image of a chalkboard highlighting people, planet and profit = sustainability

Sustainable Marketing – What Entrepreneurs Should Know

In the world of business, new marketing techniques continue to surface. Some end up being game-changers, while others become less important in the business industry.

As a business owner/investor, you should always find the means to connect with your clients and customers differently. Apply great techniques that tell your buyers that they are essential to your business.

Remember that in business, it’s all about staying connected to the market and identifying differentiators from your competitors. Using a method like sustainable marketing is an excellent way to prove your dedicated efforts to our society (if/once you do practice sustainability in your business).

What is Sustainable Marketing?

“The concept of sustainable marketing holds that an organization should meet the needs of its present consumers without compromising the ability of future generations to fulfill their own needs.” – Philip Kotler

Investors are finding ways to lead consumers through the market journey to the point of sale without ruining the relationship between the brands and potential customers. Because ethics plays a crucial role in sustainability, every entrepreneur should build marketing campaigns, putting the consumer, society, and nature into consideration.

The choices everyone makes can affect future generations, and if no one takes action now, the planet will be in ruins. It is everybody’s responsibility to ensure that the future generation will have a reason to live.

Why Does Sustainability Matter?

For starters, statistics show that 63% of consumers prefer buying from purpose-driven brands. Also, 62% of consumers want organizations to stand on cultural, political, environmental, and social issues (Source: Marketing Dive).

As a business person who cares about the community, we have an opportunity to be on the frontline to practice sustainability in all areas. There are 3 pillars of sustainability, informally referred to as people, planet and profits, that may help you understand the true importance of sustainability in the workplace.

1. The Social Pillar (People)
This pillar is often overlooked, as sustainable discussions often focus more on the environmental and economic pillars. The social pillar refers to systems, structures and relationships; with the ultimate goal of wellbeing and providing a good quality of life by understanding what people need.

Examples of social sustainability include:

  • Ensuring that you treat your employees right. Retention and engagement strategies are common here.
  • Diversity, equity, work-life balance, safety, human rights, etc.
  • Community engagement such as fundraising, donating, volunteering for or supporting sustainable causes.

Simply put, lack of social sustainability in an organization is a risk to the quality of both a brand and product.

2. The Environmental Pillar (Planet)
Environmental sustainability focuses on reducing the environmental impact. This can be done through processes, systems and/or activities within an organization’s facilities, products and operations.

Many companies are finding that when they positively impact the environment, there is a clear financial benefit.

Examples of environmental sustainability include:

  • Reducing carbon footprints
  • Reducing packaging waste
  • Reducing water usage, etc.


3. The Economic Pillar
(Profit)
“Economic sustainability refers to practices that support long-term economic growth without negatively impacting social, environmental, and cultural aspects of the community” (Source: University of Mary Washington) and attempts to satisfy the needs of humans in a way that sustains resources (human and material). Ultimately, we need to manage resources so they will not be depleted and will be available for future generations.

The Do’s and Don’ts When Practicing Sustainability

There are a few things to keep in mind as you continue to practice sustainability in your business…

The Do’s

  • Educate
    We believe in this one, 100%. Share your journey AND teach your consumers what you do, how you do it, and why you do it, and what it all means to you and your company. Take a storytelling approach – it can be a great way to communicate and resonate with your audience.
  • Be authentic and transparent
    It’s generally easy to tell when a company is not authentic in their sustainability initiatives and communication. Sustainability is NOT something to force – it has to be a true value of yours for the dedication and motivation to flourish. When it’s authentic, sharing it with the world is seamless.
  • Be proactive
    Instilling a conscious and continuous effort to evaluate and improve your business practices will show! A proactive approach (that directly affects your business and its stakeholders) will boost your competitive advantage and set you apart from your competition.
  • Add sustainability to your culture
    Be on the front line to integrate sustainability into your culture. Define and communicate your initiatives, goals and purpose effectively and consistently with your entire team/company. Then, welcome feedback and suggestions from the team – enable the conversation!


The Don’ts

It’s exciting to get started on this journey, but it’s important to understand what not to do when implementing sustainability into the workplace. Avoid doing the following…

  • Never put yourself into debt
    Remember that you are in business, and apart from saving the planet, you need to keep your company above water. Therefore, do what you can. You can always adjust. Start little and make changes as your business grows.
  • Never shy away from your work
    By committing to practice sustainability, you are aiming for greatness. Don’t be afraid to step up and share your story or your policies. Don’t fall into “green blushing”; inform your audience of your achievements and intentions and welcome it to become a marketing opportunity for your business. Keep it authentic and people will notice.
  • Don’t practice greenwashing
    As an investor, it will be best if you watch your practices. Don’t spend more time and money to market your organization as nature friendly without minimizing your company’s impact on nature. You may be deceiving your society and misleading consumers. (As mentioned above, it can be easy to tell when sustainable practices and communication is not authentic.)Consumers who prefer buying eco-friendly products from companies will be disappointed in your company once they realize your schemes. Be sincere to yourself and your market. Don’t deceive to sell.


Benefits and Advantages of Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable marketing brings many positive outcomes to the industry. Including the following:

  • Positively affects the health of society.
  • Consumers can benefit from the economic bottom line.
  • Positively impacts future generations.
  • Attracts and retains employees and investors.
  • Increases the company’s ability to observe regulations.
  • Reduces company costs and improves productivity.
  • Improves financial and investment opportunities. U.S Sustainable, Responsible & Impact Investing Trends states that the market made one-fifth of all assets under professional management in 2016.
  • Adds a competitive advantage to businesses and improves brand image. Study shows that 58% of consumers consider a business’s environmental impact.
  • Makes stockholders happy because it increases profits. According to a study by Deutsche Bank, businesses with high ratings in social, governance, and natural factors outperform the market both medium and long terms.


Conclusion

Recently, the business industry has been keen on protecting future generations by practicing sustainable marketing. Is your company using this marketing technique or are you ready to make the change?!

earth graphic with sustainable buildings

3 Ways To Incorporate CSR Into Your Marketing: Step 1 Of Our Marketing Formula For Business Results

This is webinar number 2 in our 5-part webinar series on delivering Our Marketing Formula for Business Results.

Join Us: Wednesday, November 18th, 11:00am EST
Where: You will receive the Zoom URL after you fill out the form below

During this webinar, Carrie Mayo, our Founder and Creative Director will dive deep into how to establish a strong corporate social responsibility commitment with your team and how to position that as your marketing differentiator.

There is an emphasis on engaging with employees because they are the eyes, ears and voice of your business. A strong team (who is dedicated) to work toward the powerful sustainable purpose that you identify, ultimately acts as your brand ambassadors.

Join us on November 18th at 11:00am EST as Carrie walks you through our proven approach and recommendations for getting started in generating business results from our marketing formula.

Special Offering: All attendees qualify for a FREE 1-hour Marketing Strategy Session with Carrie

In this webinar, we'll dive deep into the 4 steps to establish a strong corporate social responsibility commitment:

{Branding}
Make CSR part of your DNA.
{Responsible Sourcing}
Focus on causes that align with your business.
{Culture & Employee Retention}
Engage with employees.
{Marketing}
Get the word out!

Fill out the form to register for our webinar!

MAYO Webinar: Our Marketing Formula For Business Results

marketing formula

Learn to leverage the digital landscape with our 4 step process!

Watch the recording!

In this 1 hour workshop, participants got real world advice from our owner on what it takes to make marketing truly work!

We documented our tactics for the most effective marketing strategies to create value and build long lasting customer relationships.

This webinar consistently focused on how to infuse the 'Know,' 'Like,' and 'Trust' factors into marketing to be consistent with everything you do… and identify opportunities for potential growth directions, centered around customers, competition, and the company’s own capabilities and presence.

During this webinar, we dove deep into the four steps you need to take to effectively leverage the digital landscape and generate business results:

CSR & Sustainability
Branding
Web Design & Development
Marketing & Business Development

Fill out the form to register for our webinar!

The Ease Of Using Eco-Friendly Products

Creating a sustainable future for generations to come may seem like a daunting task, but everyday it’s getting easier to make environmentally conscious decisions.

As we learn more about how the environment is being negatively impacted by certain behaviors, we are coming up with new eco-friendly ideas and sustainable products. With large markets and growing demand for environmentally conscious products, it can be confusing what brands to trust or even where to start looking.

I want you to know that it’s ok to start off slow and transition one common product at a time to something more sustainable. I am the first one to tell you that becoming more environmentally conscious is a life-style, and lifestyle changes take time. It’s also important to note that you should first use up your current products before purchasing new alternatives. Once you run out of a product, the next one can be a switch. With that said, let’s look at some products that we typically use in everyday routines.

Let us start in the kitchen. What do you do with your kitchen scraps? Did you know you can enrich your garden soil and reduce trash at the same time? Composting is when you throw scraps of food such as unused fruit and veggie peels or egg-shells into a container to decompose in a controlled way. The scraps break down and can be mixed with your soil to enrich it and help your plants thrive. While you’re out in your garden or wherever you may get thirsty, invest in a reusable water bottle instead of grabbing a plastic water bottle. A reusable water bottle isn’t just a trend but also a smart move as it will reduce the number of plastic bottles you spend money on – saving the Earth and your wallet.

There are so many items that can be used as more enviro friendly in the kitchen. Next time you need to resupply household essentials such as cleaning supplies or food preservation items, look into sustainable alternatives. Beyond is a brand of natural cleaning products such as dishwashing detergent, multi-purpose cleaner, dryer sheets, and more. Another great sustainable product that is worth looking into is beeswax food wraps. Beeswax food wraps are reusable, washable, sheets made from a cotton fabric with food-grade beeswax, again saving your money too.

Although these are amazing alternatives and I have many more products to recommend, I do want to take a minute to say that certain shipping materials such as plastics are not eco-friendly. Doesn’t that kind contradict this whole idea of purchasing sustainable products for the health of the world? Amazon is aware of their impact and they are here to help. Here’s how to shop online and stay environmentally friendly:

  • Open your Amazon account
  • Navigate to the customer service tab
  • Click on the ‘Contact Us’ option
  • Click on the ‘Chat’ option
  • Once connected, request any and all future orders to be plastic-free, to be packed with minimal packaging, and when necessary to only use degradable packing materials such as paper.
  • The chat assistant will save these settings for all future orders for your account.

 
Products and packing are not the only ways Amazon is helping to create a sustainable future; they have several other sustainability programs and they highlight green products that could help you save energy at home.

Off-Grid Living

Written by Carrie Mayo (owner and creative director of MAYO Designs)

For those of you who don’t know, 10 months ago I sold my house and began living in my van. Long story short, I was on the road for 6 months, traveling across the US exploring beautiful places, meeting amazing people, and learning a ton!

Fast forward to today, and I still live in my van, on a piece of land that I bought on a beautiful pond in Maine.

Looking back even 2 years ago, the commitment that I have to our environment has grown significantly. I have been super mindful about the products I purchase since I moved on to my property because it’s become even more obvious to me the waste that I’m creating.

At this point, I would say that I am (about) 95% off the grid (I am still buying groceries, propane, and gas). My ultimate goal is to minimize my footprint and reduce the amount of waste that I generate.

Here’s what I’ve done on my property so far to make it my new home…

  • I installed a mailbox (on the main road which is 0.5 mile from my property)
  • I have a 6×5 shack to store my belongings (which I’m going to fix up with new siding…I bought an old icehouse that my neighbor had)
  • I have a well and I now have fresh water!!!
  • I bought a 3 bay stainless steel sink to do my dishes and laundry
  • I have a washboard and a laundry wringer hand crank
  • I have hung a clothesline
  • I have the cutest chicken coop and 3 chickens…I even put an addition on their house!
  • I have 2 solar panels to power and outdoor office space
  • I have an outdoor shower with an instant hot water heater powered by propane
  • I started to make an outdoor kitchen for my 2 burner stove and small grill held up on a table with tree stumps legs
  • I bought a 13×13 army tent that is shaped like an octagon so I can have guests camp out and also use it to store my gear

I am currently working on an application for a building permit. I intend to build a 600 square ft. off-the-grid house this year. Let the next adventures continue! =)

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Marketing Your Green Initiatives

One of the biggest trends in 21st century business is a pivot towards green business practices, from sustainable production and ethical sourcing to offsetting carbon production. While there’s argument as to whether going green will rectify the damage done to the environment since the Industrial Revolution, people are realizing that something has to change on every level, from personal consumption to businesses and governments.

In addition to helping keep humanity alive, shifting to sustainable business practices can also lead to significant marketing wins. But it’s not as easy as slapping a recycling logo on a trash can. Customers expect companies to materially commit to improving the environment, and will deeply scrutinize your efforts. A 2019 study by Hotwire found that 47% of respondents had cut ties with a brand after it violated one of their personal values, and on the list of those values protecting the environment came in #1.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you bring your company into the new green age. Taken from personal experiences and case studies of dozens of firms that successfully implemented environmentally responsible policies, these simple guidelines can form the base of your transition plan.

The Do’s

DO make sustainability a key tenet of your corporate identity. At every point on your supply and production chain, ensure that ethical sourcing, responsible waste management and respectful use of natural resources are key drivers of decisions. Integrating these practices closely into your normal business flow will help them feel natural.

DO task a “green team” with learning about and communicating these measures both inside and outside the company. Raising awareness of how your organization is embracing going green will not only deliver good PR but also keep your efforts honest. A dedicated group of staff to manage these communications will keep messaging clear and cohesive.

DO keep your audience informed on your company’s push towards sustainable business practices. Instead of generic platitudes, use this as an opportunity to tell your personal story, being transparent about environmental impacts and how you work to reduce them. Making them feel like part of the effort will give them a feeling of connectedness and ownership.

DO opt for green marketing using digital methods. One of the ways nearly every company can reduce their environmental footprint is eschewing the use of physical media for marketing. Instead of brochures, stickers, flyers and signs, communicate through email marketing, social media and other paper and plastic-free paths.

DO seek certification from a reputable green business authority to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. Multiple groups offer third-party recognition of companies looking to adhere to strict environmental standards. One of note is the Green Business Bureau. This globally recognized self-certification program works across multiple levels to recognize improvements and build a pathway to environmental citizenship and stewardship.

The Don’ts

DON’T “greenwash.” Customers can easily see through PR initiatives that use environmental responsibility as a cover story. Every action that your company takes as part of its green initiative should have a documented benefit to the environment, not just be used for making you look good.

DON’T make false claims. Launching an environmental initiative will put your company under scrutiny, and it only takes one enterprising reporter to find out that your much-lauded pivot to sustainability is just a greenwash. Carefully document and be ready to back up every step you take.

DON’T use your green business practices as a way to denigrate your competition or other companies. Healing the environment is a collaborative mission that will take the united effort of the entire planet to accomplish. Tearing down the other guys doesn’t help you project that message and could alienate customers.

DON’T try to transform your company overnight. Real change requires careful planning and evaluation. Bringing your organization in line with environmentally sound practices should be done in stages, so you can evaluate the internal response, bring stragglers on board and adapt your process for the next round.

Of course, just reading a list of do’s and don’ts isn’t going to be enough to set your company on the right path. We encourage you to join our webinar on July 22nd where we’ll delve deeper into each of these points, delivering real-world examples and actionable solutions to help you craft the perfect plan of action to create and market your green initiatives. To register, click here.

MAYO Designs Hits 20 Years In Business

We’ve hit 20 years in business! 

Where do we even begin when it comes to reflecting on the last two decades?
Let’s start with you… 

1) Our Clients – We would not be here if it weren’t for you. Thank you for working with us – whether you are new to our family or have been with us from the very start, we appreciate the relationship that we’ve built with you.

2) Our Team – For the first 10 or so years, Carrie did everything: design, management, coding, support, billing, etc. Now, we operate with a team of six full-time employees in addition to support teams we’ve accrued through our network.

3) Our Niche – We went from delivering services to just about anyone to serving a community of businesses who have a greater purpose. We are proud to work with you because of your impact on the community around you.

4) Our Commitment – After redefining our niche, we also made the commitment to increasing awareness and educating the public on social, environmental and economical sustainable brands and companies that make better happen.

5) Our Work Environment – MAYO Designs started out in a small office in York, ME. In 2015, when a new partnership was developed, MAYO moved to a shared space in Portsmouth, NH. Since Carrie has instilled balance into our lives, we also work from home two days a week. (Since COVID-19 hit, however, we’ve been 100% remote.)

20 Year Reflection by Founder & Creative Director, Carrie Mayo

6) Our Education – The marketing, management and digital spaces are always evolving and our team knows it. We each have a passion to continue to learn, grow and refine skills. On any given day, Carrie has herself enrolled in a new course or leadership program. These opportunities have given our team valuable insights and kept our services on the edge of technology (if we do say so ourselves).

7) Our Events – Beginning in 2018, we started to host events, not for our clients but for ourselves! We’ve put on a Sustainable Environment Summit, three beach clean ups and have hosted service day events. We also now host regular webinars – sharing insights and best practices from our team to yours.

8) Our Team Mentality – If you haven’t guessed it already, we all LOVE what we do and who we do it with. Our team is made up of individuals who support one another inside and outside of work. This has only grown as we add new team members.

9) Our Growth as Superheroes – Since each of us started with the company, we were tasked to choose a superhero that best resembles who we are. (We’ve even marked Thursdays as a day we collectively wear our respective superhero shirts.) Thanks to Carrie’s leadership, all of us on Team MAYO are encouraged to continue growing personally and professionally, enhancing our abilities as a team of superheroes.

10) Our Celebrations – Looking back on the last 20 years, MAYO Designs has had a lot of accomplishments. Today we cheers each other from afar while we paddle around York in kayaks.