In this article, I explain how I came to my definition of sustainable marketing. Here are its main components.
Sustainable marketing satisfies the four areas of sustainable development.
The marketing practices I conduct must satisfy each area of sustainable development:
- Human – through knowledge and skills
- Social – through connection and empathy
- Environmental – through minimal impact on the planet
- Economic – through business maintenance
This includes prioritising sustainable methods of delivering marketing (for example, choosing recycled paper or low-energy event ideas) to limit negative impact.
Sustainable marketing challenges the idea of constant economic growth.
While the marketing practices I conduct do encourage people to buy products from my clients, they don’t do so at the cost of the other three areas of sustainable development. Through my work and client relationships I challenge the idea of constant economic growth, instead focusing on economic maintenance.
Sustainable marketing acknowledges its role and responsibility in shaping the future of a business, a customer and the four areas of sustainable development.
My marketing practices and their potential impact are carefully considered before they’re put into use. I acknowledge the responsibility I – and my practices – have in shaping my clients and their customers, and act accordingly.
Sustainable marketing challenges preconceptions of wants and needs.
The marketing practices and strategic approach I take challenges preconceptions about consumers’ and society’s wants, needs and wellbeing. It avoids relying on received wisdom and seeks to see the consumer and society as a complex whole (rather than a set of demographic data).
Sustainable marketing can be applied to unsustainable and sustainable products.
These sustainable marketing practices can be used for any product or service, no matter its inherent sustainability credentials, as long as the client wants to work in a sustainable way. Saying that…
Sustainable marketing strategically identifies the most sustainable route for a business to take and helps them achieve it.
Through the marketing practices I suggest, my clients are encouraged to take a sustainable approach to their customer and operations. This includes developing products or services which better satisfy the four areas of sustainable development, with the support of other experts.