Sustainable businesses have been the norm since 2021. The number of business partnerships created to solve environmental and social issues are growing ever since. This article gives an overview of what sustainable marketing is, and how digital marketing in the circular economy works.
What is the circular economy?
Ever since the industrial revolution, the economy was linear. A horizontal line based on the model of "production-consumption-disposal "of goods. A product was created from raw materials and natural resources, consumed and once it reaches the end of its life, it was disposed of as waste.
This system is no longer sustainable for the planet because of the huge environmental waste and damage it creates. Therefore, business models that depend on the exploitation of not renewable resources can count their days.
In the 1960s, the circular economy was theorised as an alternative to the linear economy.
The circular economy is
"The economic and social growth model of the future, based on sustainable business conducts."
This "green economy" is based on the model of production-consumption-recycling/reuse of goods. A circle keeps resources within the production process for as long as possible. At the end of the product's life cycle, waste materials are reused to create novel resources or other goods.
Companies that apply sustainable business practices experience more innovation, effective risk management and better financial performance. Companies in any sector can adopt this circular economy model and implement more sustainable practices.
A good example is the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. This company works to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. They develop and promote the idea of a circular economy, and work with businesses, academia, policymakers, and institutions to create global system solutions at scale.
Eco-friendly products, ethical business practices and awareness of social issues customers care about are key factors. In the circular economy, raising profit is no longer the primary concern. Instead, marketers help business owners to focus on sustainable marketing and creating long-term relationships with their customers.
Benefits and costs of the circular economy
An Accenture study showed that almost two in three consumers (63%) prefer to shop from purpose-driven brands that take care of the society and environment.
Also, businesses can profit widely from the advantages of being part of the circular economy. They can highlight themselves as a purpose-driven brand, improve their brand image, and save costs. European companies are encouraged by European laws and incentives from the EU Circular Economy Package to transition to a circular economy.
Nevertheless, green economy products and services often cost more than generic ones. This is due to the following:
design: the way they are designed.
technology: the costs of high-tech research and development.
production costs: the costs of creating products in an environmentally and society friendly way are higher in comparison to mass production.
The key goals of Sustainable Marketing
Green marketing is
"Marketing including sustainability and corporate social responsibility".
A convincing green digital marketing strategy is crucial to communicate the value of sustainable products and services. As it can make businesses aware of the importance of the circular economy and it helps customers decide to make more ethical and more expensive product and service choices.
Digital marketing in the circular economy is therefore much more than advertising sustainable products in digital marketing campaigns, on digital channels and social media channels. This online marketing technique includes both online marketing and traditional marketing.
Green marketing works by focussing on the five key digital marketing communication goals:
inform and educate people on sustainability and environmental issues.
inspire consumers to change their buying habits in line with the circular economy: it encourages customers to adopt sustainable behaviour like returning products, reusing, sharing, or buying used or recycled products and services.
integrate circular products and services into everyday life by making them attractive and desirable to a large group of people.
build brand awareness. Online and display advertising, Digital PR, relationships and networking with environmental companies, journalists, eco-bloggers, and green influencers created to talk about the company on their websites, blogs, and social media.
improve brand reputation A company's commitment to the environment and corporate social responsibility help to improve the brand image by highlighting its sustainable practices and its solution for social problems.
create economic value. A company that promotes sustainable development is rewarded by consumers, who are sensitive to environmental and social issues.
How to do digital marketing in the circular economy
To create a sustainable digital marketing strategy for the circular economy, the following factors need to be considered:
Identify the target audience.
Create the buyer persona
Define the content and communication channels.
Find the target audience:
Search on search engines for audiences interested in sustainable companies, while they search:
Direct Demand on the web requires SEO to create a good positioning of the website on search engines or paid advertising (search advertising, such as Google Ads).
and when they are not searching:
Latent demand requires web and social advertising for its strong targeting capabilities.
Social media marketing for the circular economy
Besides a sustainable digital marketing strategy, a social media presence is necessary. Each social media platform suits certain content formats:
On Instagram, a visual inspiration social media platform, it is important to post well-curated photos with a consistent style. An Instagram marketing strategy should also include stories, which are the best way to create engagement and relationships with the audience.
Facebook is interesting for creating communities through public or private Facebook groups. Sharing content about environmental sustainability and the green economy in themed Facebook groups is useful.
LinkedIn & Twitter is useful for companies to build a sustainable image among professionals.
A YouTube channel where you can upload professional videos is important in
Investing in sustainable action by companies is necessary, and marketing is the best way to highlight this.
Contact us if you need a sustainable digital marketing strategy for your business.