It’s all about increasing the efficiency of your assets — rather than just adding more stuff to a stack to feel like you are keeping pace. When it comes to both effectiveness and sustainability, less is more.
Sustainability in marketing is, almost ironically, an evergreen topic. Every
brand, agency and marketer should be thinking about the environment and how our
industry is impacting it.
Recent Kantar research
that 90 percent of marketers believe sustainability agendas must be more
ambitious, with a further 94 percent saying marketers have to act more bravely
and experiment to drive transformative change.
But thinking is one thing. Doing is another thing entirely.
Roughly 40 percent of
are still taking their first steps towards developing more sustainable marketing
practices. And you can understand why — these are challenging times; it’s easy
for sustainability to slip down the priority list.
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But the reality remains that marketers wholeheartedly want to be as effective
as possible. They want to achieve zero-waste budgets. But zero waste must
refer to environmental waste as much as financial waste.
The bottom line
The media landscape has fragmented — audiences now exist across its many
glimmering shards, dynamically shifting from channel to channel throughout the
day. Having more channels means there are more chances to deliver your message,
but it also increases the risk of your message completely missing its intended
When ads fail to land, they don’t just waste the budget. Unnoticed digital ads
saturate the landscape — consuming valuable resources, draining server capacity
and increasing the size of a business’s carbon
The CO2 emissions from online advertising alone account for a whopping 10
percent of the internet’s total infrastructure emissions. Multiply that waste by
factoring in all the communications a typical business creates beyond
advertising, and it’s clear that a major problem exists.
But the effects of the media landscape’s growing complexity are twofold. First,
you have a proliferation of channels; then, you have the explosion of marketing
tools and solutions that help brands reach consumers across the rapidly evolving
Now, brand marketers are grappling with the challenge of navigating an array of
disparate systems. On average, they juggle six different platforms — most of
which lack integration and compatibility. This fragmentation not only impedes
efficiency but also hampers effective waste-management strategies. And as more
platforms emerge, levels of waste are only set to increase.
More complexity. More competition. More pressure. More emissions. More wastage.
So, how can brands effectively become more sustainable while keeping pace with
an evolving media landscape?
Out of sight, but not out of mind
Every year, the digital waste of unseen ads emit as much carbon as the global
This huge number shows how important it is to fix the damage that digital
advertising is doing to the environment. With this knowledge, brands and
marketers have a responsibility to tackle this problem head on.
But to close the gap, our industry needs to proactively work together.
Tech is changing fast; and concurrently, environmental concerns are growing.
Developing collective, sustainable advertising practices is the only way to
significantly curtail the impact of digital advertising on the environment.
Businesses have multiple partners, stakeholders, agencies, markets, departments.
They can evolve or be acquired. The list goes on and on. And consequently, many
organizations are over-encumbered with systems and processes that are
It’s all about increasing the efficiency of the assets you have — rather than
just adding more stuff to a stack to feel like you are keeping pace. When it
comes to both effectiveness and sustainability, less is more.
In fact, our recent commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting
revealed that effective implementation of this approach within a company’s
marketing ecosystem leads to positive outcomes. When tools are used to their
maximum efficiency, 59 percent of respondents reported increased company
revenue; and 48 percent reported a more efficient use of their time.
Brands should focus on holistic strategies that bring together content, ads and
audiences seamlessly. Establishing connections between these elements serves to
minimize wastage and enhance overall campaign effectiveness. This strategic
approach not only benefits the environment but also streamlines efforts and
amplifies returns on investment for marketers.
Sustainability may feel like an evergreen topic. But we are up against the
clock. The planet depends on the choices businesses make together — which is why
brands must ensure their technology makes marketing work for them, their
consumers and the environment.