What lessons can marketers learn from Earth Day?

What lessons can marketers learn from Earth Day?

Earth Day, which takes place annually on April 22nd, serves as a reminder to appreciate and protect our planet. Earth Day inspires action and reflection - but what parallels does Earth Day share with Marketing?

When you think about Earth Day it looks to “raise awareness, inspire change, and foster a deeper connection with nature”, all aimed at creating a more sustainable future. How it does this is through bringing together events, building communities and telling stories of goals, actions and progress across various stakeholders. And, it is here that you can start to draw parallels between not only Earth Day and marketing, but more broadly sustainability as a whole.  

Marketers by the very nature of their work need to be able to raise awareness and inspire their audiences. Not only around the products and services that they sell, but more broadly around their  organisation’s purpose and why it exists. When it comes to sustainable marketing, the need to shift from communications which drive purely transactional relationships to ones which foster long term relationships are an important consideration. Marketing needs to consider how it aligns to and supports both the commercial and sustainable goals and objectives of the organisation, now and in the future.  

Marketers are also storytellers and communicators and it is through these skillsets that the role and remit of marketing is well placed to talk about the biggest challenge facing humanity today, marketing’s role is critical if we are to not just raise awareness, but educate and help people to understand what is happening and how they can be part of the solution through the choices they make and the behaviours and actions they take. The time to rethink what we do through a more sustainable and responsible lens is critical. 

Marketers bring people together and build communities and just in the same way that marketing engages with key stakeholders when it comes to buying their products and services, the same principles apply to effective sustainable communication. And with bodies of research starting to show macro level behaviour shifts, this should be an important indicator to organisations that needs and wants are changing and with this comes an increasing need to promote shared value and help people to understand how engaging with your brand as a whole is contributing to social responsibility. Going beyond products and services, features and benefits has to be a core part of the   narrative as we move forward. 

The opportunity for marketing to be a force for good is clear both in how it supports business, but also people and planet. There is a need to deliver communications which build trust, educate and shape more sustainable markets and behaviours, and like Earth Day work towards THE global common goal. Words and language are critical and the shift from broadcasting and telling to sharing and having ongoing conversations need to be built into the core of marketing plans.   

If you want to learn more about sustainable marketing and effective sustainable communication, then explore the CIM Sustainable Marketing Hub where you’ll find a wide range of content and our new online courses which cover topics such as, ‘The Sustainable Marketer’, ‘Greenwashing 101’ and ‘Effective Sustainable Communication’ and much, much more.   

 Visit CIM's Sustainable Marketing Hub

Gemma Butler Course director CIM
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