Central element of corporate communicationMarketing must respond to the injunctions of responsibility with regard to environmental issues and consumer expectations. Integrating ecological values and those of sustainable development into its responsible marketing strategy appears to be the new business model that must be followed in order to be in tune with today’s world, i.e. to sell better while guaranteeing customer satisfaction. What actions should be implemented? What benefits for the company?
Responsible marketing gets underway
Good news: encouraging figures
93% of decision-makers feel personally concerned by responsible marketing and 59% believe that their company has already taken steps in this direction, according to the Adetem study. As for consumers, nearly 90% expect brands to become more involved by offering more responsible products and services, but also by helping them to consume better. So are you ready to take up the challenge?
Concrete measures to communicate effectively
By creating the conditions for rich solutions that bring innovation and long-term benefits, companies put their DNA on the line.
Leading by example: proactive and participatory marketing
Proof by action
Responsible marketing is all about listening and raising awareness on what is happening around us. The Burger King communication campaign during the health crisis is a good example: the brand offered a kilo of potatoes for every drive-through purchase in support of producers who had to deal with unsold food. A show of solidarity combined with a well-run marketing operation that undoubtedly improved the brand’s reputation and touched customers.
Playing on emotionsLike nudge marketing, it directs consumers’ actions towards more ethics. Goodvertising Vs greenwashing to convince in all transparency of the benefits of this or that product or this or that action has a positive effect. “By using this bag, you save the equivalent of 25 showers per year”, this is the kind of awareness-raising message that can touch consumers, concerned about the future of the planet, to be interested in the product, with proof.
In concrete terms, companies also tell the story of their CSR approach through a effective communication through objects. By distributing water bottles or lunch boxes to their employees, aren’t companies encouraging their employees to eat more healthily and reduce their consumption of plastic water bottles? Setting an example with eco-designed goodies helps to raise awareness in a relevant way.
Offering new experiences, new services
Companies need to act in a profound way over the long term, not just on a hype. Implement sustainable actions around their products is a winning strategic issue for the company. Some examples of practices: Defying the environment: Nespresso capsules made of 80% aluminium no longer generate as much waste if they are also recycled in an adapted sorting channel. Enriching the user experience: The inclusive design of SEB brand products allows them to be understood and used by everyone with a common societal goal: they were manufactured in collaboration with people with disabilities.
The emergence of Influencers and the major role of the community manager in the evolution of brands also contribute to exchange and better target the performance of products and services offered in order to improve the perceived image. Tests, evaluations, complaints, technical failures: products scrutinized by consumers provide interesting feedback to help companies improve and listen to their targets.
Be consistent between speech and action
If showing good intentions is already a good thing, making your speech credible and consistent with your actions is essential to communicate around your CSR approach. From the manufacturing to the consumption of the product, sincere storytelling ensures the story and the success of the product based on transparency and verified and verifiable claims. The example of the plastic pen is revealing. For the Pilot® company it is innovation is at the heart of their strategy marketing. Their challenge: to transform their pens into environmentally friendly products thanks to technological solutions. Refillable inks, recycling of plastic to the maximum… It has made an emblematic pen, the B2P, in the shape of the plastic bottle from which it is made.
L’product eco-design is therefore the essential point around which all strategies that respond to the citizen consumer will be built. Responsible marketing leaves a lot of room for the consumer: from the 4Ps (product, price, promotion, place) we have moved on to the 4Cs (customer, cost, convenience of purchase, community communication). By putting the values of sustainable development at the centre of our concerns, the entire product life cycle is called into question. It is up to the company to be able to respond to the consumer on the different stages of manufacturing by concrete measures, namely:
- Choice of renewable, recycled and recyclable raw materials.
- Efficient production: LCA control of the quantity of materials used and the consumption of energy and water.
- Reducing the carbon impact of transportation.
- Announcing a fair price: the green product, often perceived as more expensive, will be better accepted if it is stamped Fairtrade, Origine France Garantie, and considered more sustainable by its innovative design (repairable or rechargeable).
- Elimination of over-packaging, especially in plastic.
- Anticipation of product recycling.
Good practices at the heart of a global responsible approach
“Alone we go faster, together we go further”. To act positively, the company must, upstream, co-construct its project with all the stakeholders, suppliers, financiers, communities.
Rely on a legislative and regulatory framework
The Pact Act introduces the status of a company with a mission allowing a company to declare its raison d’être through several social and environmental objectives with targets and results to match. Example: La Poste changed its fleet of motor vehicles for electric cars for its deliveries.
The power of labels and certifications
Iso 9001, Iso 26000, Iso 20400: there are many standards and certifications available to companies to strengthen their position and gain a long-term competitive advantage. The labeling of companies by CSR audits -Lucie, EcoVadis, EthiFinance- also increases their growth by 1 to 5% according to a study by the consulting firm Goodwill management.
Training and exchange: the importance of networks
To stay in the race, companies must be constantly on the lookout and be well surrounded. Being informed and relying on a network of recognized professionals becomes invaluable for sharing best practices: Ademe Charter on responsible communication. Marketers’ blog. Association network: Adetem (National Association of Marketing Professionals). Data collection and analysis through product marketing.
Responsible marketing is a a lever for growth and positive opportunities for businesses. Its success depends on the efforts of each stakeholder: the company, the consumer and the State. This internal and external mobilization creates the optimal conditions to respond to changes and transmit common societal values. The benefits of this responsible practice include: better sales, brand reinforcement, improved reputation, quality recruitment, financial support and customer satisfaction.