As I was writing the previous post, I found that I’d developed a whole set a questions that I think marketers should be asking.  Funny, but despite the suspicions on the part of American consumers, there are a lot of companies that believe they need to be in a "green" zone.  So, here are some key questions that come to mind for marketers:

  • Is green the right strategy for your company?  By that, I mean is it of primary or secondary importance to your company’s future?  Off the top of my head, CPG, energy and pharmaceutical/healthcare companies are should be pondering this question, if they’re not already doing so.  It’s of lesser importance to, say, telecom, internet and other media brands.
  • What’s your company’s position on green?  This will come out of your answer to the first question.
  • If your company has a position on green, is it defensible?  What will it take to make it so?  Basically, this is about the good ol’ RTB’s (reasons to believe)
  • Is senior management behind this push?  As is the case with other organization-wide initiatives such as driving an integrated marketing mindset throughout the company, senior management needs to champion this or it will not happen.
  • Is this even an issue that should reside within marketing?  I think not.  Marketing should be involved, but since there are organization-wide implications, the charge might have to be led by another group or function within the company.  Especially since marketers are under an incredible amount of pressure to show accountability and results, the company might be better served by keeping their focus on customer acquisition and retention.  Kraft Foods, for example, has a SVP of health, wellness and sustainability.  Your company might need to staff a specific function in this area.
  • What’s my timeline?  A green transformation of your company won’t happen overnight.  It’s important to manage expectations inside and outside your company.
  • What’s the best product or service in my portfolio to start with?  Related to the previous question.  How can you start small and have your green position grow—dare I say it?—organically?  Is there a product on which you can test and learn?  Is it cheaper/better to develop a brand new product?  Should your company acquire one?

Sorry that there’s not a lot in the way of answers here.  What are some other questions that should be asked?  What are some other angles at which a company can come at this issue?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and learn from your experiences.

Posted by Rob Fields