Were you aware that more than 45 percent of all consumers now feel that developing relationships with eco-friendly companies is extremely important? Not only are they keen to become involved with firms offering environmentally friendly products and services, but they appreciate the impacts that such practices have upon the world around them.
This is why the concept of sustainable marketing has taken center stage in recent years. Not only must firms develop a transparent and socially responsible identity, but these very same traits need to be effectively advertised to attract the appropriate target audience.
However, such approaches may be difficult to implement if the correct steps are not taken. What are some of the most effective ways to curate and promote a sustainable marketing strategy? Let’s take a look at some professional suggestions which will have an undeniable impact upon your brand as a whole.
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The Growing Role of Cloud Computing Software
Many traditional in-house expenses will lead to a higher carbon footprint and therefore, a less environmentally-friendly enterprise. This primarily results from the use of in-house servers, large hardware banks and data storage systems which all require a massive amount of energy.
One of the best ways to circumvent these issues is to migrate data storage into a cloud-based environment. Virtual storage systems will dramatically reduce energy consumption while simultaneously providing employees with an easy way to access important information.
Advertising that these methods are being employed will highlight the fact that the company cares about its energy consumption and that it also takes the security of customer data very seriously.
Create Long-Term Goals
It is rather unrealistic to believe that a company can develop an entirely sustainable business model within a short period. Such changes will require a fair amount of patience and they will hardly take place overnight. This is why advertising your long-term goals should represent a pivotal facet of any green marketing strategy.
For instance, the company LEGO recently announced that all of its plastic bricks will be produced through the use of sustainable practices by the year 2030. Although the results are not immediately tangible, customers will still appreciate the fact that eco-friendly changes are being made.
Consider the Other Stakeholders Within Your Operations
Let us imagine for a moment that you have created an entirely organic type of hair shampoo. It boasts all-natural ingredients, and its packaging can be recycled. While these are all attractive attributes to emphasize within a sustainable marketing campaign, they might not always represent the “big picture”. One example can be used to starkly illustrate this point.
The fast-food chain McDonald’s recently announced that it was replacing its plastic straws with paper alternatives. Although this initiative was aimed at reducing the amount of consumer waste, it was soon found that the paper straws could not be recycled due to their thicknesses. In other words, an otherwise well-intentioned strategy produced embarrassing results.
This is why it is important to examine the sustainable policies associated with other firms which your company may use to produce and/or distribute products. Do they offer eco-friendly approaches or is their track record less than impressive? Be certain to only partner with companies capable of displaying sound environmental tactics.
Sustainable marketing is only a viable concept if all employees and stakeholders are on the same page. They need to be made aware of what policies are in place and how these impact day-to-day operations. Sales teams should likewise be taught how to convey these methods to the end-user; particularly when targeting a more environmentally friendly demographic. Here are some strategies to adopt:
- Educate employees about the long-term viability of sustainable business practices.
- Illustrate tangible benefits such as higher client retention rates and increased profit margins.
- Encourage them to ask any questions.
- Promote sustainable practices such as plastic-free lunches and using bicycles as opposed to personal vehicles when travelling to work.
Simply stated, employees who become passionate about the notion of sustainability will pass this sentiment across to the customer.
Perform an Ample Amount of Research
Many businesses are under the false assumption that embedding a handful of sustainable facts within a marketing campaign will have the desired effect. On the contrary, such a superficial approach will not provide the levels of transparency that a growing number of consumers are now looking for.
Firms must therefore carry out more in-depth research so that a greater understanding of environmentally friendly practices can be obtained. Here are a handful of metrics that should be analyzed:
- The needs of the local community.
- The impact of a certain good or service across the entire supply chain.
- What materials are involved with the life cycle of a product?
As consumers are becoming more discriminating regarding which companies they choose to do business with, copious research will always pay off from a long-term perspective.
Logos and Branding
Very few elements display the core intentions of a company as concisely as its logo. This is why firms pay particular attention to some of the latest design trends such as simplistic geometry, innovative typography and symmetry. However, it is also possible to incorporate sustainability into a logo.
Firms such as Starbucks, Beyond Meat, The Green Business Alliance, and Whole Foods have already adopted this approach. The use of organic colors alongside easy-to-read fonts are two tactics to consider. Of course, other companies may include images related to the environment (such as the leaf present within the Whole Foods logo) to further illustrate the importance of sustainability concerning their corporate model.
The Use of Cause-Related Marketing
One of the core tenets of sustainable marketing is the fact that the entire world is interconnected. The actions of a single business can therefore have a substantial impact upon other segments of society. This is when the notion of corporate responsibility comes into play. One of how to develop an even more effective campaign involves a tactic known as cause-related marketing.
Cause-related marketing involves establishing proactive partnerships with other eco-friendly organisations for the greater good. Perhaps the most well-known example of this approach can be seen in a firm that donates a specific portion of its profits towards a charitable cause. Or a certain amount of rainforest will be secured if a customer makes a purchase valued above a specific threshold. Not only will cause-related marketing help to dramatically enhance the brand image of a business, but it can also be used as an excellent PR strategy thanks to positive word-of-mouth.
Becoming an Environmental Advocate
There are yet other strategies that might not immediately appear to be related to sustainable marketing. However, these can nonetheless have a profound impact on brand perception and client retention. One practice that has become increasingly common is for a business to become involved with an environmental cause (such as renewable energy resources).
The main takeaway point here is that any contributions have absolutely nothing to do with ongoing profit margins or client purchases. On the contrary, the firm takes independent actions on its own accord. This is an excellent way to develop an innate sense of empathy with customers while further reinforcing the fact that the company truly does care about championing eco-friendly causes.
Working with Local Businesses
The concept of local search engine optimization (SEO) has become a hot topic in recent years. Businesses can focus upon a niche market sector, they will be able to connect with the audience in question and many cases, they can enjoy higher search engine rankings as a result. However, this is also an effective approach from the perspective of sustainable marketing.
One of the best ways to reduce the carbon footprint of an organization is to partner with local firms to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with long-haul production and transportation.
Another interesting observation involves the ability of a company to establish long-term relationships with the community in question. This is an extremely effective method to develop a rapport with your target demographic and ultimately, to ensure brand loyalty.
Consistent Quality Improvement
In truth, this final suggestion is just as applicable to marketing strategies in general. Companies should always make an effort to research even more innovative ways in which they can reduce their carbon footprint while embracing sustainable marketing practices. After all, new ideas are coming to light regularly. It, therefore, makes a great deal of sense to continually “think outside of the box”. Customers will likewise appreciate the fact that your business understands the need for proactive change as opposed to remaining fixed within a static approach to green advertising.
Putting it All Together: The Best Sustainable Marketing Practices to Adopt
We can now see that there are several ways in which a solid approach to sustainable marketing can be curated. Let us, therefore, recap this article by highlighting some core takeaway points:
- Employ cloud-based storage systems.
- Focus upon long-term sustainable goals.
- Partner with eco-friendly firms.
- Educate employees about the importance of environmental responsibility.
- Perform in-depth market research.
- Create green logos.
- Adopt a cause-related approach to marketing.
- Become an environmental advocate.
- Choose locally sourced resources.
- Constantly evaluate existing methods to determine if there is room for improvement.
Adopting these approaches will help to ensure a bright future in the years to come. After all, each of us shares the same planet and there is no better time to embrace change.