Are You Promoting Your Sustainability Efforts?
At last month’s GRAPH EXPO 2008, I did a “2008 Print Buying Trends” presentation at Heidelberg’s Print Media Academy. One of the many topics I covered was sustainability and how the best print suppliers are not only going green, but are actively promoting their efforts to their customers and prospects. After speaking with attendees and other print reps on the show floor, I was surprised to learn that many solution providers are doing the right things, but they aren’t marketing their programs and progress. How are print buyers going to know that you are eco-friendly if you don’t tell them?Case in point: Last week, I talked with a print buyer from a large publishing company in Baltimore, MD. Her company, which purchases tens of millions of dollars in direct mail and books, is starting to incorporate sustainability into their print purchases. Currently only one of their long-time printers has green credentials. This printer has been eco-friendly for years. But what’s interesting is that the print buyer just learned of their green efforts recently — and almost by accident. It took her coming to the Print Oasis Print Buyer’s conference to learn that her printer was FSC certified and was offering other sustainability solutions. Think of the business this printer might be missing — all due to the fact that they aren’t effectively marketing their services.
This is a lesson for all of us. Just because a client doesn’t ask specific questions, it doesn’t mean they aren’t considering the issues. Buyers may assume your company isn’t eco-friendly because they haven’t heard you talk about it. And even if you have reported your progress, it can’t just be a one-shot deal. Buyers only remember the message when it pertains to them. We are at a tipping point where organizations are now open to sustainability practices. Your marketing message has to be on-going, so that your company and its solutions stay top of mind.