How can your B2B tech marketing strategy go green?
It is often said that marketing has the power to change the world. As a marketer, do you want to change the world for the better?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a vital ingredient to a modern marketing strategy. In doing CSR, companies can contribute to philanthropic, charitable and activist goals, which in turn reflect their moral values.
A large part of CSR is environmental sustainability. Reflecting this value in your marketing is an approach that will boost your brand AND help make the world a better place.
As a marketer in B2B Tech or SaaS, you may not have a physical product line to prove sustainable, yet green marketing is still key.
Why? Recent research shows that in a digital age, 47% of internet users have stopped using products and services that do not share their personal values. The top value mentioned in this research was environmental protection.
In a 2020 report outlining research into consumer behaviour, 57% surveyed stated they are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce negative environmental impact.
Younger workers are an increasing proportion of consumers making decisions on behalf of their companies. They are a driving factor in this statistic and a reason your non-eco company could have an expiration date sooner than the Amazon Rainforest’s!
We better get started! Here are five ways you can do eco-conscious B2B SaaS marketing:
Have a green goal with milestones
Draw up an environmental sustainability statement that you can distribute amongst your employees and release to the public.
This will focus your environmental goals and make sure they are a component in your business strategy. Your clearly presented ‘vision’ of an ideal eco-friendly future will bring hope to prospects and trust that you will help fulfill this reality.
One way to show your strides towards achieving these goals, is transparency of just how much energy and waste you use as a business. If you volunteer information about your environmental impact, this proves you are serious about your eco-strategy. These quantities are a great way to measure how well you are achieving your goals.
IBM is a B2B software giant that claims it is the leader in corporate sustainability.
They make their support for climate change activism well-known to the public through press releases and reports. They published their official position on climate change in 2007 when they stated, “climate change is a serious concern that warrants meaningful action on a global basis.”
They constantly update the public on their own environmental impacts, whilst making an effort to decrease these each year.
A lot of IBM usage comes from data centres and large offices. Although you may not have a data centre, and maybe you rent a single floor in an office space for now, monitoring usage is a relatively easy but important task.
Making conscious efforts to reduce this usage will be appreciated by eco-conscious prospects when you include it in your marketing campaigns.
Not only will it appeal to this large audience, you help the environment by paying attention to your carbon footprint.
Make green alliances
Green alliances are collaborations with organisations such as government initiatives, investors, local community groups and other businesses. They help to add credibility to your environmental strategy, as consumers transfer their trust from an external organisation to yours.
Let’s take a look at IBM again. They claim that 11 of their storage systems are very energy efficient. Do you believe them?
Now look at this logo:
You might have seen this star on your dishwasher door. Perhaps you bought it knowing it would use less energy than competitors.
IBM has partnered with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY Star programme to add credibility to their energy saving claims. The 11 storage systems mentioned before are all ENERGY Star approved.
Now do you believe IBM more?
Forming an alliance such as this one verifies the credibility of their statements of intent. These are real world applications as opposed to vague goals with no actual impact. As a B2B Tech or SaaS company, alliances can add weight to your official statements, bringing them from the cloud to the ground.
Most importantly, you want to be seen as a “business that cares” because you are a business that cares! Alliances are a great way to keep your real environmental goals on track.
Get involved in the global green effort
Participating in global campaigns is another way for your marketing team to prove your company cares about the environment.
Earth Hour is an easy way to get involved in larger green efforts. It is an event that occurs once a year, encouraging individuals and businesses to switch off their electricity for one hour, in favour of the environment.
They have a page dedicated to ‘Ideas for Businesses’ to instruct you on how to participate in Earth Hour on behalf of your company.
Their suggestions include:
- Switching off the power in your office building. As we are working remotely, this could translate to encouraging your employees to turn off the power at home.
- Elect ‘Earth Hour champions’ as employees dedicated to pursuing Earth Hour efforts. They can make sure office appliances are turned off at the end of each day.
And as a marketer, the biggest part of Earth Hour is promotion of the event!
- Posting messages of advocacy on your social media channels or newsletter with #Connect2Earth and #EarthHour.
- Spreading the word about Earth Hour through posters, website banners or even in your email signature.
Participating in an event like Earth Hour will further position your B2B Tech company as one that actively supports environmental efforts. Again, this will appeal to customers who have similar values, and they might be further inclined to purchase your product!
Earth Hour 2021 will be on the 27th of March. Put it in your calendar!
Work with green companies
Working with businesses that offer environmental solutions is an effective way to show your support for the cause. In proving that your product works well with these kinds of efforts, you are presenting your B2B Tech company as an environmental ally.
Use case studies on your website to showcase these collaborations, with statistical evidence to prove that your product has boosted their success. Prospects will look more kindly towards your business, and will be able to align their green values with yours.
Remember, these collaborations should come from a genuine place. Whether it’s automating their newsletter or storing their data, you are contributing to their environmental efforts. Case study or none, you are helping to solve climate change!
Leverage your employees to go green
Including your employees in your sustainability efforts is crucial to being an eco-conscious company.
- Let them help guide your vision by making suggestions for your environmental statement
- Share tips of how they can decrease their personal environmental impact
- Tag them and feature them in your social media posts that promote your eco-conscious business decisions
Salesforce is another software giant that takes corporate social responsibility very seriously. They have dedicated communities of employees to different areas of practice, including Earthforce, their community for sustainability.
It’s important to maintain a careful balance between promoting good deeds and being humble. Excessively advertising your sustainable values can come across as ingenuine and can give a negative impression to the public.
- Having a green goal with milestones
- Making green alliances
- Getting involved in the global green effort
- Working with green companies
- And leveraging your employees to think green
But use these tactics with sincere good will, spread them across your different channels and use organic methods so that prospects find your values themselves. This will combat so-called ‘green washing’ that customers can see right through.
Environmental activist and scientist Jane Goodall once said,
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”
So, what difference do you want to make?
An eco-conscious marketing strategy is key in supporting the success of your marketing efforts. So, if you’re a B2B tech, software or SaaS company looking to make digital marketing channels work for you, get in touch.