Marketing Material is Part of Your Supply Chain – Make it Sustainable
By: Leah Feor
Do you believe it’s possible to make a positive sustainable impact by changing the way you market your business?
From postcards to packaging, and everything in between, marketing your brand can use loads of resources. You want to get your message out there, but with today’s attention span, you need to get strategic in how you spread the word.
Shifting Your Practices
Changing the way you bring your promotional material to life can make a huge impact on the sustainability of both your business and the environment.
Think about it this way; have you ever had to dispose promotional material at the end of a campaign? If you answered yes to this question, then you might want to consider upgrading your marketing strategy.
This is where social media can be of great benefit. As you can imagine, social media and the ads promoted across online platforms have impacted printed press. Companies are budgeting their marketing dollars not just on print now; they are also buying online ads.
Given that 44% of direct mail isn’t even opened*, social media marketing is a big step forward in paper conservation alone. Because sustainability is directly related to resource management, every piece of paper that can be saved from the bin is positive for the environment.
But what about the materials you need print?
Social media can be a powerful leverage point to make your marketing material more sustainable. Being eco-friendly isn’t just about reducing your paper consumption; it’s also about creating better content to be printed.
You want to grab people’s attention right? Use social media to test the waters before finalizing for print. Send it out to the online world and see what type of engagement you get. Good response? Maybe it’s one worth putting down on paper if you’re in need of material for distribution.
It’s also useful to survey your customers and clients on their preferred method of correspondence. This takes out the guesswork and helps you eliminate wasted distribution costs.
Think Twice (or more) & Print Once (or not at all)
A key factor to think about is lifespan. Are you printing something that will be obsolete in two weeks? Then plan out your strategic distribution very carefully.
Since material used for a specified date will be tossed (hopefully recycled) by the audience within a short period of time, taking things like quantity and quality of print into consideration helps reduce unnecessary waste.
When creating your strategic plan for distribution, ask yourself the following:
- Who needs to know this information?
- Can this information be shared online instead of through print?
- Is there someone on the team who will be responsible for distribution?
- How will it be distributed (direct mail, display rack, on tables in public spaces)?
- Is there something of value on the printed material (coupons)?
- What is the call to action?
By considering the above factors prior to rushing off to the printers, you might realize that it is more efficient, effective, and eco-friendly to run an online campaign with a coupon code rather than distribute marketing material manually.
Embrace Evergreen Content
Because sustainability relates to longevity, here is something else to consider when it comes to leveraging social media for marketing.
Have you ever heard the term evergreen content?
What I’m referring to is content that does not change, expire, or become obsolete. Things like your company’s mission and vision statements are good examples of this. Although they may evolve over time, they are not changing one month to the next.
For something stick, you need to make it memorable. Depending on your industry, consider including an inspirational quote or useful tips on the printed material. This gives people a reason to hold on to it or pass it along to their colleagues and clients.
Remember, when you print postcards and flyers with the evergreen method in mind, you are distributing material that has long term value.
Branding to Last
Investing in quality promotional material sends a message to your audience that you are here to stay. This applies to what you print and how you manage your social media.
Marketing has evolved drastically over the past decade and includes a whole new world of online advertising, engagement, and promotion. For the sake of sustainability both of your brand and the environment, be sure to include online marketing into your strategic plan.
This blog has been modified by the author from original post on barkersocial.com
About the Author – Leah Feor
Leah is a strategic advisor and content creator for Simply Sustainable™. Balancing a triple bottom line for organizations and individuals is her utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Her passion for the environment and social impact bring her business background to life. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things.