Blog, Culture

Sustainable practices: the sustainable marketing series


Author – Aby Sullivan, MD

People often struggle to nail their business proposition. Sometimes it’s because articulating their defined niche is complex, and sometimes, it’s because there isn’t one. Digging into the strategic research can quickly reveal the truth – the audience wasn’t fully considered in the making of this proposition.

I see this so often and it leaves me asking, why was it developed in the first place? The fact is, even if it’s a great idea, without an understanding of your buyers or end users it’s unlikely to have much success. Understanding who you’re targeting, with what and why is crucial to securing any substantial growth. 

However, this doesn’t stop everyone. Many businesses are founded on unsubstantiated and unconsidered propositions. These are the businesses that inevitably use unsustainable, noisy marketing techniques, because they are acting without direction or purpose. It doesn’t mean markets and propositions can’t change, this is the most natural evolution of business and where ensuring you develop your strategy is essential. 

On the other hand, if you know exactly who you’ve solved a problem for, sustainable marketing practices become easier. You understand the issue. What you’ve created is directly designed to help, and so everything else falls into place. You can get rid of the noise and communicate an authentic message. 

It trickles down to the way in which you communicate.  

Focusing on the outcomes rather than features of what you provide is a sign of a wider sustainable business practice mentality. It’s born from people thinking outwardly; asking, how is my product or service actually helping people; what is the effect on their lives? Not, what are the best things I can say about me; how do I sell my business.  

Sustainable marketing is all about the audience. And this is what your audience will respond to. 

Looking at the bigger picture and creating an open narrative about it is equally important. Making your purpose known attracts likeminded people to you and helps you build your collaborative ecosystem (something we discuss in the Sustainable Business chapter).   

There’s a real guardedness in some organisations hoping to contain their IP, when actually, sharing knowledge fosters a much more positive and sustainable environment in which your business can thrive. Firstly, with a force of partners alongside you, you can collectively accelerate good work. Secondly, being honest and authentic (authentically authentic) will grow a genuine and engaged audience. 

Sustainability matters in every element of your business practices and operations. 

Environmental sustainability has finally come into its own, but there are other aspects we also need to consider to ensure real sustainability. From culture, to communications, to growth. These elements all work together, so if you want to maintain a well-oiled machine, you have to tend to all the parts. 

You can add sustainability into every component. If you take on these areas with consideration, then the marketing will follow. 

Watch out for the next piece on Sustainable Businesses, or, if you missed it, read the first piece in my series here.