People are more concerned about the state of the planet than ever before. The volume and traction of media coverage on eco-activists like Greta Thunberg, and docuseries like the great David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, are helping to showcase the urgent need for action to combat climate change. As we all endeavour to recycle our yoghurt pots, swap out our light bulbs and turn our heating down, awareness of actions needed to limit our carbon footprints is increasing at an encouraging rate. In the UK, 60% of consumers care about buying products with a low carbon footprint.
To keep pace with demand for greener living, thousands of sustainable businesses have emerged worldwide to make eco-friendly living easier and more attainable. These range from household staples like shampoo bars and stainless-steel water bottles to recyclable power generation, electric cars and innovative ocean cleanup tech.
What are the marketing principles these companies should follow? Are they any different to marketing any other type of company?
Practice what you preach
Whether you’re offering solar powered speakers or a green energy platform (find out more about how an Australian duo launched this impressive tech last year in our previous blog), one fundamental aspect you must engrain into your company culture is to practice what you preach. As a company operating within the sustainability space, customers expect you to embody the principles you stand for and serve as a role model for customers and employees.
Another point to add here is that socially conscious consumers are much more likely to remain loyal to a brand if they can see the company is implementing their own sustainable business practices. If you don’t, you run the risk of being labelled as hypocritical, which can have serious implications on your brand’s image and reputation. One way to market your company in a socially responsible way is it invest in digital marketing – more on that later…
Educate your staff
The last thing you want is to be on a new business call with a potential client and for one of your employees to ask the prospect ‘what’s hydro power?’ – OK, that’s an obvious one but you get the general gist. You’re promoting you and your business as eco-friendly so, it stands to reason that you should advocate this to you staff as well. Whether you’re starting a brand new business or rejuvenating an existing brand, you’ve got to get your own employees’ buy-in first – if they’re not onboard and in tune with the company ethos, there’s little chance your clients will be.
So, how can you do this effectively?
Buy-in starts during recruitment. Ensure that your screening process favours individuals who are as passionate about your values as you are. Educate existing employees on the green credentials of your solution – from materials and suppliers used to the manufacturing process. Ensure your team understands how much less power, water or man hours the process takes. These golden nuggets of information will excite and motivate your staff and will no doubt be passed on to the client or prospect. If you’re offering a service, such as deliveries, educate your team on the importance of efficient route management for decreasing fuel usage and show the carbon footprint difference between scooters versus vans or diesel versus electric. The more information and knowledge you equip them with, the better prepared they are to comfortably answer customer’s questions and instill a level of passion and commitment with them.
Utilise digital marketing
Digital marketing has taken off in a big way over the last decade. Over the last year alone, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in face to face networking and sales meetings being swapped for video conferencing calls and emails, with marketing teams across the world quickly adapting to the new normal that is digital marketing for all company promotions. It’s also a great way to save resources such as paper and printer cartridges, and cost while also helping move your company towards a more eco and tech-friendly business model – it’s a win-win situation.
By bolstering your online content, such as your website, blog, resource centre and social media platforms, prospects can find out everything they need to know about your brand, ethos, product or service offering before they reach out to you, and there’s no paper sales brochure in sight! In the B2B tech industry alone, 53% of consumers will typically read 3-5 pieces of content before reaching out to a supplier – so make sure the right content is easily accessible to them.
There are multiple ways in which you can market a green company effectively and sustainably, whether you want to go full Elon Musk or simply looking to ‘green up’ your existing business model. If digital or content marketing sounds right for you, then get in touch with us as [email protected]ms.com to find out how we can help you to market in a sustainable way.