Help me be an eco-friendly marketer!
February 5, 2009 10:20 PM   Subscribe

What can I do to transition to a "green marketing" career?

I'm interested in finding a job that, for lack of a better term, might best be called green marketing. For instance, not necessarily working for an environmental organization, but doing marketing for an organic farm/products/lifestyle.

What is the best way to develop the specific skills that might be needed for this? My background is already in marketing, but in publishing. Do I need to brush up on my biology/science skills? What kind of background do people in this field generally have?

As this is very vague, I'd appreciate any help or advice that this extremely helpful board can offer.

(I'm currently in Beijing, by the way, but considering repatriating back to Los Angeles later this year depending on the economy. Needless to say, it's a big if!)
posted by so much modern time to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Educate yourself and read read read! Start with basic places like Treehugger and Worldchanging, get The Geography of Hope by Chris Turner (book), get a grounding in what Mark Stoiber of Vancouver does (one of the world's premiere green branders) with his company Change Advertising, and keep going, keep educating yourself, get hip info on whatever interests you and you'll find yourself drifting in a direction that you're passionate about. Bingo.
posted by Mrs Hilksom at 10:37 PM on February 5, 2009

I would educate yourself as much as possible about the real environmental problems facing California, the US, and the world, and what are the root causes of those problems. Reading some of the tougher facts will give you the grounding you need to speak with conviction and (more basically) ensure that you are putting your efforts behind products, organizations, or services that will truly help the situation. Grist is a good place to start.
posted by salvia at 11:53 PM on February 5, 2009

Here is the home of Community Based Social Marketing, which will give you some leads, and a good place to ask questions.
posted by singingfish at 2:11 AM on February 6, 2009

If I were you, I would educate myself about what kinds of things are really selling right now and what ways these sales are being made. Everyone is selling something 'green' but many products are just put into recyclable packaging.

I worked for a so-called green marketplace in 2007 and I have never encountered more hucksters: 'green' PR, 'green' marketing, 'green' MBAs! It was all people who I think sort of liked the idea of environmental causes but had no idea how to make money. A back-and-forth economy that had little real potential outside of floor coverings and bath soaps.

Sorry to sound cynical about this, but I think too many 'green' marketers have absolutely no idea what they are doing or even what their products or services are supposed to do.
posted by parmanparman at 7:28 AM on February 6, 2009

I think there's a lot of potential for someone to find and distribute green and greener construction products. I try to buy green as I renovate my house, but it's hard to find products that are affordable, locally available, and that can be installed properly by local tradespeople. I'm not sure if there's any certification process for using the green label, so there's a market for somebody to assess that and provide a seal of approval. It's new territory; you'll need to be a risk-taker, but you could totally break new ground.
posted by theora55 at 10:02 AM on February 6, 2009

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