Over the past few years, we’ve been thinking even more about the role we as Fountaineers have to play in our mission to create a greener planet. Whilst the success of the latest UN Climate Conference (COP27) will be debated for many weeks, one thing is clear – that we as marketeers need to put up more of a fight against climate change.
At a recent Google Insights Live event I learnt that:
- Over 2/3 of consumers are interested in making sustainable choices.
- Searches for things in the topic of sustainability are rising year-on-year.
- There’s been a huge increase in engagement with the second-hand community. Apps like Vinted are frequently in the top downloads list on app stores, and searches for second-hand items are on the up.
So, sustainability is rising on the global agenda, but it’s a complex issue and one that sparks serious debate. What can we do as marketeers to steer things in the right direction?
I think we first need to understand that we play a role in shaping consumer behaviour. As part of that, it’s on us to make sure we put sustainability onto that agenda.
It’s very simple to add something to a strategy that will sit forever more on someone’s desktop until it is time to update it. In order to truly make significant inroads into embedding sustainably, it must be threaded throughout your organisation. Your team need to understand and, more importantly, believe in the common goal.
From small things to making sure lights are turned off, to large scale initiatives with immediate impact like the Million Tree Pledge, having a team that shares the same direction of travel as the Board/strategy is the only real way to gain significant impact.
Website User Experience
One of the first interactions consumers have with brands is by visiting their website, so it’s important to think about the user experience of that website. How are you showing your sustainability mission? Is it through the company aims for sustainability, or making it easy for consumers to find planet-friendly options?
We can also think about how energy-efficient your website is. Looking at page load speeds, optimising image and video files, and making your website as green as possible all goes towards carbon savings.
We’re just marketers, so should stick to tried and tested marketing campaigns, right? Wrong. We are in the unique position where we can actually be leaders on sustainability. After all, if anyone can market the critical importance of those changes to consumers and businesses alike, it has to be us as marketeers.
Thinking carefully about your messaging is essential. In a world becoming increasingly aware of greenwashing, using hyperbole, or even outright lying will soon lead to you being caught out – rightly so. Make the changes you can make, commit to the targets that are feasible and stick to meaningful pledges.
No one thinks this is easy, or that there is one easy go-to solution to make sustainability have the seat at the table it simply must have. The good news is, and yes there is good news, that there are already resources available to help. For instance, amplifying sustainability through your website experience: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/future-of-marketing/creativity/sustainability-user-experience/
And the future?
The most important thing we can do as marketeers is keep sustainability front of mind for our businesses, our colleagues, our consumers and our clients. Making the ‘right’ choices wherever we can, always learning and evolving, and sticking to commitments to minimise our carbon footprint is no longer a negotiable for any strategy.
And if we all do things better, who knows how quickly we can really start to see that impact?