.  (2010, February 22).  Retrieved August 8, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Green Marketing."  22 February 2010.  Web.  8 August 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Green Marketing."  February 22, 2010.  Accessed August 8, 2020.