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Greening Print Marketing: Is There a Double Standard When It Comes to Paying for Green?

Most of us have heard the popularly cited statistics that given the choice between two similar products, 83% of consumers will chose those that are “environmentally friendly” and will pay more for them.

According to the DoubleClick study, not only are consumers interested in green products and companies, but nearly half are willing to pay at least 5% more for them.

It’s not a new study. It came out in April, but I was cleaning out my email, and when I re-read it, the findings got me thinking. In our consumer lives, it’s true. We’re not just wiling to pay extra. We actually feel good about it, as if that extra few cents or a dollar, in itself, shrinks the hole in the ozone layer.

Yet, when it comes to paying more for recycled paper, or spending those extra dollars improving our database for more targeted marketing, or switching to a Web-to-print document management system, and other initiatives that green our print marketing programs in ways that have equal, if not greater, environmental impact, all of a sudden, it’s, “Oh, no. That’s too expensive.”

Do we have two different standards for paying premium for green?

View all my “Greening Print Marketing” posts.

Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker has been a commercial and digital printing industry analyst, feature writer, columnist, editor, and author for nearly 20 years. She is known for her meticulous research and no-nonsense perspective. In addition to having written thousands of industry articles for top industry publications, she and Richard Romano have been the face of the well-respected industry research firm The Industry Measure (TrendWatch Graphic Arts) for many years. In her more than 13-year tenure with the firm, she has written countless reports on digital printing, 1:1 (personalized) printing, Web-to-print, personalized URLs, and other hot industry applications. She is also a long-time contributing editor and columnist for Printing News, for which she writes two monthly columns, including "Personal Effects," which features monthly analysis of 1:1 (personalized) printing case studies. She is also the author of three titles for the National Association of Printing Leadership: Designer's Printing Companion, Ink & Color: A Printer's Guide, and Diversifying Via Value-Added Services. As a small, niche publisher (Strong Tower Publishing), she is active in utilizing these technologies in her own business, as well.

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