The Editor’s Take
As the editor-in-chief of a publication that follows a rather small business niche, I often get an inferiority complex when reading mainstream publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or BusinessWeek. By in large, if your company isn’t public and/or doesn’t take in more than a billion dollars a year, you rarely show up on their radar screens.
Take the article I read in the July 23 issue of The New York Times that talked about a new direct mail green movement. The headline was “Direct Mail Tries to Go Green. No, Really.” I figured, surely there’d be references to some of the catalogers who’ve been leading the way with their use of recycled paper and other green initiatives. Norm Thompson, Patagonia and plenty others come to mind.
Instead, I read about how Microsoft, Kawasaki Motors, Washington Mutual and Optima Health are leading a new group called the Green Marketing Coalition. Most of these corporations use direct mail to some extent, but a software giant, a motorcycle manufacturer, a bank and an insurance company? What, no catalogers?
Yeah, I know — these corporations are all BIG. They have the big bucks to get their names on professional sports facilities. Microsoft recently surpassed the $60 billion mark in annual revenue. By comparison, “little” L.L. Bean does just north of $1.2 billion. Even a broader-reaching direct marketing biggie like CDW is a little more than one-eighth the size of Microsoft.
No ‘Real Standards,’ or Nobody Noticed?
In the article, Spyro Kourtis, president/CEO of another of the group’s leaders, Hacker Group (a direct marketing services provider), says, “This industry just didn’t have any real green standards” previously. Really? Although still a work in progress, the green movement in our business has been building momentum for more than 15 years. What, nobody noticed?