Developing Strong Sustainable Marketing Practices

by Business Watch Team

Indeed, sustainable marketing is a thing. In recent years, businesses have made a deliberate effort to align their efforts towards sustainable marketing practices because they builds good public relations for the organization, its products, and services. Furthermore, adopting sustainable marketing has a positive social and environmental impact, and this creates a better perception from consumers and other stakeholders on the capability of a business as it ventures into the market.

Meeting the goals of the present and not compromising the future is what is in the mind of most businesses when thinking about sustainability. Increased competition also creates the hunger for businesses to maximize sustainable marketing approaches to remain competitive. Think about the printing business, it is highly saturated with printers operating from spaces such as small as our backyards. While at face value, sustainability may not be top of mind for a printing press, approaching clients with solutions such as the ability to use water-based inks rather than oil-based inks in their printing process; or proposing the use of recycled paper rather than bleached paper automatically gives an edge in what may seem like a red ocean of suppliers.

There are several ways a business can build strong, sustainable marketing practices.

First and most importantly, the business must look at its processes along its entire value chain to determine areas of inefficiency or wastage. Building sustainable marketing practices involves aligning the organization with its spoken and unspoken values.  Businesses must ensure that their core values, provided they are within an ethical framework, are reflected in their day-to-day actions to develop strong, sustainable business and marketing practices.

Further, maintaining transparent communication is yet another way of building sustainable marketing practices. While some businesses operate in the boundary lines of embellished and half-truths while marketing their products and services, truly sustainable companies remain transparent and humble in their communication, placing the interests of all their stakeholders ahead of the business to ensure all contradictions are resolved through continuous improvement. Over time, transparency in all practices within an organization builds trust with clients, encouraging increased sales as well as with employees in the organization, encouraging loyalty.

When it comes to the type of communication that is projected from the organization, sustainable marketing demands that communicators should adopt value-adding communication. Have you ever found yourself bombarded by a barrage of communication messages or receiving communication that is filled with stereotypes that do not necessarily convey the reality on the ground? It is the responsibility of forward-thinking marketers to ensure that value is not only given in the production/process value chain but also the messages conveyed.

Care for the society, traditionally known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is yet another way of building strong, sustainable marketing practices. Activities that promote the welfare of the local communities or conserve the environment show the respect and care an organization has towards the ecosystem in which it operates. Sustainable marketing reflects on adopting different eco-friendly practices including minimizing waste and reducing energy consumption all designed to reduce the organization’s environmental impact.

While the concept of sustainable marketing is highlighted as ‘new’, the practices within it are simple actions that look beyond the environment to treating all stakeholders with the ethical care and respect they deserve, positively amplifying the brand even in difficult times simply because trust is established. Such is the fundamental concept behind sustainable marketing practices, all of which exist to make a business grow and become competitive.

Alice Ngatia is a Senior Marketing Executive & Sustainability Specialist with 18+ years of experience in helping brands WIN in the hearts & minds of customers.

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