A Necessary Shift to Sustainability in the Marketing World
As more news surrounding climate change makes its way into mainstream media on a daily basis, I am pleased to see more and more businesses stepping up their game to raise their awareness, address a need for change and most importantly, implement new practices to help save our planet. What I still don’t see enough of, however, is more transparency and detail around what’s being done to change things now instead of opting into pledges by 2030, 2050, etc. While I am very much aware that change takes time, especially within large organizations, there’s certainly room for improvement.
In spending over a decade working in the corporate marketing world, I witnessed firsthand how much waste was produced to print marketing materials and handouts as well as how many unnecessary dollars were spent on marketing strategies and practices that just didn’t work or resonate with the target demographic. As a result of working in this high-stress, fast-paced and the “we need more” marketing mentality, I was frequently burnout, sick and not in a good head space throughout most of my early 20s.
My Commitment to Green Marketing Education
After leaving the corporate world in 2019, I made a commitment to start my own business and dedicate a part of my work to teaching others how to adopt more sustainable marketing practices. After launching my branding and web design studio, Minty Made, I started brainstorming ways that I could educate other marketers, teams and business owners in this area. After extensive market research, surveying and forming a curriculum, The Green Marketing Academy was born.
Establishing the Core Values of The Green Marketing Academy
Early on in the process, I established the main pillars of the Academy which then became the foundation on which the visual branding identity was built: People, planet, balance and growth.
People: We are committed to sharing both free and paid educational resources to reach as many people as possible and to sustainably continue our work in this space.
Planet: Educating our students on how to shift their marketing practices to be more sustainable and regenerative is our central mission.
Balance: Encouraging our students to maintain healthy boundaries for work/life balance is a priority.
Growth: Continuing to provide opportunities for our students and their businesses to grow through collaboration and networking
In addition to the sustainability aspect of green marketing, there are two other focus areas that I intentionally built into the curriculum: ethics and accessibility. In my opinion, these are addressed to an even lesser extent by a majority of agencies and teams than that of green marketing.
A Brief Unpack of “Ethical” Marketing
Let’s talk about ethics first, which is often the elephant in the room. It’s true that every individual has their own internal compass when it comes to ethics. One business may view how they are marketing themselves as completely ethical, while others may disagree wholeheartedly. Many of the icky sales and marketing tactics have become ingrained within us, whether we learned these during college/university or as we became part of the workforce. Ethical marketing, and how I explain it within my presentations, is more about the process of undoing the beliefs that we have been taught. Limiting false scarcity tactics, greenwashing, purposewashing and charm pricing are just a handful of the topics on which I’ll dive more into depth in a future article.
Accessibility and Inclusivity in Marketing
Accessible marketing also matters…A lot. One of our recent guest speakers, Kael Karlo Cruz opened his presentation with a very emotional example of this. He told us to picture an older man, who may not be able to see clearly or participate in most physical activity. He gets invited to a business event, where people are viewing the conference agenda on a phone app and are moving around from session to session quickly, glued to their phones while doing so. The elderly man leaves the event early feeling saddened. embarrassed and hurt that he wasn’t able to figure out where to be and when and that he couldn’t participate in what the others had experienced.
This is an example of how accessible marketing wasn’t used to make sure this man felt included. Providing alternative learning and participation methods must be placed at the forefront of all marketing channels.In addition to this, inclusivity in marketing must be represented by further work being done to include those of different races, ethnicities, gender identity or religious beliefs.
Keeping Your Own Energy Sustainable is Key
Finally, and closest to my own heart is the practice of keeping our own energy sustainable. As I mentioned, working 60-70 weekly in the corporate space led to an extreme weakening of my immune system. I was catching colds constantly while traveling, I broke out in a stress rash multiple times and this even led to an emotional meltdown in front of my boss at one point. Within the Academy, I’ve received feedback that the topics on healthy boundary setting, addressing the causes of energy drain and burnout have been some of the most valuable lessons within the curriculum. As the students spend time building out their marketing strategy and action plans at the end of the course, taking the time to pause and be reminded of these topics has made this work feel much more manageable and achievable rather than overwhelming and stressful.
What was your key takeaway and/or reminder from this blog? I would love to hear your thoughts on one or all of the topics addressed. I look forward to publishing more of these in the coming weeks ahead.