Sure, sustainability in marketing includes the obvious ‘green’ tactics such as reducing the carbon footprint of a business. This can be achieved by using local suppliers and therefore reducing the need for long distance transportation, to simply reducing the amount of emails you print out in the office, and so on.
In this blog I am more interested in how a business values its most important resource in creating sustainability: people.
Like any resource it needs to be utilised in the best possible way. This resource divides into two main areas: consumers and employees.
Let’s start from the inside out, with the resource that makes your business tick: its people.
You need to see your staff as a non renewable resource that can run out and must be held onto. Sure there are lots of people ready to step in, but are they diamonds or coal? Just like diamonds, top staff are much rarer and more valuable; the performance, and therefore the bottom line will reflect this.
If the team succeeds in implementing the aims of the organisation, then you are halfway there to a sustainable operating future.
The second group of people to complete the sustainable marketing ‘Big P’ is the consumer. Just like staff, these people are a limited resource. You need to build transparent long term relationships for them to stick around, as they are very happy to try new things and move on from ones that are not community and environmentally sustainable.
Today’s consumers value responsible consumption (92%) and trust their brands to act in the best interest of society (58%) (Source: BBMG, GlobeScan and SustainAbility, October 2013).
They expect a business to look after every person they have contact with, which means: no child labour; no stripping of third world countries resources; polluting etc, the list goes on!
Sustainable marketing means implementing principals that look after people and our planet, with the flow on business profitability and a better community for all.