What role does marketing have to play in a sustainable future?


Transparent and Consumer focused marketing

In today’s challenging yet stimulating & unpredictable yet exciting times, there are a host of opportunities. This is the apt time to lead towards a better and more sustainable tomorrow and marketing has a key role to play in this. In the past, marketers have been accused of creating false needs, promoting greed and materialism, and even using numerous psychological hacks to sell products and services.

We are currently hearing a lot on sustainability campaigning – many that are winning awards and recognition. However, a successful campaign must change behavior and create a cut-down mindset and not just pay lip service to sustainability, conservation, and minimalism.

Sustainability & Marketing

Sustainable marketing is a branch of marketing that includes the process of creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers in such a way that both natural and human capital are preserved. It is important to consider social and environmental criteria and meet corporate objectives while we plan, organize and implement marketing resources to satisfy the consumer.

We are living in a resource-constrained world and any growth ought to be economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. For a sustainable and responsible development plan, marketing must take the lead. Marketing has a duty to grow businesses not only for the existing generations but also for the generations that will follow.

Since sustainable marketing is the promotion of environmental and socially responsible products, practices and brand values, if you’ve ever spent a little extra on a product because it was locally sourced/100% recyclable, then congratulation! You’ve practiced sustainability and experienced sustainable marketing.

The Sustainability Way

For several years, humankind has been ignoring the over utilization of natural resources and this has led to climate change, waste problems, and pollution among others. Presently, more and more companies are inclined towards managing these issues that pose a threat to the future generations and moving towards sustainability.

By following sustainable marketing methods, a firm depicts its values like human health, environmental wellness, social equity, and resource security among others. In the competitive market system that exists today, an organization that stands out is the one that is evolving towards sustainable marketing. 

Factors Impacting a Sustainable Future

Many consumers are driving their purchase decisions based on the sustainability factor of the product/service. In order to maintain the market reputation of the company, several businesses overburn sustainable activities in the environment and on social impact, leading to false advertising or ‘Greenwashing’. Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound. It is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly. One must ensure that all the business tasks consider sustainable marketing processes to enhance market impact.

Elements impacting green marketing

  • Product Transparency

Educated and aware consumers are now seeking businesses/products that take measures to support the environment. Sustainable marketing is hampered when the products are promoted as environmentally friendly but are later discovered with dyes or fillers and this establishes a negative impact on the business reputation. For marketers, it is crucial to highlight the sustainable aspects of the organization and its products/services. These can also be boosted as reputable sources for various hyperlinks increasing the market value in the green marketing system.

If one facet of your product is sustainable, but it isn’t supported by other elements of your brand/service, you are at a risk. With social media at the consumers’ fingertips, any unkept promises will be called out instantly.

  • Consumer Focused Marketing

Here are some questions to ask before beginning a sustainable marketing approach:

  • Who are the consumers following the green approach?
  • What is the age group of these customers?
  • Are these customers willing to pay an increased price for these products?

Gauging the wants of the consumers and companies balance societal marketing strategies and long-term requirements. It is therefore important to understand the audience focusing on sustainability beforehand.  Several industries believe there will be a tremendous increase in the number of consumers shifting to a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Going Green in 2022 & beyond!

From a marketing perspective, it is important to get consumers to understand what sustainability can do for them in the long term. Today, the conversations are all about what consumers can do for sustainability. While marketing an organic product, it is more important to talk about its benefits than about why the consumer must use organic. The key here is to highlight the functional benefits. A recent survey discovered that more than 51% of consumers after the pandemic are eyeing sustainable based businesses and products. The shift to green marketing is the future for established enterprises to sustain their market value as the competition rises with start-ups building sustainable processes from the beginning. Working towards a greener marketing strategy is no longer a fringe activity that is something that only done by the top brands. Today, customers are becoming increasingly interested in buying products that are sustainably manufactured with minimum impact on the environment and where consumers are, brands must follow!