The marketing landscape has never looked so different.
Online technologies are rapidly becoming the new shopping mall. A single click reveals an abundance of products and services, readily available for purchase.
At the forefront of current discussion is the impact our consumption has on the environment and society. Consumers frequently prioritise their principles when deciding which products they buy, and where they buy them from.
Recent research has found that 75% of Brits adopt ethical shopping habits.
Conscious marketing confronts the concerns of consumers by communicating and demonstrating the values of your business.
In this blog post we will cover:
- What Is Conscious Marketing?
- Things to Consider
What Is Conscious Marketing?
Conscious marketing emphasises a business’s purpose.
If you’ve read our blog before, you may have heard the term ‘inbound marketing’. Its purpose is to nurture, engage and build a relationship with your consumers.
Well, conscious marketing is very similar. It’s taking what you value and demonstrating your efforts to benefit society. In doing so, you connect with consumers on a deeper level – building a relationship, rather than just a transaction.
You want your audience to buy into what you believe in and to align with your company vision and mission.
Let’s look at Always as an example. They are a female hygiene company who present their business values by promoting feminist related causes, such as:
- Female empowerment
- Period poverty
- Education of young women
Marketing and advertising have often obscured and dehumanised female hygiene. Which is normally considered a taboo topic in society. By endorsing these topics Always has acknowledged the adverse effects their company could bring to society.
There are a number of things Always actively involves themselves in to demonstrate their dedication to these principles, including:
- Free educational tools for schools and teachers
- Educational blog
- #EndPeriodPoverty: donating pads to schools across the globe
- Providing education to women in developing countries
- #LikeAGirl: addresses derogatory comments towards women
In buying their products and engaging with their brand you support the company’s efforts to address and serve these issues. However, you may only read articles on their blog or download their educational tools – a transaction isn’t required for you to engage with their brand.
Many people separate business and society, but they’re quickly becoming more and more intertwined. It’s no longer about just about your marketing strategy, it’s your business philosophy.
Consumers are becoming increasingly empowered through their purchases, so why not empower them further.
Things To Consider
Conscious marketing is about communicating the value your business serves to society.
But before we go full-blown activist, there are a few things to consider to effectively implement a conscious strategy.
The 5 W’s & H:
The first thing to consider is who you are. What are your business values?
This is the foundation to building an ethical business and conscious marketing strategy.
Often your ethos relates directly to your business practices, but this isn’t a rule.
While Always endorses female rights, you may be a clothing company who aims to reduce plastic usage or fight animal cruelty.
There are so many ways you can be ethical and support your beliefs – never limit what you can do to your business practices.
Your focus for finding a value should come from your beliefs and the reason your business exists in the first place. This is the purpose of your business – not the purpose of your consumers.
Conscious marketing is about trying to attract the right audience, not a mass audience. Remember, you can’t please everybody! Just make sure you’re not being offensive, and are using the right tone of voice.
While consumers shouldn’t be the reason for what you endorse, they shouldn’t be completely ignored.
They’ll provide invaluable insight into where you engage with them. Examining where they are most likely to interact with you are essential for getting your message across.
Remember, you want your customer’s support. The aim is to engage and delight to encourage them to promote and endorse your brand based on shared values.
What your endorsing should be clearly defined. This will make planning and implementing your strategy much easier.
Additionally, you should contemplate further into what you’re offering to society. What benefit does your chosen principle bring to society?
As a marketer, it’s your job to convey this to your audience.
Think about the content featured on your social media and website.
As well as social media, Always have a blog feature on their website. Their content communicates and reinforces their purpose by providing advice.
Their content doesn’t focus solely on what they’re selling – they send a message.
The most important thing to consider is why you are doing this?
This is the backbone of your conscious campaign. Everything you do and create needs to relay this.
Focus your attention on why you’re doing it and why it’s important. Think about why a consumer should/would care.
Do your research – never make false claims. The conscious consumer can easily see through superficial endorsements. They look for authenticity and a ‘practice what you preach’ attitude.
The last thing you want is for consumers to boycott your brand because they perceive your business’s value as being fabricated.
Communicating ‘why’ shows consumers that your belief is genuine. It demonstrates that you’ve invested time and effort to create a deep understanding.
Marketing is all about timing, and conscious marketing is no different.
There might be specific times of the year that relate to your value, such as:
- Public Holidays (eg. World Book Day, Mental Health Awareness Week, Father’s Day)
- Social Movements (eg. #Veganuary, #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter)
- Current Events and Pop Culture
Aligning your marketing with relevant events or social movements gives you a platform to be part of bigger discussions. This demonstrates how you uphold your purpose while broadening your target audience.
After looking at the 5 W’s you might have an idea of how you will implement your conscious marketing strategy.
You might already have an idea of which platforms are best to engage with your audience.
Think about what kind of content is best to convey your message.
A great technique to consider is encouraging participation between you and your audience.
Conscious marketing is designed to create discussion; you’re creating a community.
Allowing discussion and conversation between you and others is a great way to build a strong, long-lasting relationship.
Always use this technique in their #EndPeriodPoverty over Instagram. Always uses poetry influencers such as Nikita Gill to encourage mass discussion. The incentive is that for every like and comment, pads will be donated to The Red Box Project. In doing this, they take engagement goes beyond merely using the hashtag.
Conscious marketing allows you to connect, bond and empower consumers through shared values and credible endorsement.
But, conscious marketing goes beyond the immediate effect of your brand.
In becoming an ethical business, you are actually giving back to society. We should all aim to do our part. Whether you’re encouraging environmentally-friendly practices or raising awareness of movements; this all goes far in changing society.