MBuzz: Big Business, Bigger Impact: How ESG is changing the game
Fill Me In:
Major Companies are becoming more proactive regarding the environmental and social effects that arise because of their business operations. In an ever-changing landscape, consumers are opting to do business with brands that are transparent about their environmental and social impacts and take initiative to mitigate them. A resounding 87% of consumers said, “they want to shop with brands/companies that are open and honest about their values.”
The measure of how well a company governs these aspects of their operations is known as Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG). ESG is a critical aspect of business operations and has a notable effect on most aspects of a company’s ability to function in the current marketplace. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Access to community/ government resources
- Ability to attract talent
- Appeal to potential investors
- Cost reduction
- Customer retention
- Employee motivation
What People Are Saying/What This Means:
Given that ESG has such a broad reach, it is paramount to incorporate ESG efforts into a company’s marketing strategy. There are countless advertisements that harp on various ESG efforts made by major companies. In 2018, the European telecommunications company A1 Telekom was in hot water after being accused of violating data privacy regulations. Later that year, right before “World Bee Day,” A1 Telekom set up an urban garden in the heart of the Slovenian Capital Ljubljana, designed to feed bees at a time of year in which food is sparse.
This campaign was a resounding success for brand credibility and received an overwhelmingly positive response. This ESG centered campaign took positive public focus over their data privacy scandal and built back customer trust. In just one week, the associated video campaign reached 350,000 users (about half the population of Vermont), created over 3,500 interactions, and garnered 88,000 views in a small European market.
Based on current consumer trends and a proven track record of success for marketers, the proliferation of ESG efforts into marketing should only rise from here. Marketers can start their ESG efforts in small, yet impactful ways in the paid media space. Opting for less “one- time” use activations (print/flyers/etc.) and investing more in digital experiences is an effective method that requires little adjustment to a media mix. Making a genuine and passionate effort in ESG can be a surefire way to connect to consumers on a more personal level and gain credibility as an organization.