Green Marketing – Education is Everything


There’s one thing you need to know about the green consumer. They want to know.

According to the Roper Green Gauge, over 50% reported they would do more if they only knew what and how. So moving your communications to educate and inform can do a lot to grow your green business.

While representing an eco-friendly paint company, we raised the issues of indoor air pollution which is caused in part by the out-gassing of toxins in conventional paints, stains and cleaning products. We built into their quarterly consumer catalog an educational component called “Did You Know?” Sprinkled throughout the pages were various statistics that enlightened consumers.

For instance, using EPA statistics, we informed them that “indoor air pollution is two to twenty times worse than outdoor air pollution even in a heavily industrialized city.” A few pages later, a statistic from Scientific American stated, “A baby crawling on a conventional carpet inhales the equivalent of four cigarettes a day.”

These eye-opening facts broadened their audience considerably, bringing many mainstream people into their consumer base who now understood the close-to-home benefits of their products. Then we launched the branding line for their non-toxic paints, “Beauty without the Beast.” We struck the balance between the reasons people buy their products: To beautify their homes AND avoid unnecessary toxins – the real reason for that “just painted smell.”

Most of us trust the marketplace to bring us products that are safe, useful and effective. Consumers have not trained themselves nor felt the need to examine everything that’s out there before they purchase. But that’s beginning to change.

The thousands of recalls of everything from children’s toys to chopped meat are beginning to wake up and energize a more informed consumer. They’re demanding to know more before they buy and that has profound implications for marketers.

You can build a viable base by telling an educational story. By informing how your product or service does the job well and helps the environment at the same time. That way the message is not just about saving the planet out there but improving their life right here.

No one, whether they’re an environmentally-conscious consumer or not, wants to bring unnecessary toxins into their homes, or buy unsafe toys, or use potentially harmful products. They just didn’t know they were.

When you educate, you marry emotion to intellect, the heart to the head, the planet to the person. The more you educate your customer, the more you build trust. The more you build trust, the more likely you are to win their business.