Regular readers know Doc's a big fan of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and all the research they provide on the subject of direct marketing. So I've been following the DMA's programs that try to get members to use more sustainable marketing practices. The DMA has put in place a number of environmental programs that, on the surface, seem like great ideas.
According to blogger Peter Nowack:
The trouble is that, to date, too few of DMA's members have embraced these green initiative to get to that "tipping point" (or critical mass, or whatever your favorite over-the-hump phrase is) where it really makes a dent in the industry's overall performance.
The statistics speak for themselves. Senny Boone, DMA's Senior VP for Corporate and Social Responsibility, told WhatTheyThink that the DMA's corporate membership is hovering right now somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000. (Given these economic times, it is a likely bet that the roster is closer to 3,000 in length.) According to the stats given on the DMA website, "more than 80? companies have adopted the "Recycle Please" program. That is a success rate of about 2.7% – pretty good if this were shotgun-style direct mail, but it doesn't seem like anything to brag about for a member program.
Similarly, only eight companies have taken the "Green 15" pledge – a hit rate of just 0.27%, assuming a membership of 3000.
Peter makes the point that the DMA hasn't done a very good job of getting its members to adopt the group's own environmental programs. Doc wonders if it's time to make these green programs an even higher priority for direct marketers who are in a position to do a lot of good environmentally.