By David Betke
Sustainability has become a popular term in the marketing world. While some companies make an initial commitment to sustainability, they often struggle to connect it with profitability and may ultimately give up. In this post, we examine the weaknesses of sustainable sourcing and regenerative marketing and highlight the key missing link: conservation. Specifically, we explore how conserving resources in your marketing strategy can reduce costs and improve sustainability. We will delve into the CSRT model of marketing, which successfully bridges the gap between sustainability and profitability.
Sustainable sourcing focuses on selecting suppliers and partners, demonstrating sustainable and ethical practices. By implementing better sourcing practices, your business can ensure the preservation of ecosystems, biodiversity, and cultural heritage.
Sustainable sourcing involves evaluating the environmental and social impact of your supply chain. This includes considering factors such as using renewable resources, fair labour practices, and reducing carbon emissions. By partnering with suppliers who share your commitment to sustainability, you can strengthen your brand’s reputation and attract environmentally conscious customers. However, this makes your marketing greener, not necessarily more effective.
While sustainable sourcing focuses on conservation and preservation, regenerative marketing takes it further by actively engaging in corporate citizenship initiatives. While marketing inevitably uses resources, restoration aims to give back what has been taken from the environment and society.
Regenerative marketing involves investing in initiatives that restore ecosystems, support local communities, and promote social and environmental justice. This can include activities such as tree planting, supporting clean energy projects, or partnering with nonprofit organizations working towards sustainable development goals.
By engaging in regenerative marketing, your business reduces its environmental impact and contributes to positive societal change. This can help build brand loyalty and attract customers who align with your values. However, a key piece is still missing because regenerative marketing only aims to restore community and environmental damage created by traditional marketing methods. It fails to address the root cause.
Sustainable marketing started by sourcing environmentally friendly and socially responsible products to promote their businesses. However, sustainable sourcing is vulnerable to greenwashing; sustainable options often incur higher frontend costs and adopting sustainable products may not produce better results than traditional marketing methods. As a result, they become unsustainable from a budget standpoint.
For marketing to be sustainable, it must also be sustainable for your budget.
Enter the missing link that closes both the sustainability and profitability loop —conservation—specifically, the conservation of resources leading to the preservation of habitats.
We conserve resources by reducing consumption and waste in the marketing process. When we reduce waste, amazing things happen: we reduce costs, cost reduction leads to higher profits, and we reduce the damage our businesses do to our shared environment, which leads to several other benefits such as increased brand loyalty, easier recruitment, reduced insurance costs, liability mitigation and future-proofing our business.
We reduce waste through better strategic planning. Consider this: not everyone is a potential customer for your business. So, does everyone need to receive your catalogue, brochure, or promotional products? By implementing better targeting, requiring specific actions from potential customers, and carefully measuring the results, we can effectively reduce costs across the board. This will lead to lower costs per lead and customer acquisition costs and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our overall environmental footprint.
Integrating conservation, preservation, and restoration into a holistic approach is essential to close the loop in sustainable marketing. The CSRT model, Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration, combines these elements to deliver superior business outcomes and a reduced environmental footprint.
Conservation is the first step towards achieving sustainable marketing. It focuses on minimizing unnecessary consumption and reducing waste in your marketing processes. Your business can optimize its marketing efforts and reduce physical and budgetary waste by implementing better planning, strategic targeting, and setting clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Sustainability is the second pillar of the CSRT holistic model of marketing. It involves prioritizing suppliers and partners who demonstrate sustainable and ethical practices. By implementing better sourcing practices, your business can ensure the preservation of ecosystems, biodiversity, and cultural heritage.
Restoration is the third pillar of the CSRT holistic model of marketing. It goes beyond conservation and preservation by actively engaging in corporate citizenship initiatives. While marketing inevitably uses resources, restoration aims to give back what has been taken from the environment and society.
By embracing conservation, sustainability, and restoration, your organization can create a sustainable marketing model that benefits both the environment and your bottom line. As waste is reduced through better planning, efficiencies and innovations are uncovered, and a more sustainable supply chain is built, your brand becomes recognized for its commitment to sustainability.
This recognition attracts better talent, as employees increasingly seek opportunities for companies that align with their values. Loyal customers are also more likely to support businesses that prioritize sustainability. By building a reputation as a socially and environmentally responsible brand, you can differentiate yourself from competitors and gain a competitive edge in the market.
Sustainable supply chain optimization also brings financial benefits. By reducing waste and improving efficiency, your business can lower costs and increase profits. Additionally, implementing sustainable practices can lower insurance costs and help your organization stay ahead of compliance regulations.
The positive cycle of reducing waste, increasing profits, and minimizing environmental impact perpetually reinforces the sustainability of your marketing strategy. By embracing the CSRT holistic marketing model, your organization can thrive in a world where sustainability is not just a trend but a necessity for long-term success.
Closing the loop in sustainable marketing requires a comprehensive approach that integrates conservation, sustainability, and restoration. By reducing consumption and waste through better planning, sourcing with people and the planet in mind, and actively engaging in restoration initiatives, your business can create a sustainable marketing model that benefits the environment, society, and your bottom line.
Embracing sustainability is not just about being socially responsible but about future-proofing your organization and staying ahead of the competition. As consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental and social impact of their purchasing decisions, businesses that align with their values will be the ones that thrive.
By implementing the CSRT holistic marketing model, you can position your organization as a leader in sustainable marketing and contribute to a more sustainable future for all. So, take the first step towards closing the loop and integrating conservation, preservation, and restoration into your marketing strategy today.