Marketing That Matters–Advertising 101 For The Green Crowd

I’ve never worked on the client side, nor have I ever started a business, so I don’t quite fit into the intended audience of Marketing That Matters: 10 Practices to Profit Your Business And Change The World by Chip Conley and Eric Friedenwald-Fishman. Nevertheless, it’s a good primer on marketing for anyone building a brand from scratch, particularly if you want to run a business that emphasizes social responsibility.
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It covers everything from mission statements, target audiences, developing communications strategies, and yes, developing a relationship with the customer. And the examples cited read like a who’s who’s of crunchiness and progressiveness, including: Tazo, Whole Foods, method, Patagonia, Wild Planet, and Joie de Vivre Hospitality (Conley’s company).
But the book, while it’s fairly well-done and easy to read for folks who lack a marketing education, raises an interesting question: Can you influence companies to be more socially responsible when it’s not part of their corporate DNA? I suppose it’s possible, but in reading Marketing That Matters I found myself thinking that if a company’s founders or owners don’t live and embrace socially responsible values and imbed them into a company’s product or service from the beginning, then marketing won’t convince customers otherwise.
However, entrepreneurs are out there, and plenty of them have good intentions, but plenty of sleazy marketing types are ready to pounce on their naivete and spend their money. Most entrepreneurs are too busy running their business to give marketing a lot of thought, and as a result, the brand may not develop as strongly as possible. I’d recommend any do-gooder get a copy of Marketing That Matters and apply the lessons early and often. Maybe you won’t change the world, but you’d definitely make the marketing landscape a little brighter.
DISCLOSURE: Thanks to Sheena at FSB Associates for sending me a copy for review.

About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.