Responsible marketing is a sound, sustainable alternative to traditional marketing, one that should be considered by any business that is questioning its role in society. Is my organization making a positive impact on society?
Does my product or service encourage responsible consumption habits? Is my business taking environmentally conscious action on a daily basis? Are its values being properly communicated? These are some of the questions that can be addressed when transitioning to a responsible marketing model.
Will your business be the next to adopt this new marketing vision?
Responsible marketing: Definition
Responsible marketing was developed in response to the idea that the ultimate purpose of marketing was to make a profit at all costs. Instead, this approach creates synergy between your product or service and societal values and issues.
It helps organizations put their values at the heart of their operations by incorporating:
– Good social practices
– Good environmental practices
– Good economic practices
It is important to remember that this type of approach requires more than just words; it requires concrete action. Keep reading for a few examples.
Why responsible marketing
Marketing is changing because consumption trends are changing. More and more, consumers are opting for responsible behaviours such as composting, buying local, using collaborative consumption systems or protecting animals and the environment.
According to a study released in November 2022 by the Observatoire de la consommation responsable [Observatory on responsible consumption] at Université du Québec à Montréal’ School of Management, expectations towards organizations are shifting, with people insisting they be more socially responsible and committed to the environment.
“Nearly 70% of Quebecers expect a brand to make a positive contribution to society, a testament to this new role brands play beyond their primary function.”
In other words, consumers appreciate concrete action such as:
– Supporting local communities
– Providing information on a product’s environmental footprint
– Committing to carbon neutrality
As a result, it is now more important than ever to align with people’s values to meet their expectations and create a meaningful conversation.
Five steps to start integrating a more responsible approach to marketing
1. Reflect upon your corporate social responsibility
Since the external is a reflection of the internal, think about your organization’s current approach to social responsibility and where you’d like it to go.
Here are some things to think about:
– Does your organization treat its staff fairly?
– Does it create an environment that promotes inclusion, diversity and well-being?
– Does it have policies to reduce its environmental footprint?
– Is its physical environment designed to accommodate people with different disabilities?
2. Share your story through storytelling
Storytelling is a technique used to showcase your story and share what matters to you most. It can help your business show its human side, as well as its values and aspirations.
Your story is what makes you unique, and can help set you apart. By developing your Story (with a capital S!), you create authenticity, humanize your business, and share your vision for the future and society.
3. Create an environmental or CSR policy
Picture this: you walk into a fast food restaurant. You look around and see several ads mentioning that the chain’s priority is to reduce its environmental impact. Yet after your meal, you notice that the restaurant only uses single-use cutlery and does not recycle. This will likely have a negative effect on your customer experience.
Your clients are not easily fooled. They expect concrete actions, not just empty words. Developing an environmental or a CSR policy gives you credibility and justifies your strategies and actions.
For example, some organizations take inspiration from the United Nations’ 17 Goals to Transform Our World or the International Organization for Standardization’s Guidance on Social Responsibility when developing their policy.
4. Develop your marketing strategies
Now that you’ve put your story on paper and created guidelines for your responsible corporate vision, it’s time to put your creativity to use. How would you like to communicate your responsible vision? How would you like to create a connection with your target audience? Developing a new website, showcasing your employees on your platforms or supporting a cause that is close to your heart are just a few examples of strategic actions.
5. Take action
Take stock of the impact of your new responsible initiatives. When well executed, responsible marketing ensures consistency and sustainability across your communications, whether internal or external. By leveraging your story and policies to build your strategies, you’ll be able to identify what works well and what doesn’t for reaching and connecting with your target audience.
The Storyteller can help you develop a sustainable responsible marketing strategy for your organization. Contact us today!