What is sustainable marketing?

In today’s ever-evolving business climate, the term ‘sustainable’ isn’t solely about being green-though reducing your usage of financial and material resources will not only help the planet, but your profits. At Sustainable Marketing Services our core ethos is about achieving long-term sustainable growth for your business through optimising the use of your marketing resources through good strategy and execution. As a full service agency, we pride ourselves on going beyond the title of marketing professionals. We are strategists, content creators, and savvy problem solvers, using our seven principals of marketing to ultimately increase your brand footprint in the competitive marketplace.

  1.  Structuring your marketing team for success 

For any business, importance needs to be placed on structuring an organisation with the right marketing resources and skill sets, to ensure you have high performance marketing that delivers results and achieves long-term sustainable growth. Whether you can have an internal team, an outsourced team or a combination of both, structuring your marketing team strategically with the right combination of skill sets that best suit the type of marketing and stage of growth of your business, is critical. It allows you to use your financial and people resources more effectively.

A marketing manager is the first and most important resource. They will ultimately focus your investment in marketing on the right strategies and activities, tailored for your business model and long term objectives. Whether they be internal or external, a marketing manager has a strategic and analytical skill set, they have good project management skills, and are able to work across a wide variety of marketing disciplines, such as advertising, digital marketing, marketing communications and social media. Their role is to create marketing plans, manage, refine and report on the performance of marketing activities, having a focus on management and continuous improvement.

If your business doesn’t have a marketing manager or can’t afford an internal marketing manager in house, then the best time to outsource is while your business is in the early stages of growth. By bringing in a qualified marketing manager who has experience in your industry, they are able to develop a tailored strategic plan that focuses on the right activities that will influence your target market to take action.  They will also be able to help you to identify the best marketing structure for your business now and one that you can grow into overtime. In addition, they’ll even be able to help you to recruit the right skill set for your business.

In some cases, a business may see it as cost effective to up skill an existing employee, and for them to take on the work of a marketing manager. The impact of hiring a person, like a graphic designer, who has the incorrect skill set for this role, would result in a lack of a strategic marketing plan that supports the objectives of your business. The money invested in marketing resources (people and activities), could be focused on sub-optimal activities and more money is invested in marketing than necessary. 

When marketing is structured inappropriately or resourced with the incorrect skill sets there are three key issues:

  • Increased marketing costs with the organisation not having the strategic marketing expertise to know where to focus their marketing dollars
  • Lower return on marketing with the wrong mix of marketing activities and poor execution of marketing activities
  • Lower levels of sales and growth with activities not the best activities to support the objectives of organisations.
  1. Making a plan for marketing success

Behind every successful business, lies a good marketing plan- a plan of action that helps a business focus their resources in line with their company objectives. By using the best tools and activities, they positively set themselves up for long-term sustainable success. Anyone can put a plan together, but it takes a highly skilled and experienced marketing manager to create a marketing plan that aligns with your business objectives, highlights your unique selling point in the marketplace, eliminates risk and increases your likelihood of your marketing activities delivering results.

A good marketing plan:

  • Will focus your investment in marketing and time on your most attractive markets.  This avoids diluting the effectiveness of your initial investment and helps you to focus on your most attractive markets. 
  • Will include all the current marketing activities, the new initiatives and future stretch strategy/activities
  • It will include a realistic budget that enables you to sustain your marketing activities on an ongoing basis.  We see businesses “start stop” their marketing. This approach negatively influences their sales and limits their growth.  You need to be in the market on an ongoing basis to grow your brand.  
  • Needs to have a calendar of marketing activities which you implement progressively each month through the year and review quarterly.  It also includes relevant metrics.  Different metrics are used for different tactics.

Each year in the annual marketing plans, Sustainable Marketing prepares for clients, we ask:

  • How do we deepen the capabilities that support / demonstrate that their brand story is true? 
  • Learning through our metrics, how do we elevate their brand in the most authentic way so that it resonates with their audience and stands out in the crowd
  • What do we need to do to evolve and improve?
  • We look at results from client surveys and weave improvements into PR stories, marketing communications, web copy and marketing activities 
  • We look for different story ideas that are trending or newsworthy 
  • Continually look to innovate the marketing techniques
  • We listen to our clients because we are mindful that collaboratively our ideas are great.  
  1. Bringing your brand story to life

The most valuable marketing tool for any business is an authentic and unique brand story, which can be used to create a sustainable and successful long-term brand in the marketplace. Your brand story can be a powerful way to evoke a desired response from your audience, form valuable connections and establish trust and respect.

Your brand positioning strategy will answer the following three questions:

  • What do you do best (or could do best)?
  • What do your customers love?
  • Why is it different from competitors?

Consistent brand story and key messages

Once you have developed your brand positioning strategy, it is important that you consistently use key messages that continually remind people about your brand story. These messages need to resonate with your audience and represent their values, connecting with them on a personal level.  Telling a good, compelling story stays in a consumer’s mind not just today, but tomorrow and years to come. Your brand story can become your overall presence in the marketplace, setting up expectations of the consumer and developing trust. Don’t underestimate the power of good story telling. Stories entertain, enlighten and are there to be shared, compared to stale facts and figures.

Marketing activities that demonstrate your brand story is authentic

It’s important that you undertake marketing activities that bring your brand story to life – that show your brand story is authentic. For example, if you are positioning yourself as an expert in a particular field, then write thought-leading articles and blogs on the topic continually year in year out.  

For Bainbridge Technologies, we positioned their company as 12v power systems experts through thought-leading content that entertained and more importantly, educated. Negotiating a regular 12v column in 4WD Action, Bainbridge Technologies were able to share their industry knowledge and expertise, building trust and respect in their brand and cementing their place as 12v experts in the leisure market. 

  1. Creative content that captures your attention.

The power of well written, creative content shouldn’t be underestimated. In an era where everyone thinks they are a word smith, it’s important to understand that different writing styles are required for different content formats. Good content that is thought-provoking and engaging, can capture the attention of your target market, tell your brand story effectively and encourage people to take action over time.

Through your content, your business can become a thought-leader, showcasing your expertise, while gaining the trust of your customers. 

Many writers can learn different styles of writing, but from experience, they always seem to have strength in one particular style.

For PR writers, their ultimate objective is to influence an audience through lead-generating content and great story-telling, starting with the most newsworthy information. This writing style requires them to come up with different newsworthy angles that are tailored to the target market, in an endeavour of getting the most exposure. A PR professional understands and forms good relationships with media outlets and knows what stories will fly and what will crash and burn. They need to create content that generates a buzz, excitement and interest in your business, breaking through the newsroom noise to gain prime place in the faced-paced news feed.

Marketing writers tend to start their story talking to either a need, fear or aspirational interest of the audience.  They will give their readers helpful information to assist them in their decision process. They will illustrate how a company can provide a solution to address the initial need, fear or aspiration.   They are more prone to using different call to actions, compared to PR writers.

Technical writers who write capability documents have a more corporate style and follow a particular copy structure with their writing. This includes, introducing the organisation and explaining what their capabilities are, their management structure, risk insurances, accreditations and so on.

  1. Good execution

Improving your lead-generation and enhancing awareness of your business’s brand in the marketplace, involves a well-executed marketing plan. This starts with having the right resources with the right skill set- working on the relevant job. 

A good marketer is firstly driven by your business’ objectives and can develop the right combination of strategies and activities to support them. They are trained in marketing systems that deliver better results and look carefully at what can add value or interest amongst your audience. 

But a poorly executed marketing plan can be detrimental to the long-term growth of your business and reputation. Some examples include:

  • When businesses rely solely on media releases to achieve sales and results or assign a sales manager to write the copy. A sales manager has a different skill set to a PR professional and tend to write about product features, rather than focus on how the product will enhance or benefit the end-consumer. They may be successful in getting coverage, but by not engaging with your audience, you won’t get traction, negatively affecting your brand. Readers want content that will add value to their lives, entertain them and inspire them. The ultimate objective of PR is to influence an audience through lead-generating content and great story-telling. It builds your brand’s visibility, increases your exposure and connects to a wider audience. Content needs to engage your audience and encourage them to act.
  • Websites built on the cheap, can be slow to load and difficult for people to find. As people today are more time-poor than ever, they will get frustrated and leave. Investing in a professionally designed website will ensure that it is easy to navigate, interactive and modern, helping to increase the profile of the business. It will also feature specialised content that resonates with your audience. 
  • Poorly executed social media: In today’s fast-paced, digitally-driven world, a business’s online presence is more important than ever. Social media has become so imbedded in our everyday lives, both personally and professionally. It’s important that your social media channels speak to your audience, featuring content and topics that are relevant to them in order for them to like, comment or share your posts
  1. Why your marketing needs to be measured.

Measuring your marketing campaigns is essential for any business, as it allows you to look at what works and what doesn’t work, encouraging you to make continuous improvements that will ultimately deliver better results.

It’s also a great way to measure the quality of your leads so that you can direct your marketing dollars to the most effective campaigns.

For example, by measuring your social media channels (Facebook and Instagram), you have the ability to refine the content of you posts if you find your engagement is low, this improves your investment and results and also grows your online community.  

But the challenge lies in knowing what metric to use for each marketing activity. Metrics tell a detailed story of all your marketing efforts, your successes and where you can improve. You can also identify what are your most effective channels, how much they are generating and where you may want to reroute funds.

As a business owner, you’ll always want marketers to be measured against sales and growth. And in the medium and long-term or in marketing campaigns this is valid – but for many marketing activities it is not.

Here are some examples of measurements:

Control

Metrics

Growth

Number of new customers + source

Increase in revenue

Phone enquiries

Number of enquiries (and source of enquiries)

Website traffic and engagement

Unique sessions per month

Average pages viewed / per session 

Average time on webpage / per session

Facebook engagement

Fans growth | engagement %

Customer Lifetime Value

How often they spend and how long they remain a customer

Cost per lead

Looks at leads generated by your campaigns

Google AdWords

Click to call phone leads or website form leads

  1. Robust Systems and Success Planning

A successful marketing team will have a robust marketing system that includes:

  • Marketing Plan, Calendar of Activities, Budget and Metrics
  • Processes on the steps to following when undertaking key activities
  • Sign-off processes to ensure content is reviewed, refined and approved
  • Regular team meetings to ensure people are focused on the right activities and can get assistance or support if required
  • Training and encouragement to support the team so they are continuing to make improvements to their skills and the marketing.

Life is continually changing, and staff can come and go all the time. This is why it’s important to have a good succession plan in place. A succession plan will clearly document the inner workings of your marketing team, illustrating what works and what doesn’t and how marketing practices are best executed.

Examples of processes

For example, when it comes to our social media processes for each client, we cover the following things in our plan:

  • Content topics and the frequency of posts
  • Language the audience preferences
  • How to manage the page
  • Weekly checklists to follow
  • How to optimise client Facebook ads
  • Does and don’ts
  • Sources of good content

For clients where we handle their crisis management, we build a crisis management system into our marketing with a process and templated communications as a starting point. Every time there is an issue, we continue to build and expand on this as we deal with each new issue.

No matter your level of skill, it’s essential for our professional growth, that we continue to learn and upskill. Also by sharing our new learnings with our fellow team members, allows us as a business to strengthen and broaden our marketing capabilities. At Sustainable Marketing Services, when a team member learns something new, we document it and share those learnings. 

Finally, by continually evolving, improving and innovating your marketing, you are able to stay ahead of your competitors and become thought-leaders in your industry. Due to the marketplace continually changing and becoming more digitally driven, it’s vital for the long-term sustainability of your business, that you structure your organization with the right marketing resources and skill sets, have a good marketing plan and execute well, so that you achieve high performance marketing, that delivers results.

Sustainable Marketing Services is a multi-award winning, strategically-lead Brisbane marketing and public relations company. Company Director, Maria Anderson and her team of professionals use their industry know-how, to deliver practical, reliable and results-orientated integrated marketing and public relations strategies for growing organisations.

We have a proven track record helping to market businesses and organisations locally and across Australia, elevating the profile of their brands, generating leads and sales; and helping to retain existing customers.

For example, CTEK, targets 4WDers who like to go camping.  With this in mind, we created a case study featuring “Brenno’s Ultimate Never-Fail 12V System”. We promoted it on 4WD blogs and Facebook pages, achieving 71,200 blog views.

Sustainable Marketing Services can develop marketing, public relations, digital marketing and social media tailored for your organisation.

Meet us for coffee, we're happy to share our knowledge and understand how we can market your business for success.

Contact us on 1300 699 085 or email us at now for a complimentary meeting.

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Feel free to give us a call on 07 3821 3939 or email us to discuss your project and how we can help you.

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About Us

A Brisbane marketing agency that achieves more.

Sustainable Marketing Services (Australia) Pty Ltd is a multi-award winning, strategically-led Brisbane marketing and public relations services company.

We use our know-how to deliver practical, reliable and results-orientated integrated marketing and public relations strategies for growing businesses in Australia and internationally.

Informed thinking. Practical marketing. Reliable results.

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