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

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, 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. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • http://www.projectgreenspot.com/ MsD

    Hey Mr. G,
    I highly recommend checking out what Ray Anderson has done with his company, Interface as a perfect axample of how a HUGE corporation has gone from clearly not caring to being the thought leader in sustainable business practices.
    Cheers,
    Darby