What's the first rule for companies in a downturn? Shout louder. But with the environment suffering as much as the economy, businesses need to consider how. According to Postcomm, direct mail and promotions material accounts for 550,000 tonnes of paper - 4.4% of the UK's annual consumption. How much of that ends up recycled, or even read, is hard to say. And that's just a small proportion of total marketing. With customers becoming increasingly green conscious, campaigns that damage the planet can actually put people off your product.
Explore ideas that are cheaper and better for the environment. Brightsource is developing software for measuring a campaign's impact, from the carbon footprint of the paper to the eventual disposal. At the design stage, reconsider everything from paper weight to delivery method. The BSI advises the use of FSC-certified paper and the inclusion of messages to persuade users to recycle at their end. Strip out extras: do you need envelopes, or features like plastic windows and coatings that confuse the receiver when it comes to recycling? Do you even need to use mail? You could move marketing online: it's greener and more quantifiable. Update your mailing list. Send targeted campaigns to people's inboxes, rather than carpet-bomb their doormats.
Greenie points (out of 10)
Four. If you're promoting your firm, keep it in the right light.
Dave Waller is MT's resident eco promoter.