Green Marketing or Greenwashing?

Part 1

As a means of demonstrating their social responsibility, many companies engage in cause or green marketing efforts; however, such efforts can backfire. In recent years, the terms greenwashingand cause washing have emerged to refer to marketing efforts that capitalize on the goodwill associated with environmental or charitable causes but reflect minimal commitment.

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What to Do (and How to Do It)…
In this interactivity, you’ll read about Patagonia’s “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign and the cause washing phenomena. Then you’re going to decide if you judge this to be green marketing or greenwashing and how it impacts your likelihood to purchase.

  • Learn about the Patagonia campaign.
    • In 2011, on Black Friday, the most important retail sales day of the year, Patagonia rocked the marketing world by running the “Don’t Buy This Jacket” ad in the New York Times and on the homepage of their website.
      • To learn more, read the “Don’t Buy This Jacket” Adweek article. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
    • Was this a corporation putting their environmental principles ahead of their financial goals? Or was this just a brilliant way to grab Black Friday headlines and sell a lot of full-price product? Or was it both?
  • Learn more about values-based shopping (and cause washing).
    • Read this Forbes contributor article: “Truthiness and Consequences…” (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
  • Share your opinion on the Patagonia campaign with a forum post that answers the following questions:
    • Do you judge this campaign to be more green marketing or greenwashing? Why?
    • Would this campaign make you more or less likely to buy from Patagonia. Why?

part 2

Art or Science?

Let’s be honest, the “art” side of marketing gets most of the press. Everybody likes to talk about that cool new ad they recently saw; however, this is not true when it comes to big data and the advanced analytics being used to evaluate marketing effectiveness and drive marketing planning. In other words, nobody is writing TV shows about a couple of quirky marketing data scientists.

So in this interactivity, we’re going to give marketing analytics its fifteen minutes of fame. Then, we want your take on whether marketing is more art or science and which side appeals more to you.

What to Do (and How to Do It)…

  • Learn more about big data, marketing analytics, and successful integration
    • Read the Forbes article “Marketing Analytics Cheat Sheet for CEOs (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..”
    • If you want to go deeper on the analytics discussed, peruse the optional Harvard Business Reviewarticle “Advertising Analytics 2.0 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..”
  • Post to the forum below, answering the following questions:
    • Based on everything you’ve learned in this course thus far, do you think marketing is more art than science, or vice versa? Defend your point of view.
    • Does the art or science side of marketing appeal more to you? Why?

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