Archive for September, 2010

4 Ways to Create a Niche for Green Marketing Your Limousine Company

Posted on September 28, 2010

These days, a great way to draw in new customers is by appealing to their environmental awareness. As a part of an effectively executed marketing plan, the promotion of your company’s eco-friendly advantages can help it stand apart from the competition in a dramatic and lucrative way. If you operate a limousine or transportation company, you’ve already got plenty of green benefits built in to the way that you do business. Why not play them up? A few top tips for doing so are outlined below.

  1. Define Your Audience – Your niche marketing plan will be dead in the water if you don’t know who to aim it at. Many people rely on the services of transportation and limousine companies; many others are on the fence, but would use them quite often if the environmental benefits of doing so were made clear. Therefore, your target audience is mostly going to consist of people who either already use the services that your company offers – but who will become loyal customers if you promote your organization’s green benefits. Those who rarely use your services, but would do so more often if they knew the environmental benefits of doing so, would be another part of your target audience.
  2. Choose Your Focus – You’ve already decided to focus your niche marketing plan on the green characteristics of your company, and of transportation companies in general. Now, you should zero in on a couple of ideas that you’d like to get across during your campaign. You could point out that passenger vehicles cause a lot more pollution than large buses do, on a per-passenger basis, or you could choose a number of different points to emphasize. The point is, you want to select a main point – and stick with it.
  3. Present Your Points in a Clear Way – Whether your marketing campaign is going to be small or large, the main points that you’ve chosen to highlight should remain consistent throughout it. The last thing that you want to do is confuse your prospective customers.
  4. Practice What You Preach – Finally, make sure that you can easily back up any claims that you make. Exaggerating or stretching the truth about the eco-benefits of using your company can backfire in a seriously damaging way. Besides, there’s no reason to do this: The limousine and transportation industry really does have many green characteristics that you can stress in your marketing campaign.

Green Doesn’t Mean Don’t Use Paper

Posted on September 20, 2010

At Create-A-Card, we are very aware of the concerns surrounding the environmental impact of print advertising and understand why our clients are reluctant at times to include printed media in their media outreach campaigns. Our experience in public relations has taught us the value of having “hard copy” versions of text, graphics and design are crucial to success, so we have become dedicated to helping our clients design print advertising campaigns that implement strategies that honor the three “R’s” — reduce, reuse and recycle. We have discovered that by making eco-friendly advertising the basis of the campaign, our clients can actually save money while attracting new customers and helping to conserve our precious natural resources.

Eco-Friendly Paper Products

The most obvious place to start is with the paper that is chosen for all posters, envelopes, business cards, flyers, presentations and stationary. Thanks to the vigorous paper and cardboard recycling campaigns implemented over the past 25 years, modern paper mills have access to a large quantity of “gently used” paper that can be easily recycled into new products using a fraction of the energy required to harvest a living tree and turn it into paper pulp. To further make a good impression on your clients, ensure that your company engages in strict recycling practices that are obvious to even the casual observer.

The familiar recycle logo of the three revolving arrows thereby becomes an integral part of a “green” advertising campaign and all paper selected for projects should have this symbol as their baseline. Not only is recycled paper cheaper, it also has more “character” to make your materials look more “organic” and less phony and manufactured. When you choose this kind of paper you can proudly display the recycle logo on all of your printed materials to show your company has a progressive and ecologically-minded attitude, a quality that can become a deciding factor in a customers’ decision-making process.

In fact, there are many clever recycled paper products, especially for a items that are only going to be used once — like coasters and invitations — that integrate wildflower seeds into a paper stock that dissolves easily, encouraging the consumer to continue the recycling process by planting it. There is also the option of using “tree-free” paper products that are made from bamboo, hemp or organic waste generated by coffee production and mango orchards.

Eco-Friendly Inks

Because of the heavy metals and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) created by traditional ink production, many innovative printers have devised inks appropriate for digital reproduction that are durable, rich and quick-drying. Soy-based inks are made from renewable resources and use a solvent called ethyl lactate which is considered to be the “greenest” solvent-based ink currently available. There are even companies that recycle pencil stubs into eco-friendly ink! The choice to use environmentally conscious ink also means your final product is much easier to recycle because it requires less heat to break down.

Eco-Friendly Printers

Just because your materials are green does not necessarily mean that your final product is going to be green unless consideration is taken about the practices of the print shop. Proper disposal of harmful solvents and energy-reduction techniques such as computer-controlled automation to eliminate paper waste are features that any reputable “green” print shop should include. Digital offset presses are considered superior because they are able to best utilize eco-friendly products to produce high-quality material that resists scratching and fading.

Eco-Friendly Campaigns

The final step is to integrate your environmentally-conscious attitude into the copy, graphics and overall design of your print media. Create a warm, friendly campaign for your print and internet advertising that emphasizes your commitment to sustainable practices so your target audience naturally associates your company with the green movement. Such strategies greatly increase the effectiveness of the all forms of media, not just the print aspect, and are integral to a modern, successful advertising campaign.

Thinking of Going Green? Here Are Some Green Marketing Strategies…

Posted on September 10, 2010

Green Marketing gives your company a fresh perspective that many of today’s consumers have grown up to understand as necessary. Companies that are new to green marketing, admittedly, need some time to adjust their own perspective. They often question the process all the way up until they see their bottom line. What green marketing does is expand that bottom line by adding a couple of factors that government and society have deemed important for the businesses in which they deal with. Green marketing takes nothing away from traditional marketing. The 4Ps of traditional marketing are still recognized: product, price, placement, and promotion. However, the bottom line is expanded into what is called by some people, the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit.

The hallmark of green marketing is having a green product. Low energy use is crucial in some form, whether it be how the final product or service directly benefits the consumer or how the product or service is made or delivered before reaching the consumer. In the transportation industry, for example, focus is on how the transport is tied to efficient, low-pollution fuels and the use of non-toxic materials. Green marketing turns these factors into benefits for the customer in the form of health, low costs, and compliance with state and federal law.

Pricing has always been considered the factor most determinate of profitability. Pricing, however, is not limited to sticker amount. Green marketing looks at other strategies beside the hard exchange. Pricing is looked at as a mutually beneficial relationship where both parties see results and rewards. Creative pricing can take into account identity, credibility, and ongoing service. Green cost accounting takes into consideration the true or full cost and the benefits reaped from ecological and environmental aspects of business. Formulas have been developed to translate the benefits into financial terms.

Green marketing takes advantage of virtual placement in addition to physical placement. Today’s economy is largely driven by the internet today. No longer does placement mean the location of a retail store or a shelf in that store. Modern placement takes the community and global marketing into consideration. By making service available to the community and expanding it to the nation or world, green marketing can expand profit without impacting the environment.

One of the biggest tenets of green marketing is in promotion. Green marketing supports open, two-way, communication with everyone the company deals with, excluding vital information to competitors, of course. Green marketing communication includes reporting to investors on performance and future opportunities, informing employees about the company’s role in the well-being of the community, educating customers on additional services or products provided, and showing prospective clients how the company can provide solutions to their problems. Communication doesn’t stop there. It also leaves space for feedback and response.

Summers Over…Jump Start Your Marketing this Fall!

Posted on September 2, 2010

In many communities, fall events such as Halloween parties and craft fairs are often put together; usually inside a building because of the changing weather. Consider sponsoring one of these events, should the opportunity present itself. During the course of the event, take a car from your large selection and park it in a place where people will see it. Let them sit inside and look around, but do not let them drive; doing this in a place full of people is not the most safe idea. Should somebody express interest give them a card with contact information so that they can reach you at a later time. Make sure that the building that the event is being held in allows cars to be parked inside, if it is even possible.

Ask somebody, either a member of the staff or a person with great experience, to film a video that you can put on a video sharing site like Youtube. With attention grabbing music playing in the final production of the video, give people a tour of the inside of the limo or other vehicle. Some visitors have probably never seen the inside of a limo, and may be so fascinated that they will want to learn more.

Give out free pumpkins or special fall themed gift bags to your already established customer base. By showing them that you appreciate their business, they are sure to want to stay with you. On top of that, they will want to tell their friends and family. Include items such as fall recipes, stickers for the younger members of the family, note pads, and so on. Be sure to include at least one item that bears your company logo. This will make it easier for people to remember your name.

Join a social networking site like Facebook and Twitter. Not only will you show people that you can keep up with the times, but you will be able to interact with them on an immediate basis. They will not have to email you or make a phone call in order to ask questions or file complaints. All they need to do is leave a comment, and you can get back to them. Accounts are not difficult to set up, and anyone can maintain it with a little practice. Should you run into any trouble, we can help you manage your brand, both online and offline.