Climate change: every marketer’s biggest opportunity

Climate change is ‘the greatest commercial opportunity of our time, as Mark Carney says. Or, by 2050 the lives and livelihoods of us all will be negatively affected, environmentally and economically.

Which takes your fancy — brilliant opportunity or doom? And which do you think your children and future grandchildren will like the feel of?

It will be our families and our countries that are affected, not just people in other undeveloped countries we can put our head in the sand forget about. The sand will get pretty flipping hot for us all. Sounds reprimandy? Yep. Is it true news? Yep.

I’ve been working in digital marketing for 21 years today! Exactly half my life. Focusing on sustainability is making me more excited by the potential of marketing than ever before. I always fretted that marketing wasn’t all that useful and that one day I’d go on to do something more meaningful. I’ve just realised that this is it — this is how marketers can be properly powerful in the world.

As marketers, we’ve got a huge platform to influence the pace of change within organisations. We can all play our parts as marketing leaders in the age of sustainability.

I’ve led my agency’s Bcorp certification (pending) and I’m doing the Cambridge University Business Sustainability Leadership course. I thought the course would be interesting and a way to prove we’re walking the walk. Actually, it’s like being slapped around the face daily with impending doom and equally inspired by the possibility for action, regeneration and prosperity (in all its good forms).

It’s 150 days until COP26. It’s 28.5 years until 2050. Both are soon. If we don’t play our parts in adjusting, nature will do it for us by creating a climate so hostile we can’t survive. We have to do this by 2050 or it’s a tipping point we can’t backtrack on. So, if you’re a fan of life on earth, it’s time to get on board.

This isn’t a bolt-on. It can’t be greenwashing or virtue signalling. We’re marketers in the age of sustainability and we can be more powerful now than ever before. This is the opportunity to create marketing that delivers growth in the short term and secures the world for the long term.

In your marketing campaigns, this year (and yes, this year because this isn’t a plastic bottle to kick down the road) are you…

  • Inspiring your colleagues and organisation to play its part in getting to net-zero?
  • Showing your sustainability efforts so you don’t lose your current customers?
  • Using your sustainability journey to attract new audiences and grow?
  • Getting ready to play your brand’s part in COP26?
  • Clear on what good you’re doing and have a right to talk about? Or are you too scared of greenwashing you’re saying nothing?

Do you have the gumption to create a galvanising, research-based, legitimate story to tell to your customers and your colleagues, for this year’s COP26 and beyond? If you do, I’d absolutely love to help you create like you give a damn. If you want to get in touch, it’s maddy.cooper@brilliantnoise.com

And if you’d like to explore these challenges and opportunities with your peers from other brands you’re welcome to come along to one of our sustainability marketing roundtables. Have a peep here to apply for a place: https://brilliantnoise.com/events/#sustainability-storytelling

Founding Partner of digital strategy consultancy, Brilliant Noise. Love yoga, babies, Brighton and sunshine.