I might have to admit to myself that marketing is my passion. I’ve had marketing in the focus of my studies, focus of my jobs, but I never wanted to openly admit that I love it! Finally I realised why I keep on distancing myself from marketing. I am angry at it, at marketing agencies and some professionals, for not using the potential to maximise benefit for our sustainable future. It’s just all about money, and that is just short-sighted. Instead, should marketing save the planet?
Marketing to me was always a bit unethical, there is a premise of constant sales that confronts my ethical compass.
In its very own definition, marketing creates exchange, finds customers, develops products and services and makes the big global market grow, grow, grow.
Well, you might think, what the hell is wrong with that? We want to grow, to succeed, to earn more money. Yes, I agree, but what hurts my gut is that I instinctively know: growth on our planet is not sustainable in most cases. By growing, and growing rapidly, we use our planets (even beyond, our space is not left alone either) resources. We haven’t been efficient at renewing them and keeping our backyard clean after the job is done. It comes down to making more and more and more stuff. We dump the stuff. There are consequences.
So, in my own troubled view, marketing, which I love, helps destroy another thing I love – the Earth. Marketing is a tool! When marketing gets to wrong or just irresponsible hands, bad things happen.
Social Responsibility Just for Bragging
We start believing we need all that plastic in our lives. We start to believe mothers’ milk is not so good for babies. Suddenly, we need to buy a silly tool to help us put our socks on. Some marketing experts help those ideas come to life. However, without really caring about the consequences and probably disregarding their own moral compass. Because it is normal to sell things. It is normal to use knowledge about marketing for any purpose. It is normal to market, market, market without many filters or criteria.
Now, I remember writing an essay about companies being socially responsible. I was supposed to debate on the dilemma: for or against social responsibility while doing business. But right at the start, I found that it is hard to say who is socially responsible. No company or individual should partially integrate social responsibility. They should not use it as another marketing stunt. So what I am saying is you cannot be a little bit socially responsible. It’s just wrong to help a charity or two, and then go ahead and destroy nature with your bad production process.
Should Marketing Save the Planet?
There is a huge potential in the marketing of now, of the future.
Marketing can be the main game changer towards reaching sustainable development. It can provide us with any chance of saving our home, our Earth.
This is the kind of marketing I want to be a part of. I feel proud to have my goose bumps about this one. Should marketing save the planet? Yes, it should!
Marketing of now and the future will work hard on correcting all those wrongs incurred by improper use of it through ages before. It needs to promote clean technologies, volunteering. Also, promote the idea to pay more for cleaner product so people wouldn’t lose jobs. Productions could shift their ways from dirty to clean. We could buy the no packaging soap-shampoo instead of bottled one, clean that beach, recycle.
Not only that this type of marketing will help push new generation of clean products and services, it will have a role in promoting education. It can promote change of career paths to get more people in service and soft skills industries. It will help promote and finance scientific research. In the end it will set new standards, new culture of doing business. Doing business in a socially irresponsible way should become inappropriate.
The day needs to come, where marketing experts and marketing agencies decline jobs that have the bad influence on our communities and pick only ones which do the opposite. We need more of these kinds of pioneers.
We must not forget, even human rights and political change are greatly directed by marketing skills and marketing investments. Those who push their agenda are making these investments. It is extremely important that we contribute to human rights protection, environment protection, diversity, and peace through marketing. We must demand that marketing implementers abide by this moral compasses. If you are a marketer, please use your marketing skills to save the planet.
About the Author
Sanja Ivandic is one of the Co-Founders of Outside Multicultural Magazine. Sanja relocated to Ireland from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Inspired by the Sligo Intercultural Project she managed for a while, as well as her work in various NGOs such as LEDA and World Vision, this Magazine was born.
Sanja wrote for several magazines, enjoys every form of writing, be it poems, case studies or prose. Her special skills lie in marketing. Currently she is an Employment Advisor. You can get in touch with Sanja by emailing her on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanja’s words on multiculturalism: “Multiculturalism for me is a synonym for humanity. Being diverse and similar at the same time is who we are and we must never forget it. Remembering this evokes respect, love, and peace, so we must keep reminding ourselves about the word multicultural”.