How to Take Advantage of Corporate Sustainability as a Marketing Tool

This is a guest article written by Sophia Young who recently quit a non-writing job to tell stories and paint the world through her words. Sophia writes about business trends, sustainable marketing, travel and fashion.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

In a world where profits trump life on earth as we know it, how do businesses stand out from the crowd? And will they still stay true to their word?

Organisations will take advantage of any aspect of theirs that will help their image. It’s this very kind of marketing that helps them thrive. When a company’s values align with their beliefs, consumers will be loyal to them.

We’ve seen SMEs do this. They use a tone of voice that tells stories about their grassroots beginnings. As for larger organisations, they take pride in their industry awards. This is so they can look more credible in the eyes of the people.

Right now, we are experiencing a shift as more consumers shift to greener purchases. Because of this, businesses are looking at creating strategies that reflect their care for the world.

According to the Harvard Business Review, organisations with sustainable business practices have better risk management, innovation and financial performance, including higher earnings, cost reductions, and enhanced efficiency and logistics. On top of this, long-term enterprises also enjoy increased client loyalty.

If your company has sustainability management strategies in place, it’s time to take a closer look at how you can market it. It might just be what you need to give your business an edge.

mobile phone with a green symbol sitting on top of a reusable bag

What is Sustainable Marketing?

Sustainable marketing is a marketing strategy that promotes an organisation’s environmentally, socially and economically responsible products, practices and brand values.

Companies use this to combat negative publicity, especially with the waste they produce, price markups, and deceptive marketing. It’s a great strategy for establishing relationships with customers while giving importance to the future.

The thing about this marketing strategy is that it’s not as simple as tying your products to a hot topic and then going about your business as usual. There’s a need for you to first check the context of the issue you are addressing and how and why your brand fits as a solution in the customer’s thinking. From there, you can create goals that your business can assess and celebrate.

Getting Started with Marketing Your Corporate Sustainability

1. Have a Wider Goal in Mind

The success of a brand is typically measured by numbers—usually on how much money they have or will have in any particular period.

Sustainability alters this viewpoint by asking brands to re-evaluate themselves in terms other than profit. As a sustainable brand, you have to think on a wider or deeper scale. You need to promote something larger than your products and services that transcends any industry.

If you already have a clear social mission statement, now’s the best time to review it. If you’re yet to draft one, spend some time figuring out what that goal is and how your brand fits into it.

2. Consider the Future

If you’re looking for a short-term strategy that’s easy to develop, sustainable marketing is not the answer. Its goal is to create long-term benefits for both your business and your consumers.

Brands are preoccupied with maximising immediate profits. Many marketing strategies, such as Google Ads and blogging, are excellent lead generators. But what happens when your lead makes a purchase and becomes a customer? How will you cultivate enthusiasts and build loyalty?

This is where sustainable marketing comes in. It’s a great way to nurture customers throughout their entire buying journey. At the very start of this funnel, you can use education as a way to establish loyalty with your audience.

A great example of this is when a food business uses social media to educate its audience about the importance of ethical farming. They then follow this up with package recycling recommendations after the sale.

a hand holding a green leaf shoot with roots and soil, a sign of sustainable growth

3. Be More Transparent

While marketing might seem like it’s always consumer-oriented, the truth is that that’s not usually the case. Not all brands are transparent, especially with their supply chain practices.

In traditional marketing, a company would often try to persuade a customer to buy a product or service. Consumer-oriented marketing flips this over its head. You’ll first have to understand your consumers’ needs and demands and then adapt your marketing to them.

If your audience wants you to be more transparent about your sourcing practices or be a little more vocal about social issues, then give them the proper information. You could even use this in your next campaign.

Nike, for example, has committed to complete transparency by sharing its manufacturing map. This gives consumers insight into their factories.

4. Include Your Sustainable Marketing Strategies in Everything You Do

Authenticity is a huge part of sustainability marketing. Your audience will know when they’re being deceived.

Imagine learning that a company you support claims to be sustainable but has failed to put in place any procedures that support its goals? Consumers would begin to be more cautious about that brand, and regaining their trust would be tough. Some might even refuse to ever do business with them again.

You need to make sure your company has a holistic approach to sustainability. Ask yourself the following:

  • Do you speak about sustainability but develop your product with non-sustainable resources?
  • Are you cooperating with companies whose missions are at odds with yours?
  • Is your team a good reflection of the future you want to foster?

If any areas need work, go back to the drawing board to devise solutions that are in line with your mission.

Remember your audience doesn’t expect perfection, but they will respect your transparency. If you have any existing shortcomings, it’s fine and even encouraged to discuss them. Just keep in mind how you will address them.

5. Create a Community and Leverage it

Building a community is an important aspect of implementing long-term marketing tactics. This is especially true in sustainable marketing.

If you want to gain a strong following, you can look at linking yourself with local events, activities, and communities. Make every effort to gain publicity for your company and the causes you support. You can also use your social media profiles to share photos and videos that show what your firm is doing differently.

This will aid in the growth of your website, email list and social media following. Once you’ve built up a sizable following, you can use your audience to spread the word about your brand. Encourage them to share what you’re doing to make the world a better place.

Sustainable Marketing Isn’t Easy, But it is Worth it

Compared to traditional marketing strategies, sustainable marketing is a little more complicated. Its goals are for the long term.

While it is difficult, it’s well worth the effort in the end. With this strategy, you’ll get to create a business you can be proud of while having a beneficial impact on the world.

Do you want to create more meaningful connections with your audience?
Sustainable brands need conscious, purposeful copy that connects them with the people they want to work with.
Get in touch to refresh your web copy and keep your business and audience top of mind. 

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