Sustainability remains an important topic and an increasing number of companies are looking at possibilities to become ecofriendly and take an environmentally safe approach. We previously wrote an article about the steps you can take to become a sustainable company. In the field of marketing it is relevant to look for opportunities to contribute to a better world and to convey that you as a company value the environment. How do you set up a successful sustainable campaign and what should you take into consideration? What are the possibilities for sustainable promotional items to support the campaign? Read on to learn more about this.
Brainstorm with your team
The first step in setting up a sustainable campaign is to put ideas forward, and the most effective way to suggest an idea is to organize a simple brainstorm! Consult within your company, organize a meeting, and collect, write down and discuss ideas. Start from the word “sustainability” and let it inspire you while everyone shares interpretations, ideas, and points of view. All ideas are valid and will obviously be collected and filtered later. There are various tools to digitize a brainstorm, but a simple Google Sheet is a great first start, it is handy to be able to have ideas digitally at your disposal. Choose the best proposals and save the rest for later development.
Discuss and present a sustainable message
After having agreed on the approach for the sustainable campaign, the next step is to define a desired sustainable message. A useful resource is to research into the top sought-on keywords within the theme, through Google Ads Keyword Planner. Look into examples of sustainable marketing strategies for inspiration; It is good to use numbers to reinforce the campaign. An example: with this action we have already saved [x] number of trees. Think about the possibilities to strengthen the campaign and the message in this way.v
An important condition for valuable, sustainable marketing is honesty and openness. Don’t pretend the whole company is sustainable if that isn’t the case. Often it is an offer or a specific activity with which you contribute to the environment and not the whole company or all products offered. Then it’s important to focus and clarify this aspect. Above all, do not make sustainable claims that are not true. Have a strong, clear message that you can prove. If this is not the case, you could be accused of ‘greenwashing’.
But how to prove and communicate environmentally friendly products or services? For example, there are now sustainable quality marks that ensure the recognition and support of sustainable business operations. Leave such a quality mark on your website and your SoMe to reinforce your sustainable marketing. These could be from unbiased third parties, such as certified stamps for genuine recycled fabric materials and water usage reduction. There are also global standards for textiles that ensure a product is certified organic if it has at least 70% organically produced natural fibers.
You can of course also use your own stamps to easily segment what is in your sustainable range, just remember to explain what you mean by sustainable! Be aware that countries and therefore the markets your company operates in, can have different legislative approaches to what is considered ‘environmentally friendly’ and the communication thereof.
Create your own sustainable day
Every year there are several sustainable days and events on a campaign calendar; ‘World Cleanup Day’, the largest annual clean-up campaign in the world, ‘Sustainability Day’, a day with various sustainable activities, or ‘Earth day’ where more than a billion people take part in activities as planting trees, to protect the planet from things like deforestation. As a company you can respond to this and participate, but sustainable marketing can also be done by organizing an annual sustainable day yourself.
Involve a good cause
Look for opportunities to partner with a good cause. For example, donate a certain amount of the proceeds or per product to a sustainable project and communicate this through your marketing channels. Under the name ‘IGO GREEN‘, at IGO Promo we donate a percentage of each order to One Tree Planted for planting new trees. The larger the order, the more trees will be planted. Over 100.000 new trees have already been planted in this way and the number keeps growing!
Use the right channels
When you have clearly defined a sustainable strategy, approach, and plan, it is important to think carefully about spreading this message through the right channels. It is key to know where your target group is located. You can understand this for example, by interviewing the target group and drawing up so-called ‘buyer personas’ on that basis, which represent the company’s different types of customers. If the preferred communication channels are already fixed, you have an easy game. Otherwise, you’ll have to ask your customers. Think not only of online, but also of offline promotional resources. For example, there are sustainable promotional items that are made of environmentally friendly materials. For more information, read the article on sustainable materials.
Involve your employees in the sustainable campaign
When you launch a sustainable campaign, it is important not only to propagate this campaign to the outside world, but also to involve the employees internally in this campaign. This way you ensure that they also understand the message and perhaps pass it on to others. For example, communicate it via the internal newsletter or hang posters. Or hand out fun, sustainable promotional items with the message on them, such as a bamboo notebook or a water bottle from rPET. A nice way to draw extra attention to the campaign.
Give sustainable promotional gifts
Giving sustainable promotional gifts also falls under sustainable marketing. Of course we all know the annual end-of-year gift or Christmas package. There are plenty of gift ideas that are good for the environment and that spread your eco-friendly vision. Surprise your customers or business relations at any time with a sustainable promotional gift. For example, just before holidays or at the launch of the campaign. Discover the range of sustainable business gifts and choose your favorite product.
Explore more sustainable steps
There are many more sustainable steps you can take to contribute to a better planet. Consider the reduction of plastic within the company. You can do this by using reusable cups and reusable bags, or replace the office supplies with more sustainable versions, such as recycled pens or notebooks. Read more about this in the article about sustainable products.
There are plenty of opportunities for a sustainable campaign, but it is a very important topic that requires focus and attention to detail, as well as a lot of research. Sustainable marketing can be counterproductive with greenwashing solely to sell more, which isn’t the desired effect. When approached the right way, honestly and truthfully the effect is positive, inspiring and a big help to the planet and environment!