Sustainable‌ ‌marketing:‌ ‌what‌ ‌it‌ ‌is‌ ‌and‌ ‌why‌ ‌it‌ ‌matters‌ ‌

Today’s consumers care a lot more about where their products come from than they did ten years ago. Buyers do lots of research before they buy, and if they don’t agree with your business’ practices, they’re far less likely to make a purchase. In fact, a staggering 79% of consumers are changing their buying preferences in favour of social responsibilities, inclusiveness and environmental impact.

The change in buying behaviour is also influencing the way businesses market their products. In this blog, we look at sustainable marketing, what it is, why it matters, and how you can implement your own sustainable marketing strategy!

What is sustainable marketing?

Sustainable marketing promotes environmental and socially-responsible working practices. A sustainable business values reducing its environmental impact over making the highest possible profits. Instead of focusing solely on products, sustainable marketing aims to educate consumers about a brand’s values. 

Why does it matter?

The demand for sustainable businesses is growing. In a recent blog, we discussed how Gen-Z consumers, in particular, are contributing to this. This group prefers to shop with businesses that support their views about social responsibility. As a result, buying behaviour has changed and businesses have begun to focus more on their values. Sustainable marketing is the best way to answer this growing demand. 

How can sustainable marketing benefit SMEs?

SMEs can benefit from a more environmental and socially-responsible approach. For example, large corporations struggle to track their supply chain. SMEs have the advantage of operating on a smaller scale, meaning they can show the journey of a product from beginning to end.

How to build a sustainable marketing campaign

There are five things to consider when building a sustainable marketing strategy:

  1. See the big picture: Sustainability isn’t just about your business. It’s about the long-lasting effects your actions can have on the future. Share the environmental or social causes your business serves with your audience to show you’re serious about this important issue. 
  2. Know your values and stick to them: Consumers love brands that reflect their own values. Demonstrate consistency by sticking to your core values and explaining why they matter to you.
  3. Be genuine: Consumers have grown to expect transparency from businesses. Be transparent about your supply chain and production processes. Sharing your sustainable initiatives will help your business build trust. However, if there are aspects that you’re still working on, be open about those, too. Consumers will appreciate your honesty!
  4. Listen to your audience: Social media channels work both ways! Interacting with your customers will help you understand them better. You can also use their feedback to develop your sustainable goals.
  5. Simplify your messaging: Focus on the facts in your marketing. Don’t overwhelm your customers with ‘sustainable’ jargon. Explain your sustainable working practices and goals clearly, in terms that your audience will understand.

With climate change being a hot topic, the importance of sustainable marketing is only set to grow so don’t neglect it in your marketing. You might find you gain a whole new audience in doing so! 

For more useful advice on digital marketing, contact the team, book onto a training course, or buy our new book!

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