Do you have a purpose beyond profit and need help with marketing? If the answer is yes, then a sustainable marketing agency could be just what you need. First of all, let’s dive into what sustainability actually is and how this can be incorporated into sustainable marketing 

What is sustainability? 

The Brundtland Report defines sustainability as: ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. It’s divided into three core categories – social, economic and environmental – so it’s broader than you might think. In a company setting, this might look like promoting a socially-conscious message, using low carbon practices or paying your workers fairly across your supply chain. Sustainable marketing taps into these three elements. 

Assess whether your company values align with theirs 

When looking for a sustainable digital marketing agency, it’s important to make sure you are both on the same page. You could ask them to give examples of how they as a company promote sustainability or the type of sustainable marketing campaigns they’ve worked on. Either way, having an open conversation is a great starting point and can help you identify particular areas of focus within the sustainability sphere. 

Look at the campaigns they have worked on 

From charity campaigns to shaking up change in a particular industry, there are loads of cool ways to collaborate with a sustainable marketing agency. Have a look at past campaigns or ask to view a portfolio of work to see whether previous campaigns resonate with your company and what you’re trying to achieve as a company. Remember to ask for examples across a range of options like PR and social media to get a full picture. 

Assess whether they are well-matched to your industry 

Whether you’re in renewable energy, recycling or simply have a stand-out sustainability USP in your industry, it’s worth choosing an agency with marketing experience in your field. If they don’t, that’s also ok, so long as they are willing to get to know your business and its industry right to the core, while applying their knowledge of suitability simultaneously. This will help with extracting the right do-good messages and marketing them to the right people. 

Check if they understand greenwashing  

If a company wants to provide a truly tailored sustainable marketing plan, they’ll take the time to understand your business and what you’re wanting to achieve. A sustainable marketing agency will be diligent about greenwashing and not misleading consumers with ‘green marketing’, so take comfort in the fact that they are wanting to get to grips with your mission. If an agency is being vague about sustainability, with little interest in bringing up conversations in this area, they may not be the best match. 

Find out how the agency promotes sustainability internally  

Practice what you preach – it’s an important mantra to stand by and it applies in this instance more than ever. Knowing whether a company encourages sustainable practices internally may not always be obvious from a company’s website, but you can always ask the question while enquiring. Promoting working from home or having a workforce that engages with sustainability-related interests, be it second-hand shopping or volunteering are all great examples.  

Look at their current client base  

Do you align yourself with the values of their client base? Checking whether you agree with the industries covered with is a good start. They may not always be part of the most glamorous industries – after all, the likes of waste and recycling don’t exactly scream glamour – but this shouldn’t matter if there is a strong purpose. If a sustainable marketing agency preaches sustainability while working with a client in the oil industry for example, they’re unlikely to be a good match.