Can marketing and sustainability coexist?
Can the concepts of sustainability and marketing coexist? How can management and those responsible for communication in an organization balance the traditional view of marketing as a driver of consumption and sustainability as a determining factor in introducing corporate responsibility into the business context?
The increasing pressures come from different sources: legislation and regulation, the cost and scarcity of resources, demands from the public and shareholders for socially responsible investments, greater coverage of these issues by the media and general changes in social attitudes and values.
Organizations are asked to be able to lead the discussion around the relationship between marketing and sustainability.
Nowadays, incorporate sustainability in a communication plan it becomes a fundamental element for the success of a company. Consumers are now more likely to be loyal to a brand or organization that incorporates sustainable practices in the way it conducts its business.
For this reason, highlighting the sustainability effort in a corporate context and being transparent to the public can appear to be a logical and profitable strategy. By promoting “green” or conscious action, social and environmental initiatives, the organization can benefit from a positive exposure in the scope of public relations and relate to new segments in the market.
A strategy to use sustainability in this aspect is to be able to communicate objectives and initiatives, associated with an original and authentic history. Making sustainability a key value for brand identity encourages the public to build a relationship with the organization and attracts a conscientious consumer.
Sustainability marketing resonates with customers and is now vital to retaining customers. When 50% of consumers are willing to pay more for goods and services from socially responsible companies that have implemented support programs for society (Nielsen data), the value of showing your sustainability credentials is undeniable.
Marketers know that authenticity in a knowledge-driven market is essential. And when it comes to sustainable marketing, the strategies end up being transparent to the public. The effort to promote a fabricated or exaggerated perception is not effective in the long run and can leave the mark open to negative reaction. Communication must therefore be planned, implemented with discretion and supported by real actions with an impact on the community.