May 20, 2008

ACCM 2008: Green Initiatives

We'll probably become tired of the concept of brands "going green" in the near future. Until then, there's tension in the air, as evidenced at the ACCM Conference today. Here's a summary of the competing forces I identified from my conversations.
  • Third party opt-out services "imposing their will upon brands" or "representing the wishes of the customer", depending upon whom you survey. Solution = Third Party Opt-Out Service.
  • Garden-variety employees want to "do what is right". Solution = Mail Fewer Catalogs and Use Eco-Friendly Paper.
  • Business leaders who want to "do what is right" while "maintaining or growing sales" and not wanting outside forces "imposing their will" upon them. Solution = Use Eco-Friendly Paper and Replace Catalogs (see the vendor bullet point).
  • The DMA wants self-regulation. Solution = "DMA IS GREEN" theme, using "DMA Choice" instead of third party opt-out services.
  • Vendors want to use technology and analytics to "replace" catalogs ... meaning that you take catalogs away from the audience that hates them, giving them instead to customers who like them. Solution = Replace Catalogs and Use Digital Media To Replace Paper.
At the start of a movement, there are many camps, and many solutions. The audience today told me that we're at the start of a movement. It will be fun (and painful) to see how this evolves.

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