Sunday, November 25, 2007

green social marketing is different

If push marketing is about creating sales funnels, social marketing as I've defined it is about building voluntary bridges.

1 Take a good look at the product offering - which is the primary social object - the thing that people buy, use and share.
2 Make a second (synthetic ) social object whose intent is to segue to the product offering.

Social marketing creates multiple, synthetic social objects-as-bridges that communities can use, or not. Like great youtube entertainment/ads/. Highly social objects may also be modifiable by the user: like blogs, forums, or events that are co created by the user; like throwing user-centered parties that serve, say, free booze.

Ideally, green marketing needs something more. A couple of assumptions: one, the need to have communications = congruent with the product offering, and two, that green products originate from good intenet, intent to serve humanity. It seems that the best green products, like great music, are labors of love, artistic gestures, and attempts to better the human condition. The hypothesis is that:

The primary aspiration of green marketing is good intent, even above sales.
congruence means green marketing needs to also be a labor of love, and a work of art. Getting an agency to pump up the sales with a slick, layered series of multimedia social objects is not a good fit in green marketing if the work is not properly grounded in basic generosity. For social marketing to be truly social, after all, it has to have a social conscience, and the marketers must have good intent: building bridges to the product and the world, for goodness sake. Sounds like Sunday school, I know...

Coming out of this intent, is the execution of green brand identity that into is, if you like, "biodegradable".
The persistence of a brand identity, and the level of enhanced self esteem I get from it, is inversely proportional to my sustained attention to the environment. I sip my Free Trade cappuccino, and type on my IMac and I see but don't connect much: I am in a brand cocoon. The longer this lasts, the more unlikely it is that the street person's pain is not felt. The more likely it is that I get in the car, step on the gas, and feel pretty damn good about myself. If Zero, as Seth Godin says, is the new black, then "how do you brand zero?" is a riddle that Marketing simply has to solve.

Clearly, I'm stretching. More on this later.

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