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What Is Sustainability in Marketing and How To Build a Green Marketing Strategy

strategy and planning Apr 01, 2022

#ad | This blog is sponsored by Oxford College of Marketing.

The role of a marketer is constantly changing and we are regularly given new information to inform and build marketing strategies.

Consumer behaviour trends change, social media platforms regularly update and we even see socio-political movements creep into new ways of working. Sustainability in marketing can influence the way brands communicate with its customers by placing purpose over profit.

As of 2020, 79% of consumers change their purchasing behaviour due to social responsibility, inclusiveness or environmental impact. Ethical consumers are on the rise and it is time for companies (and therefore marketers) to follow suit.

What does sustainability in marketing look like?

Implementing good sustainability practices in your marketing doesn’t involve altering copy or sharing surface-level statistics without doing the work behind closed doors. Effective sustainability in marketing can look like:

  • Using data from ‘the ethical consumer’ to influence marketing activity
  • Being conscious of the products and/or resources used in marketing
  • Promoting environmental wellbeing
  • Partnering with ethically-sound organisations
  • Planning for sustainable business growth, rather than quick-wins
  • Driving change internally within your department or implement sustainable policies

At a first glance, exhausting all of these tasks (on top of your current to-do list!) may feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are professionals to equip you with the right tools and mindset needed to champion sustainability. 

 Accredited CPD Speak Sustainability Course

Oxford College of Marketing runs a Speak Sustainability Course to help you understand the language of sustainability and how it links to the concept of ethical

business growth. This five-module course covers understanding sustainability, changes due to sustainability, goal-setting, learning from others and preparing for discussion.

Delivered by three course tutors, this course will give you the necessary tools needed to open up a conversation about sustainability. Brilliantly, the course is also CPD certified so you can add it to your CV and carry the qualification with you throughout future job roles.

Apply here.

CIM Diploma in Sustainable Marketing

If sustainability is a topic close to your heart and perhaps something you would like to focus on in the future, it could be worth you or your employer investing in additional formal training.

To deepen our understanding and take things one step further, Oxford College of Marketing runs the CIM Diploma in Sustainable Marketing which is the equivalent to a Level 6 undergraduate degree, supported by its fantastic tutors. The first two modules (Marketing & Digital Strategy and Innovation in Marketing) form the basis of its other marketing qualifications too. The Sustainability module makes up a third of the course, so you’re not missing out on fundamental content. You’re learning invaluable marketing skills that can be transferred outside of the realm of sustainability too.

This is a powerful qualification to hold amidst our current climate and to take forward with you in your career. Geared towards marketers wanting to lead and support organising facing sustainability challenges, this practical course will actively assist you in implementing true change.

Learn more about the course here.

How can I build a green marketing strategy myself?

Both courses above will provide you with the professional and formal context to your sustainability practice. However, we also have a few quick tips to help you build your own green marketing strategy:

Assess your current position

The key starting point for building a sustainable marketing strategy involves figuring out what your organisation is already doing by assessing your current position. Does it support external sustainable initiatives? Have any policies in place? Work out how these points could be highlighted in your plans moving forward.

Build your messaging on science and data

Whatever you’re doing, you should always ensure that you’re leading with data, insights and proof but this is even more important when we’re commenting on the science of sustainability and our planet. Build your message on the facts and ultimately, be transparent about your goals. Consumers will appreciate this step more than anything else!

Pinpoint what areas can be changed

If you’re an eco-warrior, it can be easy to get swept up in what we can’t control. Instead, only pinpoint the areas which you are able to improve and make a dierence. Whether it’s switching to ethically-conscious platforms or advocating for less direct mail marketing, find what elements you have control over and suggest change.

On your journey to becoming a more sustainable marketer, be sure to check out the Accredited CPD Speak Sustainability and the CIM Diploma in Sustainable Marketing courses provided by Oxford College of Marketing. If you’re wondering if purchasing a professional marketing qualification is worth it, keep in mind that the time to champion sustainability is now. And it’s an impressive professional stance that will serve you and our environment well!