Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Direct Marketing and the Environment: Score Two More!

It's been awhile since we've featured our favorite frog . . . and today, we're glad to bring him back. Today, more than ever, there's increasing evidence that Direct Marketers and Consumers are paying a whole lot more attention to environmental issues. It is impacting how we market, and it's impacting how our customers spend their dollars.

In two recent articles from DM News, increasing awareness of being environmentally conscious is highlighted. In the first article, it is reported that "Cooler, a provider of commerce solutions that address global warming, has launched a new program to help manufacturers and retailers of consumer products and services address the global warming impact of what they sell."

Cooler takes a unique approach wherein it "provides an emissions assessment, a roadmap for emission reductions and high-quality offsets from renewable energy and pollution prevention projects. It also includes a marketing kit to help clients communicate the actions they are taking to address global warming." Then, they went a step further by launching a website where consumers can choose from over 400 internet retailers who support environmentally conscious ways of doing business (i.e., reduce emissions, use renewable energy as part of their business, etc.). As the holiday shopping season approaches, we'll keep our eyes on how Cooler does with this effort.

In a second article, DM News reports that UPS has recently "asserted its commitment to environmentalism by ordering 167 compressed natural gas delivery trucks and 139 new propane delivery trucks. These additions make the delivery service company the largest private alternative fuel fleet owner, with a total fleet of 1,629 vehicles." These are pretty impressive statistics. As one of the leading direct mailers, UPS has definitely set the benchmark for its competitors.

These recent articles point to the fact that consumers and businesses are not only becoming more concerned about the state of our environment, but that this awareness does not look like a passing fad. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over time. When it comes right down to it, we vote with our dollars. As time goes on, we'll see how corporate revenue is impacted by those like Cooler and UPS who are blazing the trail in environmental responsibility in direct marketing. On the flip side, it will also be interesting to see how those who are not changing their strategy to reflect the shifting attitudes of public opinion will fare revenue-wise.

Kermit has always said (or sang) "It's not easy being green." We think that while it may not be easy, it may be imperative to your direct marketing efforts.

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