In 2021 many organisations publicly made promises around sustainability and carbon neutrality goals[1] and this trend will no doubt continue through 2022. While marketers need to be careful not to mis- or over-represent sustainability initiatives or ‘greenwash’[2], it’s important look at how sustainability can be rolled into marketing itself.

The pandemic brought about a surge in digital marketing which, on many levels, is more eco-friendly than traditional marketing techniques. But as we (hopefully soon) move beyond that, you might start to look again at what you did before the pandemic and perhaps reintroduce face-to-face promotional events, for example.

So, as you think about the events you’ll host in 2022, have you considered how they’ll align with the wider sustainability agenda, your business’ environmental stance and your customers’ core values? Will you, for example, be giving out plastic or non-recyclable items, or instead seeking out environmentally friendly merchandise?

The start of a new year is a great opportunity to have a rethink about what you may have purchased ‘blindly’ in the past, such as giveaways at events or customer freebies, and look at what and how you can do this more mindfully. Both individuals and businesses are increasingly turning to brands with values that mirror their own, so this needs to be kept in mind when considering gifts, formats and handouts. Customers may even be more likely to attend events if they are seen to be sustainable or environmentally friendly.

Perhaps you’ll have a stand at an event or conference and will be giving out goody bags. With individuals now highly attuned to environmental and sustainability matters, the handout of goods that are plastic, non-recyclable, or items that have travelled thousands of miles to get to you could have a detrimental impact on the reputation of your brand.

And if you’re hosting an event, you may consider which format to hold the event in. While webinar fatigue may be real and some people may now look forward to physical events again, others may wish to limit their carbon footprint, reduce travel and prefer to attend online instead. Possibly a hybrid event will work to cater for both and let your customers decide based on their own values and preferences.

So, once you’ve addressed how your event marketing activities can reflect sustainability intentions or promises, be sure to make sure your customer knows about it. Just a short sentence on your event invitation, website, email newsletter or sustainable event handout will do the trick.

While the pandemic made it feel like the world stood still, a great deal has changed and many people are now more concerned about sustainability than ever before [3]. So let 2022 be the year you do the right thing, for the environment, for your brand and for your customers.

Be future ready: 7 key areas for 2022

We’ve put together a guide on seven key areas to help marketers plan for growth in the future. It provides prompts for success this year including high-quality data solutions alongside standout content, creative, digital and direct marketing campaigns.

Want to find out more?

Whether you’re looking to enhance your existing marketing strategy, or undertake a complete overhaul of your data, content or creative mix, download a free copy today.

[1] https://hbr.org/2021/12/sustainable-business-went-mainstream-in-2021

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2022/01/10/nine-big-donts-for-pulling-off-a-marketing-stunt/?sh=503e503e1934

[3] https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/industries/consumer-markets/consumer-insights-survey.html

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