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How to Utilise Sustainability in your Marketing Strategy in 2022

With COP26, the Earth Shot Prize and Adam McKay’s climate-inspired blockbuster, Don’t Look Up fuelling the headlines, 2021 marked a year where climate conversation took centre stage. This year, customers will demand more than conversations and will expect businesses to showcase their commitment to sustainability as individuals become more mindful about sustainable consumption

Here’s how you can leverage sustainable practices into your 2022 marketing strategy and display your dedication to sustainability to build brand loyalty and capture the attention of new customers.

What is sustainable marketing?

Sustainable marketing is defined as a marketing practice that promotes social and environmental initiatives, taking into consideration consumer values and the wider political context to establish a positive impact on the planet.

Traditionally, sustainable marketing has focused on sourcing ethical materials that limit environmental damage on the planet. However, in the B2B space, sustainable marketing prioritises digital marketing campaigns that visually showcase to clients and potential consumers, a businesses commitment to operating in an ethical manner.

One example of this is a SaaS company, Salesforce who launched the Salesforce Earthforce initiative which seeks to support Salesforce employees to lead green lives and raise awareness of environmental causes such as recycling, energy conservation and low-carbon commuting.

Why is sustainable marketing important to businesses?

As evidenced by a report by Garnier which found that 73% of UK respondents stated they wanted to be more sustainable in 2021, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, bushfires in Australia and adverse weather conditions in the US, saw a shift in customers becoming more aware of their impact on the environment, with 42% of respondents over 55 years-old citing the reason they were finding it easier to go green in 2021 was that they felt more knowledgeable on the subject. With customers becoming more conscious about social responsibility, failure to embrace sustainable methods risks your business losing your customers to competitors.

Acknowledging customer behaviour towards the environment, green initiatives have extended to businesses, with one-third of FTSE 100 companies joining the UN-led, ‘Race to Zero’ campaign in 2021 which pledges to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. By corresponding, your brand values to that of your customer will enable you to create both transparency and more meaningful relationships with your customers which will aid retention.

A report by Forbes found that 92% of customers said they were more likely to trust brands that are environmentally friendly or socially conscious, so employing sustainable marketing practices allows businesses to stand out in their industry by building unique brand identity in relation to leading an ethical business, which differentiates them amongst competitors who don’t deploy sustainable practices in their business.

Displaying commitment to sustainable causes also attracts and retains employees that share the values of the company, as revealed by Anthesis who found that over half (53%) of the UK’s workforce stated that sustainability is an important factor when choosing a company to work for.

How to implement sustainable marketing in your business?

The first step to implementing sustainability in your marketing strategy is to follow the consumer journey and identify behaviours, concerns and causes that they’re invested in. Focusing on shared values will enable your business to create lasting relationships with your consumers and build loyalty. 

Once you have evaluated causes that your customers are passionate about, the next action to take is the method of marketing to employ. One popular method is Mission Marketing where a business constructs a mission statement that outlines the company values and principles with regards to societal causes. A prominent example of this is outdoor clothing retailer, Patagonia with the mission statement, ‘We’re in business to save our home planet’.

Mission Marketing remains a popular method to showcase sustainable marketing as it sets a clear and concise objective with regards to the beliefs of a business that’s comprehensible for various audiences.

Although customer values remain at the forefront of creating a sustainable marketing strategy, Societal Marketing is a valid method to attract new customers with shared principles. 

Societal Marketing takes into consideration a number of factors such as human welfare and consumer satisfaction. An example of Societal Marketing is a pledge undertaken by skincare and beauty retailer, The Body Shop who vow against testing their products on animals. As Societal Marketing expands to numerous social interests, this method of sustainable marketing not only allows your business to reach new audiences but also create a brand image that sets you apart from competitors.

As marketing trends continue to develop with regards to sustainable marketing, adopting more digital marketing methods to meet growing customer demands for sustainability will enable your business to appeal to a broader target audience, as well as maintain brand loyalty.

If you want to expand your digital marketing efforts and grow your online audience in 2022, feel free to contact the team at Yay!Starter Marketing.