We don’t mince words when it comes to conscious consumerism and sustainable marketing.
Between running the EnvironMental Podcast, showcasing living brands, and working with impact businesses, we are steeped in the world of solutions for a sustainable future. We can tell you from experience that one of the best things impact businesses can do is shift their marketing energies towards using the sustainable marketing cycle.
What is Sustainable Marketing?
Lets start with the basics. If you google “sustainable marketing,” you will see: “the promotion of environmental and socially responsible products, practices, and brand values” given as the definition on the front page. While that is a big part of it, there’s a lot more to it than just talking about the social and environmental good you do on your website.
We define sustainable marketing by not just who we are marketing for, but also by how eco-friendly our techniques are and how maintainable the marketing cycle is.
Sustainable Marketing is the circular model of continuous improvement in a brand’s marketing efforts that takes into account your audience, sustainable values, time, products, and marketing practices.
The Sustainable Marketing Cycle: Marketing You Can Maintain
These days, it is so easy to over-produce ineffective content because you feel like you have to post everyday. Sustainable marketing removes the quantity over quality mindset that co-exists with today’s obsession with hyper-growth. Any business building for a sustainable future creates quality content.
And to create quality content long term, we created the sustainable marketing cycle. This cycle removes the numbers game for you and lets you maintain consistency with your marketing – while producing effective, high quality content that your audience actually wants.
How the Sustainable Marketing Cycle Works
There are four parts of the sustainable marketing cycle:
Knowing what your audience needs
If you don’t have audience profiles, start there. This helps you get a great idea of what your ideal audience needs from you. Your data will help shape this overtime, but all of your content should connect with what your perfect audience needs and how you can solve that need.
Creating content they want
Notice that I said, “creating the content they want” and not “give them what they need.” This is because if you’re connecting with your ideal customer and sharing your benefits through your website, you’ve got to attract them by giving them what they want.
Publishing content where they hang out
It’s not enough just to create the content. You have to put it in front of them where they hang out. This is where you holistic marketing strategy comes to play. Make sure that you’re hitting all of your bases, every time.
Collecting and analyzing the data
We suggest collecting and looking at your data on a monthly basis at least (our larger clients need a weekly check up). This is super helpful because you’ll be able to identify trends and capitalize on what is working for you.
Armed with data, you can get a sense of what your customers need and want. Meaning: you can start back at the top of the sustainable marketing cycle.
Why Impact Businesses Need Sustainable Marketing
When it comes to being a brand that is focused on the transition to a sustainable future, sustainable marketing isn’t an option for you. It’s a necessity. You have more to prove – and more to show – than other businesses in your space. Here’s five reasons why you need to use the sustainable marketing cycle in your business.
1 – Your Products Cost More
Because you have a VALUE chain, and not just a SUPPLY chain, your products and services are likely to cost more to make than your competitors. The true cost of what you’re creating is worth it for the quality that you offer, but you do have to create marketing around that.
By asking people to pay the true cost of their investment and to be conscious about reuse in their consumerism, you’re also asking your audience to make a change in their buying habits or lifestyle. Using the sustainable content marketing cycle to support your audience and nurture them in times of change allows you to grow your authority and make a real difference in their lives.
2 – Your Products Need Explanation
By bringing sustainability to the forefront of the choices in your business, your competitive advantage also goes against the grain of tradition. That means you have some explaining to do. This is fine, that’s what landing pages, an email welcome series, and your “about” page is for.
But if you don’t have information to back up your business, you’re going to lose out on sales. If you want your audience to feel part of your tribe, they need to know more than just the basics. Working with your data and making choices based on what they need/want will give you insights into what people are missing and where you need to fill in the gaps to help them make your business their top choice.
3 – Customer Expectations are Higher
When you’re a value-focused brand with a true cost and an earth-saving mission statement, your customers will hold you to a higher standard.
If they don’t see you meeting that standard – with a consistent website that is easy to navigate, updated social media, great customer support, and regular posts in their inbox – they will to assume that you’re a phony.
Hey, we don’t write the rules, folks that shop sustainably do. They put their money where their mouth is, and they expect you to do the same thing. You can earn and keep their trust by paying attention to what they care about and showing up for them consistently (ie. using the sustainable marketing cycle).
4 – You Have Steeper Competition
So here’s the deal. The competitive advantage you have within your niche is that your product is sustainable. But saying that you are a offering something “sustainable” means that you have entered into an additional niche.
Every part of our society’s infrastructure has to change for us to transition into a habitable future on our planet. So every business out there is rushing to create a ‘sustainable’ option – or at least they’re saying they will. Yea – you’re not just competing against larger brands trying to make a difference. You’re competing with businesses that will lie to get ahead. Greenwashing is an epidemic but using the sustainable marketing cycle will help you share your value and stay in the game.
5 – Sustainable Marketing Helps Drives Targeted Traffic
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, hands down, one of the best ways to get traffic to your site. It’s also one of the most sustainable marketing techniques out there. Not only does it bring targeted traffic to your site, it also reduces unnecessary traffic. Paying attention to your data and giving your audience what they need AND what they want earns you organic traffic that sticks with you over time.
How to Get Started with the Sustainable Marketing Cycle
This isn’t difficult once you get the hang of it, but it can be challenging to start.
Most of the time, we suggest starting by writing about the most basic and important parts of your business and sharing them on all of your platforms. Then take a look at your data and make choices about the next type of content.
When you’re ready, you’ll be able to move from a basic cycle into working a fully holistic marketing method.
Still want some help? Hit us up in an email: email@example.com
Or just schedule a call directly into our calendar here: calendly.com/dandelion-branding/marketing