The ESG impact on marketing

Helen Cox Marketing Consultant London Kent UKThings are changing in our modern world. More and more people are becoming aware of the environmental and social injustices surrounding us. Which is where the idea of ESG comes in.   

ESG stands for Environmental, Social, Governance. And it has its basis in social justice, ethical management techniques and environmental protection. 

So, I know what you are wondering, how does this impact marketing? This is something that I will be taking a bit of a closer look at during this blog post. 

Telling a story

ESG isn’t a new idea. It’s been around for a while now but businesses and clients are starting to cotton on. Building a better world for tomorrow is really starting to hit home. Especially with this year’s COP26 Summit – everyone is finally starting to wake up to its impact.

Many firms are now looking towards how they can tell their ESG story. But first, it starts with what matters to the firm in the first place and then incorporating ESG efforts into the business strategy and reporting.

Focusing marketing on your firm’s ESG efforts can help tell your story that in the long term could help with brand loyalty. As well as give you a competitive advantage over your rivals.

Start from the top

Before you start there are a couple of things to consider such as how your ESG initiatives line up with your brand values. There are many initiatives that you could be overwhelmed with. But choose 1-2 that fit with your firm’s culture, values and seems like a very natural fit. My advice is always do one or two things really well rather than many things poorly.

Also, look at how you communicate your ESG efforts both externally and internally. What language do you use, what passion is there behind the scenes to deliver on what you are promising? It’s all about making sure your ESG message is understood, easy to find and lived and breathed by your employees and the clients that you choose.

Lastly it’s always important to understand what your objectives are for an ESG strategy. ESG is here to stay and clients, suppliers and employees want to see how you will deliver on them. Not simply paying lip service to play the game.

More authenticity less humble brag

There is a fine line that I think marketers must play here between being authentic, generally caring and what I call the humble brag. 

Firms need to show, in a sensitive way, their commitment to the ESG areas they want to focus on. This can be done in several ways by looking at your ESG USPs (try saying that 10 times)! And then make sure that it is consistently communicated from your website all the way through to the sustainably sourced compliment slips you are using.

Content is also important, but remember you are not expected to cover the whole ESG remit. Focus on content that has impact with you and your clients – that emits passion and purpose. This is not all about writing articles but also showing video content too – video gets a message across so much more authentically.

Highlighting your success – as lawyers, accountants, and consultants you are in the best place to advise your clients

But how do you help your clients make decisions that not only align with ESG values but also align with what they are trying to achieve as a business too? I think sharing success stories like this helps to show the impact that you can have in your firm, with your clients and the larger ESG agenda can really hit home and demonstrate your value.

With ESG taking a more prominent place on the corporate agenda. It’s time for firms to start thinking about how this will impact their business and how they market their ESG initiatives in a tactile and authentic way.

Disclaimer- I am not an expert in ESG. However, I have to say that I am incredibly interested in learning more about how ESG can impact law and accountancy firms. This and what part it will play in broader marketing agendas and strategies in the future. 

Take a look at some of my other blogs you may be interested in:

7 Golden rules for professional services marketing

Easy breezy – evaluating your legal marketing

Need help?

If you would like help with your marketing then bringing on a marketing consultant with a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference. I work with B2B businesses and professional service firms in London, Kent, UK and Europe. Please get in touch or book a free 30-minute consultation.