What is a Green Product Marketer?
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Green products are eco-friendly because they either improve the environment or modify a current product or service so that it has a less negative impact on the environment. Green products range from small items such as biodegradable trash bags that reduce the amount of plastic sent to landfills, to the batteries for electric cars, and the technology to produce cleaner forms of energy as found in the wind and solar industries. Marketing in this field is an exciting, challenging and growing option as environmental concerns are now on the up and up.
Also known as environmental marketing or ecological marketing, this field attracts bold, creative individuals who appreciate the challenge of introducing a radically different product or consumer thought process to the public. Green product marketers do not simply enhance current marketing practices. They break new ground in their methodology and in the radical change to public thinking that they inspire. They incorporate overarching ecological themes into their marketing practices, successfully creating consumer demand for products and services that benefit the environment.
How to Become a Green Product Marketer
What does a Green Product Marketer do?
Unlike a traditional marketer, a green product marketer faces a variety of sales, production, pricing, and regulatory hurdles. Since much of the technology is new, the costs of research and development often set the price of the product higher than its non-green counterparts.
For example, Ford Motor Company offered a unique comparison when it introduced the Focus in both an electric and gasoline version. The sticker price of the electric Focus was about $40,000. The sticker price of the same car with a gasoline engine was about $25,000. The $12,000-battery accounted for the majority of the price difference. The marketing challenge is to convince consumers that the reduced impact on the environment is the car’s true selling point, as it would take approximately 10 years to recoup the higher initial vehicle cost through savings at the pump.
In order to generate consumer interest in green products, a marketer may participate in community events to illustrate why the green product is the better consumer choice in the long run. A green product marketer analyzes the marketplace, globally and regionally, to determine where the product has the best chance of gaining popularity. He or she designs advertising campaigns around the statistics and analyses. These campaigns may include print media, video, web site design, blogs, and other venues that place the product in a positive light.
Many times, the company itself provides a wealth of positive information. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is an internationally recognized standard for a building’s sustainability, energy efficiency, use of renewable materials, and water savings. Companies achieving this certification have shown themselves to be good environmental stewards that create a positive impact in the community. Even if the company’s product or service is not inherently green, a savvy green product marketer can use the LEED certification to encourage consumer support.
An green product marketer monitors the myriad regulations within the industry to ensure that the product meets the standards set for labeling the product as eco-friendly. He or she maintains a thorough knowledge of any federal, state, and international specifications regarding the production and promotion of a product as green.
Popular Green Certifications
- Green Seal
- MBDC cradle to cradle
- SMART certification by MTS
- USDA Organic—organic foods
- Forest Stewardship Council—wood and paper products
- Energy Star—energy efficiency
- Green-e—renewable energy
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How to become a Green Product Marketer
Companies that hire green product marketers require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, usually in advertising or journalism. Other appropriate courses of study for this up-and-coming field include consumer behaviour, marketing, environmental science, visual arts, business management, statistics, finance, communications, and business law.
In addition to a strong educational background, a green product marketer needs strong analytical skills to research and assess the statistical information required to create a successful green marketing strategy. He or she is a creative individual, able to look at a product or process through the eyes of consumers, and then to design promotional materials that will strike a chord with the product’s target market.
A green product marketer exhibits excellent interpersonal skills. These skills allow a marketer to work well with consumers and clients. Interpersonal and communication skills combine to allow a marketer to explain the technical aspects of an eco-friendly product to consumers and to explain his or her marketing strategies to clients.
What is the workplace of a Green Product Marketer like?
Since all product production involves the consumption of energy and the production of some amount of waste, any company could potentially participate in green improvements and marketing. Green product marketers often work with product development teams, and through direct interaction with customers, to ensure that they will be able to commercialize new green products when they come to market. Green product marketers can be hired in a variety of markets (prominent examples are Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Johnson and Johnson, Timberland, and Method).