Whenever I write on “greening print marketing,” I always get rotten tomatoes thrown at me. In a virtual sense, of course. I get the inevitable, “Printing isn’t green! The only green my customers care about is the kind in their wallets anyway.” In other words, nobody cares.
I care, and I’m not sure that “nobody cares” is true anyway.
When I write on greening print marketing, I’m not saying that printing is green. What I continue to say now, and what I have said in the past, is that clients can make their print marketing green-ER by taking simple steps. That’s print marketing (not printing itself) and they can make it green-ER. More than it was.
Last week, I posted some data on changing consumer attitudes toward green products. What was interesting was that, while the luster has come off the green label, consumers still care. They just look at labels for green information instead of doing intensive research and they aren’t willing to pay more for it. But they still care. Last I checked, clients and prospects are still consumers.
Are they going to select your business because your print shop is greener than another? Probably not, but “going green” makes people feel good. Anytime you have a story to tell that makes you clients feel good, especially without requiring them to actually do anything different, you’re doing something positive for your business.
As I talk about in Greening Print Marketing, the green discussion is really the same discussion you’re having with your customers already. It’s about targeting, segmentation, personalization, cleaning up databases, print on demand, JIT, and Web-to-print. It’s the same discussion just framed differently.
Another reason to talk about green is that, when all things are otherwise equal, you also never know what is going to tip the scales between someone choosing to work with you and choosing to work with a competitor. It might be the press you are printing on. It might the color of the carpet in your entryway. It might be the fact that you talk about greening print marketing on your website and your competitor doesn’t mention green initiatives at all.
Your clients may not be asking you about green initiatives, but that doesn’t meant they don’t care of that talking about them won’t positively impact their perception of your business or have long-term value in their customer loyalty. Every printer has at least some green story to tell, and if you sit down and really think about it, I’ll bet you’ll find it. It’s worth telling.