Like the air that we breathe

Digital today is like the air we breathe. Within the last 10 years, it went from being a technology to becoming a part of everything we do. The writing is on the wall that sustainability will follow a similar path, which means the sooner your marketing organization integrates sustainability into its work, the better. Make it part of your team’s mindset.

When you do, product and service delivery get grounded in the pulse of the marketplace. The outcome is a value proposition that is perpetually relevant to retailers and customers, both economically and socially. And your team will more naturally tell your story in a way that is just as cool, relevant and engaging as your other marketing. More loyal customers, referrals and employees who feel more connected, will follow. Patagonia is a great example.

When sustainability is woven into the fabric of the marketing organization, it is also much easier to make the process more efficient. Borrowing from a talk by Amy Cannon about Green Chemistry, one example is changing the product design brief. By including sustainability requirements upfront, factors like the toxicity of materials are addressed proactively to maximize relevance with customers while at the same time minimizing potential cost liabilities that might arise at the end of a product’s life cycle, like the disposal of smartphones.

Digital has such a long history already. I vividly remember the temperature-controlled rooms with mainframes and IT staffers laying cables, pecking away on keyboards and sketching massive diagrams on whiteboards. Today, Chief Technology Officers and Chief Marketing Officers are learning to work hand in hand because digital has become like the air we breathe, influencing everything. Sustainability is next.

© 2013 Development Practice 360, LLC

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