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Report: Greening Print Marketing: A Practical Guide

I hope you’ll indulge me and let me get on my soap box for a minute. I recently released a new report in my Marketer’s Primer Series, “Greening Print Marketing: A Practical Guide.” One of the most surprising pieces of feedback I’ve gotten from printers is, “My clients don’t care anymore.”

With all the media discussion about green these days, my first question was, “Are you sure?”

People do care about the environment. In fact, studies show that consumers are committed to green products even in a down economy. In addition, they are often willing to pay more for them. It’s a hot topic in the news media and B2B world. How can clients not care? Of course they care. So what’s going on?

In the raging debate about what’s greener than what, it’s become confusing. There are real solutions, but it’s just too hard to know who’s telling the truth. One company says this. Another says that. They all contradict one another. So why even try? It’s easier to throw your hands up in the air and forget about it. If green evangelists on every side are going to make it this difficult, we’ll just tune it out completely.

Does this sound familiar? Most likely, it does. But rather suggesting that clients don’t care, it suggests they are simply paralyzed into inertia.

What if you could offer them a way to green their print marketing that nobody can argue with? What if it actually cost them less money and made their marketing more effective? Now you’re talking, right?

Here is it, and it’s not rocket science.

Targeting marketing and personalization are green printing. How? By their very nature, they reduce unnecessary print volumes. (Key word here is “unnecessary.”) Why sent a 64-page booklet filled with irrelevant information when you can send a 16-page brochure with targeted, relevant material? You make your marketing program more effective while saving the planet at the same time. Or how about this? Cleanse your database on a regular basis. Run it through NCOA. Why mail to people who don’t live there anymore?

Is this the end-all, be-all for greening? Of course not. But greening and personalization go hand in hand. If you’ve been looking for a way to move your clients into targeting and personalization, this is another reason to get them to do it.

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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