What is Green Online Marketing? As with any question worth asking, the answer isn’t simple. Green online marketing is about interconnectedness and adding something of value- both to the marketplace and to the Earth.
The American Marketing Association considers the marketing of environmentally safe products to be green marketing, and I agree. As an online green marketer myself, I know it is far more than that.
Green marketing and the emerging green economy are changing the way that consumers, companies and marketers look at products. Rather than viewing marketing as little more than a fancy pitch from marketers to potential customers, green marketing sets the bar higher by expecting the product to be healthy, good for the Earth, and something that consumers can feel good about using.
Online interactions are also changing the way people look at marketing in general. Word of mouth is proving to be just as important as national advertising messages. Local recommendations and trusted online networks are once again where consumers turn when they need to make a new purchase. Online social media is about connecting people around common goals, beliefs and conversations. Websites like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and blogs empower web users to share information and opinions at rates not possible even 5 years ago, and that changes the game of marketing entirely.
Just as the relationship between a human being and the Earth is becoming more transparent and each of our roles growing more and more important, so to are the roles of consumer and marketer becoming more transparent and important with the advent of social media networking. Whether through affiliate networking, link-sharing, or forum discussions, the idea of interconnectedness is a vital, driving force for online and affiliate marketing.
Green online marketing empowers forward-thinking individuals to use low-impact advertising techniques to get the word out about eco-conscious products. (Imagine how much smaller the carbon footprint (lower carbon emissions) of a Google ad or a twitter competition campaign is vs. a single billboard in a major city).
The green/ eco-friendly/ eco-conscious/ environmental movement is all about community and viewing the world and our ecosystem as an interconnected web. Because of our interconnectedness, green-minded consumers want to buy, sell and be associated with products that keep that web healthy. In the same way, people in a social media network want to be connected to other users that keep them healthy, smiling and contribute something of value. Green online marketing combines environmental consciousness with the focus on networking and the notion of adding value that are central to social networking to create an organic, effective approach.