3 Tips for Turning Your Marketing Green and Save Money at the Same Time

Does marketing green hurt your business or help your business? I think it depends if you’re REALLY green or how green you are. Jumping on the bandwagon is not the right choice.  Bragging about “going green” is really not helpful to your efforts, especially if you later get accused of greenwashing.

Is green marketing worth it?  Yes.  And you can save money while doing it too.  See the tips below.

In honor of Earth Day 2009, here are three easy-to-implement tips:

1. Use PDF’s on your website instead of printing brochures and sell sheets that quickly go out of date. More green marketing tips here..

2. Use e-mail marketing to cut down or eliminate the need for paper newsletters, brochures or fliers.

3. Use Green Energy TV as your GREEN video distribution: instead of burning DVD’s and mailing them. Green Energy TV is an online TV channel dedicated to airing videos on all things green in our world. It’s an awesome resource out of Youngstown, Ohio. 

Bonus:
I love this video and this tip:

Use CFL Light Bulbs. Minor changes have a big impact. Save 15% on your power bill and 45% in your product cost (over time) and help the environment too. Watch this video to find out how.

How a Farmer from Ohio is Saving the World

The Story of Renewable Lubricants

Jackie Garmier

On Friday I met Jackie Garmier when we were on a panel of entrepreneurs speaking at Kent State University during their “Hidden Gems” section of the Entrepreneur Extravaganza.

Jackie and her husband own a small business in Hartville, Ohio that provides lubricants that perform like synthetics for the racing industry.  She describes herself as a “farmer” and her production as a “recipe”, but she’s taking on the world — and she has the patents to keep her recipes proprietary.

She finds it easy to market her business because she is passionate about her brand. She explains:  How could I not love it?  We —

  • Design a bio degradable product
  • Help farmers grow more crops
  • Help her country reduce dependence on foreign oil
  • Reduce air pollution (the Kent State bus service uses her products)

Her company, Renewable Lubricants, also uses soy based inks in printing and refillable, recyclable packaging wherever possible. What’s not to love?

Her message to other entrepreneurs: be passionate about your brand and carry your message throughout all of your products.

Green ROI Story Revealed at Cleveland Business Event

Johnstone Supply Many companies want to do the right thing with green business, but find it is just too expensive.

While sustainability of our people, planet and prosperity can not be compromised, somehow it is hard to “do it now” if the price seems just too high.

Pictured (left to right): Terry Roberts, George Longcoy and Michael Sumpter from Johnstone Supply.

Overcoming the Price Objection
One company who may have found a great ROI story to overcome the price objection to going green is Johnstone Supply. I just heard about their motors with a variable speed control that can provide customers with an incredible 60% ROI in electricity savings in less than one year.

Tim Ferguson, a motor and pump specialist, explained how it works at a recent “Green Business” breakfast in Cleveland, where more than 250 business professionals met to discuss critical environmental issues facing Northeast Ohio, sustainable strategies and how to remain profitable.

“The building we are in (Ritz Carlton Cleveland) has 380 motors as an example. Just one 20 horsepower motor that runs all the time uses $14,024 per year in electricity –assuming 10 cents per kilowatt hour,” he explained. “By putting a $3,000 control on that motor, you would experience more than a $10,000 savings in just same year.”

Of course, there are other ways to save money on electricity bills too. For example, it can often be useful to switch energy providers so that you can find a more affordable utility package. For more information about some of the best electricity rates in dallas, head to the Home Energy Club website.

With math like that, why everyone isn’t racing out to change their motors right now?? Maybe they haven’t heard about it.

Johnstone Supply has a challenge to build awareness of the ROI solution with their potential customers. The hardest part? Often the person in charge of buying a motor is not the same person who pays the electric bill. Both accounts payable and the facilities manager must be made aware of this ROI solution and work together. I hope that many CFO’s in the room will go back to those two people in their corporation and ask to do the analysis.

Marketing Case Study: What to do
In an effort to build awareness, Johnstone Supply sponsored the event, got Tim Ferguson to become one of the panelists and placed their literature at each person’s seat at the event. All this in an effort to help build awareness of their solution to the sustainability issue. I hope that whoever answers the phone in their sales department asks the question, “where did you hear about us?” so that they will know how much this marketing investment paid off in helping them to build awareness of their motor solution.

What lesson can you learn from Johnstone Supply?
Does your potential customer have a problem? How does your product or service solve it? And how do you let them know about the solution? You can’t just expect people to KNOW you have the solution, you have to build awareness of both their problem and your solution.

What’s the lesson from Johnstone Supply:

  • Work with a local organization to become a panelist
  • Prepare your talking points to clearly explain your solution
  • Be specific on the ROI and payback.
  • Have literature available at each seat to take back to the office.
  • Have other people from your company at various tables in the audience to help explain.
  • Offer a free analysis to help interested potential customers self qualify

And, don’t forget to ask where they first heard about you in order to measure your marketing effectiveness!

Not knowing their marketing program… I would guess that they’d also include some press releases, direct mail pieces and search engine optimization techniques to make sure that this one marketing event investment pays them back a nice ROI as well!