There are many different types of marketing; traditional, digital, and relational. But have you heard of responsible marketing?

Customer-centric marketing has been a key theme of all marketing strategies for several years. Responsible marketing, meanwhile, is an approach that ensures you not only meet the needs of customers but also have a positive impact on them and in their community.

The main difference between traditional and responsible marketing is about the values and commitment of the business. The company breaks free from market rules and seeks profitability through a social and sustainable approach. It is all about building trust, and brands can do that in some of the following ways:

What are your values?

A company that takes the step from traditional marketing to responsible marketing must first carry out an internal process in they define both their values and the actions they will carry out to transfer those values from paper to reality. It is not just a matter of presenting yourself to consumers as a business that shares their values, but of transferring this philosophy to the whole of your production process and your relationship with suppliers, distributors and other stakeholders.

For years it has been thought that Corporate Responsibility is exclusive to a department that bears the same name or to foundations, charities or the government, but the truth is that this responsibility must be part of the DNA of your business from its inception and must be the backbone across all areas of the organisation. The company’s philosophy should be present in all of its products, communications, messages, services, and production systems.

Data protection and transparency

The COVID pandemic was an unprecedented opportunity for e-commerce, but it also presented a more significant challenge: the growing importance of customer data and privacy management. A customer-centric marketing approach requires you to use data to personalise the customer journey, and we all know that nothing builds loyalty like a personalised experience, where a brand demonstrates its knowledge and understanding of customer needs. But at the same time, changing regulations and compliance rules have made customers more aware of how brands handle their data.

Data breaches, unsolicited marketing, and lack of personalisation are ways consumer trust can be irrevocably damaged. Being open, honest and transparent when collecting customer data is essential. When acquiring new customers and managing their data, you must ensure subscribers are fully informed and know what you plan to do with their data.

Ethical Practices = Ethical Marketing

As well as how their data is used and protected, customers are increasingly thinking about how businesses impact wider society. Customers in today’s market environment are more concerned with companies’ and brands’ influence on society. As a result, customers can build deep ties to brands that demonstrate ethical practices, and a commitment to addressing the social and economic challenges facing customers.

Some will be more loyal if they know their favourite companies support causes, organisations and movements that matter to them. They will typically choose to shop with a company that frequently and publicly supports charities or is known for inclusive care for its employees – even if that means paying more for goods and services than with another brand.

Sustainability as a basis

It’s not just charities that are important to the modern consumer. Sustainability is on the agenda for vendors and customers alike. In fact, it is on the agenda of most governments and organisations worldwide. Conscious customers will always opt for brands dedicated to environmental protection. However, to follow the practice of sustainable marketing, your brand must examine the impact of everything it does. For example, is your automation platform sustainable? Do you choose eco-friendly travel options when organising and attending events? Have you thought about the impact of your communications on minorities? Do you have clear communication channels for your customers, employees and community?

As part of a responsible marketing strategy, brands must analyse the impact of their products and services and how their packaging and transport affect the environment. By committing your company to these standards, you will demonstrate that you are contributing to a better future. For example, IKEA has made a significant investment in sustainability in its business processes; its efforts are present in ways both visible and invisible. It starts with its supply chain, with the Swedish furniture company sourcing almost half of its wood from sustainable loggers.

How to be a responsible seller without falling into the dreaded greenwashing?

The way to avoid accusations of greenwashing is simple: honesty and consistency. Responsible marketing is all about building trust, so the first thing to do is get rid of any thoughts of just checking boxes. The only way to reap the rewards of responsible marketing is with full commitment. Customers are aware of “greenwashing”. Saying that you support Black Lives Matter or will protect their data is not enough. You must show it with your actions.

We could talk more about the advantages of responsible marketing: from the increase in employee and customer loyalty, the quality of the content generated, and the differentiating point with your competition, among many others. But, for us, what is clear is that responsible marketing generates a solid reputation, but a good, honest, quality reputation that is sensitive to the problems and situations of our current world.

Would you like to share your experiences about marketing or learn about new sales strategies? Join us at our next sales and marketing bootcamp.