Traditional Marketing vs Sustainable Marketing – What’s the Difference?

by | Jul 6, 2023 | Uncategorized

‘Sustainable marketing’. It seems like a complete oxymoron if there ever was one. Consumerism has driven the planet towards its tipping point, and if marketing continues through its traditional methods we’ll go past the point of no return. But in order to tackle the issues at hand and encourage widespread participation of people and businesses in the move towards a conscious future, we need sustainable marketing. At its core, sustainable marketing is inherently different from traditional marketing – here’s how things differ.

It looks beyond financial profit. / Sustainable marketing is purpose-driven. 

Traditional marketing’s sole purpose has been driving profit. Sustainable marketing drives profit too, but looks to promote environmentally and socially responsible products and services as priority. It aims to achieve sustainable profit within the realms of our planetary and societal limitations. It’s a balancing act of people, planet and profit.

It’s for the long haul. / Sustainable marketing looks to the future.

Traditional marketing has historically been short sighted. Sustainability looks towards building the future. It is about understanding and embracing the pivotal roles which businesses and people play in the communication of conscious values, striving for a better future where natural and human capital can continue to survive.

It strives for circularity.

Traditional marketing is driven by a model of planned obsolescence. In order to sell more, it pushes a culture of finite products, to be used and disposed of, driving consumerism and waste. Sustainable marketing celebrates a circular economy, where products can be used, reused, repaired, repurposed, and kept within the loop of use in a direction away from waste, looking to increase product life cycles.

It inspires. 

Traditional marketing wants people to be passive. Instead of encouraging mindless consumerism, sustainable marketing informs, educates and empowers people to make informed decisions about how to spend their time, energy and money.

It is transparent. 

Traditional marketing has a tendency to gloss over crucial details. Sustainable marketing embraces honesty within all its communications. Facts, figures and information are thoroughly well researched, validated and referenced. Its visual and vocal narratives are a true reflection of the product, service, or topic at hand.

It wants everybody to win. / Sustainable marketing considers all parties.

Traditional marketing tends to consider the benefits of company owners and investors only. Sustainable marketing takes into account each and every person impacted by a business. This spans through all internal teams, individuals across the whole supply chain, and customers. Fundamentally, it includes the planet as a core stakeholder.

It celebrates diversity. 

Traditional marketing isn’t known for equal representation of race, cultures, sexualities, bodies, or genders. Sustainable marketing drives inclusive presentation of all humans to grow intersectional diversity, actively working against prejudice, racism, homophobia, misogyny, ableism and ageism.

It considers its environmental impact. 

Traditional marketing hasn’t always considered the impact of its goods and services, including its communications methods. Sustainable marketing considers the resources used within campaigns. It tracks and offsets carbon emissions and is mindful of the platforms content is communicated through – such as Green Web hosting.

It promotes ethical goods and services.

Traditional marketing promotes what will drive cash, whatever the human or environmental cost. Sustainable marketing considers businesses as a whole, how they operate throughout the entire supply chain, from development to distribution. It celebrates tangible and intangible value of products and services to offer a multifaceted, holistic view of ways in which they can be used for the long haul.

At the end of the day, marketing can’t carry on like it used to. So if purpose is what drives your business, make sure that’s reflected in your marketing too. To learn more about how we approach sustainable marketing get in touch today!