When marketers and business owners hear the term “sustainable marketing strategies,” it often conjures up images of recycled paper and energy efficient light bulbs.  While that is not what we mean by sustainable marketing, the premise of sustainability, doing more with less, holds true.

Our elevator pitch on the basics of sustainable marketing practices is that “you must focus your marketing resources where continued engagement will occur, well after the first interaction.”

Instant Gratification vs. Sustained Growth

In today’s instant gratification mindset, many often look for the quick fix or easy solution, without regard for the long term effects.  To illustrate, as you sit in your home or office and find that you are thirsty, it may be very simple to get up and grab a bottle of water and get back to work.  Though as we examine this further, it is possible that you are thirsty multiple times each day, thus you continue grab more bottles of water.  Using basic sustainability practices, we find it easier to bring the water to you, perhaps in a large reusable container at your desk or filtered dispenser.  This will reduce the cost of the single use bottle; reduce overhead from the multiple trips to get a water bottle and lower costs since you remove the fancy packaging requirements.  Now you are getting the same results for less money out of pocket.

Take this lesson and apply it to your business strategies.  While success can and will be gleaned from a PPC campaign via paid search or similar, could the same results be obtained from organic methods?  Or better yet, could the combination of the two bring higher profits with lower overhead?  The answer is of no surprise; of course better results will be had when sustainable marketing strategies are in place.

Understanding the Core Principles of Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable marketing is not a new concept; for the most part it is the known solution to common marketing and sales needs; however it is not always the easiest.  It is for this reason alone that so many fail to realize the true potential of their business due to overspending and under delivering.

Sustainable marketing principles are very similar with to that of the going green movement, just modified for the business world.  Understanding these principles will allow you take the next step of implementation.  The foundational principles are:

  • Reduce Waste: It may feel good to get a quick sale, or click from a paid media channel.  However, redirecting those funds to building keyword authority or social engagement will keep your customers returning.  For example, using a portion of your paid search budget for content marketing and linking building will improve your site’s standing in the search results allowing for improved lead generation.  The goal being to supplant your paid placement with an organic one, that continues to perform day after day in a free setting.
  • Use Barter vs. Buy: Creating a network of sites, business partners and friends can often lead to cost saving methods of marketing.  Working with like minded professionals can allow for content sharing opportunities, cross promotional offers and word of mouth campaigns that rival big ticket marketing shops.
  • Plan for Longevity: By starting any marketing or sales initiative with long term success goals, the mindset of the team changes.  Advertising costs are not fixed, they fluctuate and increase over time, protecting your brand from that is critical. Investing in campaigns and practices that bring continued returns, such as SEO, Social Engagement, Brand Awareness and Sales Funnel Optimization, just to name a few, will help bring your business continued returns.

Making Sustainable Marketing Work For You

Listen to the advice of successful business men and women, invest where it counts by planning for tomorrow’s goals, not today’s emergency.  Refocus your resources on a path to sustainable growth by reducing waste, creating lasting partnerships and looking towards the future success.  These principles are additive to other winning strategies and are as much of a mindset than a set of rules.