The marketing mega trend of the decade is unquestionably the need to be “green”. Call it what you like: clean-tech, low carbon footprint, environmentally conscious, eco-friendly, the impact of global warning, or just common sense. It’s for real and it represents a major marketing opportunity, while some might say it will be a political necessity. Sooner or later, it will be mandated by law.

While it is true that use of the word “green” or “natural” has been largely unmanaged and often abused, it should be used as an expression of the provider’s commitment to a better environment and a healthier planet. It can also be measurable; for example, we can measure the impact of an electrical appliance which uses less electricity, paper products which are made of recycled paper, or the impact of using alternative fuels such as ethanol.

From a political perspective, conserving oil is a unilateral political party platform agenda item for the upcoming U.S. presidential election (thanks to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore). All major candidates are eco-friendly at least in rhetoric. Meanwhile, our current president, George Bush, has pleaded with the American public to cut the use of gasoline in his last State of the Union Speech.

Just last week the price of oil topped $96.00 per barrel. My guess is that this conservation message will soon become an economic necessity. We simply cannot afford to continue to plunder the diminishing fossil fuel reserves. This means the consumer needs to change their habits pronto.

This is where good marketing kicks in and saves the world. It starts with the right messaging from smart marketers like you and me to create the awareness with the consumer. Interestingly enough, a recent Gallup poll of U.S. voters ranked the war in Iraq, healthcare, and the economy to be greater issues than the need to become carbon neutral. This is particularly vexing when you think that two of the three top issues are directly related to oil—namely the war in Iraq and our current economic malaise.

It is up to us marketers to help the consumer understand the benefits of leaving behind a carbon neutral footprint—cleaner air, less dependency on foreign suppliers of petroleum products, less waste to bury or burn, and a healthier environment for our children and their children.

The spoils earned by the providers who commit now to a greener earth will be the chance for increased sales and profits. The market is ready for this message. Go green or watch your business erode.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2007 All rights reserved.

About the author
  1. Yes, “green initiative” is really a double entendre in many cases. It’s natural (no pun intended) for companies to pursue a green initiative if they suspect it will be profitable. And if Mother Earth benefits from the pursuit, more power to it.

    Here’s Yahoo!’s Green microsite: and I can attest that the founders and executives at Yahoo! are passionate about it.

  2. Greg,

    Yahoo at is a great example of how a firm can be green and socially responsible and be profitable because of it.

    Great example.


Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

clear formSubmit

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.