How Marketing Can Deliver On Sustainability Goals

How Marketing Can Deliver on Sustainability Goals

Many consumers have divided or negative feelings about marketing practices. Unsustainable marketing breeds distrust—whether it’s the false promise of greater value or convincing customers to buy unsafe, substandard products or items they do not need.

Unsustainable marketing has been criticized for manipulative tactics that often feed the desire for materialism over the quality of life. The ever-increasing need for more and more things has also led to environmental consequences.

Consumers today demand a better quality of life and an active role in making the world a better place. Customers support brands that prioritize sustainability—organizations with strong ethical and environmental policies.

In today’s business environment, this drive to make a positive impact translates into a vital concept. Corporate leaders and business owners are increasingly interested in sustainability as a business strategy, and more organizations are pursuing sustainable business goals.

Marketing plays a crucial role in corporate sustainability management and integrating sustainable practices into business objectives.

Businesses can practice sustainable marketing by promoting socially responsible products and services and staying honest with their marketing message and sustainability claims.

Read on to discover how your brand can leverage sustainable marketing to appeal to a growing, socially conscious audience.

Think Long-Term

Sustainable marketing is all about thinking ahead and building long-term value. It focuses on long-term success—higher-value products, more sales, and loyal customers—rather than short-term profits.

A long-term marketing strategy will help you establish your business and boost sales without resorting to fads. This entails going beyond transactional consumption to create an emotional connection between customers and brands.

Principles are the foundation for long-term success. This means no short-term tactics, such as repeated discounts or hidden terms and conditions, that can reduce the value of your brand and cause you to lose returning customers.

Sustainable marketing also considers how to nurture customers throughout the buying process. Education is a great way to build customer loyalty from the onset.

For example, a food business may use social media to educate its audience about the importance of ethical farming and then follow this up with package recycling tips after the sale.

Serve a Bigger Purpose

Brands generally measure their success in terms of numbers. Revenue at any given period is often a primary indicator of success.

Sustainability alters this perspective by requiring brands to evaluate themselves in terms other than profit. As a brand, you must promote something larger than your products and services—something that transcends any industry.

Do you have a specific social mission in mind? If not, spend some time figuring out what that mission is and how your brand fits it. Rather than focusing on a specific product, define your assignment in a broader social context that will benefit your brand, employees, and customers.

For instance, the shoe brand Salt + Umber sells beautiful handmade shoes for women. Aside from using recycled materials and minimal machinery, which reduces their carbon footprint, the brand also supports local artisans, female entrepreneurs, and small businesses.

Their “Story Behind Every Pair” program was created to give back directly to the supply chain, specifically the craftswomen who hand-weave the shoes.

Be Credible

To avoid being labeled greenwashing, it should be clear what role sustainability plays in your business model and practices.

Sustainability is much more than a PR campaign, a one-time philanthropic event, or a logo on a package. When defining your brand’s vision, values, and positioning, you must consider them.

The claim of acting sustainably must first take root on an internal level. Start with your brand or company culture and work toward a specific goal. In this manner, sustainability can be integrated into tasks, processes, procedures, and teams.

Incorporate Sustainability in All Areas

If your sustainability marketing isn’t genuine, it won’t succeed. Imagine learning that a company that professes to be environmentally friendly has failed to implement any procedures that support its objective. Consumers would be wary of that brand, and it will be challenging to regain their trust.

Make sure your company has a holistic approach to sustainability. Is your team a reflection of the future you want to foster? Do you conduct virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings to reduce your carbon footprint? Are you using sustainable resources to manufacture your product? 

These are the questions you should ask to determine if your brand supports the mission that you’ve set out to accomplish. Identify the areas that need improvement and devise strategies that align with your mission.

Execute Your Strategy Responsibly

It’s crucial to keep in mind that marketing has a carbon footprint. Ensure that printed campaigns, billboards, and flyers are not made from hazardous or non-recyclable materials.

Prioritize digital marketing to reduce paper waste. Social media marketing can help boost brand awareness, and customizing your messages and providing your target audience with relevant, high-quality content can help increase brand value and authenticity. 


When done correctly and honestly, sustainable marketing brings consumers and businesses together to pursue common goals now and in the future.

It’s time for marketers and businesses to rise to the occasion by enlightening consumers authentically and transparently about their commitment to the environment and the people they serve.

John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling, photography, and blogging. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of blogging. Discover how to turn your passions and pastimes into an online business.

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