Our 2023 Global Marketing Trends report explores how successful marketers use internal sustainability investments to help drive growth in their organizations. In part two of this four-part series, Deloitte Digital leaders share actions marketers can take to embrace this trend. 

1. Use data to inform meaningful change

“How should marketers evaluate the role of sustainability? They should ask themselves, what is sustainability’s role in driving brand awareness, preference, and favorability—those upper-funnel KPIs? What is sustainability’s role in driving digital behaviors, and what are consumers drawn to? Further, how are we tracking the progress and impact of our sustainability efforts? Sustainability plays a role across your entire business—customer journey, marketing, operations, practices, and roadmapping. There’s a tendency to want to put it in its own category when, in fact, it should be a layer through which you look at everything—a new lens.”   

 – Jen Watts Welsh, senior manager, Brand Strategy and Marketing, Deloitte Digital

Take action

Review your existing KPIs to see where your sustainability objectives overlap, and identify areas where sustainability is having an outsize impact, or where it could potentially help benefit your organization. Once you have identified focus areas, challenge yourself to prioritize sustainability in your roadmap. Measurement is crucial to finding opportunities to drive impact because it allows you to see where progress is being made and where more efforts are needed.
Explore how our practice can help you set sustainability benchmarks and pull actionable insights from your data.

2. Look for opportunities that deliver on sustainability goals and benefit the bottom line

“Given current economic conditions, CMOs must be equipped to show that sustainability is a business imperative and will contribute to the bottom line. How can marketers do that? Let’s say a company offers consumers a 20%-off coupon on their next purchase if they recycle their old or broken item. The company is doing good for the planet by recycling the product, and at the same time, it’s building a relationship with the consumer that aligns with their values. In the end, the company is also monetizing the interaction. So, this is not an either/or question—CMOs can do both. You can help your bottom line from a business standpoint and support and deliver on your sustainability commitments.”

– Ahmed Elshinnawy, senior manager, Advertising, Marketing, and Commerce, Deloitte Digital

Take action

Assess whether your business plan is taking advantage of sustainability opportunities that can deliver financial and social dividends. Can you recycle or use resale to extend your product's shelf life? Review your packaging and shipping policies to strive for zero waste and evaluate each of your options using the triple bottom line principle: people, profit, and the planet.
Not sure how to start building your organization’s net-zero roadmap? Learn how our practice can help you lead in a low-carbon future.

3. Your ideas don’t have to be perfect, but they do need to be backed by a clear strategy

“Between regulations and consumer demands for sustainability, marketers want to have their sustainability initiatives well-defined and underway before brands make certain promises. But it’s important to understand that it’s not just about branding, it’s about being strategic with where your brand can authentically behave in more sustainable ways. It may not come across in an ad campaign or message, but behind the scenes, your team may be considering sustainability in an activation or event. There are different moments along the customer journey that you can lean into—you don’t have to have everything perfect out of the gate.”

– Jen Watts Welsh, senior manager, Brand Strategy and Marketing, Deloitte Digital

Take Action

Sustainability is a complex topic that naturally touches on all aspects of an organization. Look at your sustainability strategy and determine if you’re hitting these touchpoints: company engagement, brand awareness, and consumer experience. Ensure that you’re communicating these intentions internally and externally with transparency and authenticity.

Discover how our practice can guide you through your sustainability activation planning.

Want more insights into our 2023 Global Marketing Trends and how you can take action within your organization? In part one of this series, Deloitte Digital leaders share practical steps for marketers to increase resiliency in economic uncertainty. Next up in part three, we’ll explore how marketers successfully use creativity as a growth driver. 

Related reading

Brands are doubling down on marketing investments despite economic instability.
CMOs are making sustainability and equity efforts part of their organization's DNA.
High-growth brands are using creativity as a solution for market obstacles.