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6 Reasons why sustainable marketing is the future of digital marketing

It’s common knowledge that adopting sustainable practices is critical to our very survival, but we shouldn’t assume that sustainability stops at electric vehicles, paper straws, and reusable grocery bags.

Indeed, sustainability is heavily related to responsibility, and it applies to all areas of our lives, especially to how we do business.

While many businesses are proud of their green manufacturing processes and use of pre-recycled materials (and rightly so!), there’s still an area where many businesses are still slow to fully embrace sustainability:

…their marketing.

Rethinking advertising to solve the problem

Today, the average individual sees up to 10,000 ads per day (up from an estimated 5,000 ads per day in 2007). Many of these ads are poorly targeted, and many of them embody the very waste we’re trying to eliminate: They unnecessarily distract people from their desired objectives and steal their precious time, they take up otherwise useful digital real estate, and they eat up our limited marketing budgets while delivering no actual value.

We owe it to ourselves, our prospects, and especially to those individuals who will never even be our target prospects to embrace an attitude of sustainable marketing, and here are 6 reasons why:

1. Sustainable marketing protects our society

Sustainable marketing is much like it sounds. It’s about using our limited resources most efficiently and protecting the greater society from the harm that wasteful, poorly-targeted advertising can cause.

A mistaken belief is that poorly targeted ads have no victims, but, in actuality, these ads cause real damage.

Because of the onslaught of advertising they experience every day, almost 60 percent of Americans associate ads with “fake news,” and 82 percent of Americans find online ads disruptive.

…and the problem isn’t just the ads themselves, we can also violate our prospects’ trust and confidence in us—and tarnish our brand—if we use questionable methods to source our data.

2. Sustainable marketing is critical to the survival of your business

As marketers, we’re constantly under pressure to do more with less, and sustainable marketing gives us a viable path toward achieving that goal.

Indeed, a key tenet of sustainable marketing is only approaching or showing ads to the prospects who are most interested in your solution at any given time, but how can sales and marketing teams accomplish this?

One of the critical resources that make truly sustainable marketing possible is using buyer Intent data.

Most simply put, Intent data tells you when buyers are actively researching online for a solution, and which products and services they are interested in, based on the web content they’re consuming, and integrating it into your sales and marketing campaigns and processes.

Intent data comes in a few different flavors and it gives you a more holistic view of the buyers you’re approaching:

First-party Intent data

First-party Intent data is data collected from your own digital resources (e.g. eBook downloads, webinar signups, website form fills, etc.), and it does show interest to an extent, but it may not actually mean that a prospect is interested in exploring your product or service further.

For example, an individual may download one of your ebooks to see a featured statistic or some other reason that doesn’t necessarily reflect an interest in buying your product or service.

Third-party Intent data

Third-party Intent data is Intent data that comes from digital properties you don’t own, like visitor data generated from publishers.

This data can be incredibly valuable because it shows you what prospects are doing when they’re not on your website (like when they’re researching your competitors).

…but using this form of Intent data doesn’t come without some risks—You need to be mindful of how the third-party Intent data providers collect their data.

High-quality third-party data is collected following the rules of GDPR and CCPA and with user consent, while lower-quality Intent data providers often use more questionable data collection methods, like using bidstream data, which can put your business at risk of heavy fines and penalties, in addition to violating the trust and confidence of your prospects.

Integrating first and third-party buyer Intent data into an effective lead scoring program means you’ll have a more holistic understanding of your target accounts before you approach them with calls and marketing, and you’ll also see an increase in all of your applicable marketing metrics (CTRs, email open rates, reply rates, etc.) with smarter resource allocation and less budget invested.

…and isn’t that really what sustainable marketing is all about?1st and 3rd party data

3. Approaching resource planning mindfully can yield positive returns

“Every time a business raises money at a higher valuation, it closes options,” says Erik Matlick, Bombora’s CEO, in his LinkedIn article Why Startups Should Stop Celebrating Funding Announcements.

“Institutional investors often introduce short-term priorities because they themselves are driven by a charter that stipulates when to make an investment and when that investment should pay off. This can conflict with what’s best for employees and customers.”

More than just dollars, value should always be the main driver for investing more resources in a business’ growth plan—Value for your people. Value for your partners, and most of all, value for your existing customers.

By raising funds and investing only when direly needed, firms can provide more value to their entire ecosystem without the risks of giving in to the demanding pressures that come from aggressive revenue targets and negatively impacting their brand trust and organizational morale.

4. A long-term view of your marketing efforts will naturally boost customer engagement

Marketing isn’t just about the right messaging and content — It’s also about timing.

Approaching prospects with content that’s too high-level or too ‘in the weeds’ is one sure way for them to lose interest, but how do you know what content your target accounts are looking for?

In addition to letting you know which of your target accounts are currently showing interest in your product or solution, B2B Intent data can also reveal which topics your prospects are researching, which can help you understand their level of understanding and interest.

By approaching your prospects at their current stage in the buying cycle, your content will be more meaningful and impactful and you greatly increase your odds of conversion.

5. Your ABM campaigns will be more impactful

B2B sales are naturally more complex than B2C sales as businesses often rely on buying committees of around 6-10 decision-makers, each with their own unique questions and concerns, to make any major purchases.

In this environment, running a single ad campaign or using the same sales outreach script for each decision-maker is a strategy destined to fail.

Using B2B Intent data, you can understand which topics each decision-maker at each of your target accounts is looking into, so you can be sure that your outreach suitably addresses the thoughts, concerns, and interests of each party.

Learn more about Snowflake’s SDR / ABM alignment process that is moving opportunities to closed/won 50% faster.

Digital marketing sustainable


6. Sustainable marketing delivers better results and improvements in the metrics that matter

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” said John Wanamaker at the turn of the 20th century. And, for those still using traditional marketing and sales practices, this quote rings just as true today.

Sustainable marketing is all about approaching the prospects in your target market at the time they’re most interested in your solution, and, thankfully, you don’t have to conceptualize if this is an improvement over traditional sales and marketing approaches—There’s plenty of data to prove it:

Like how Salesforce realized a 271% ROI using Intent data for LinkedIn ad targeting, or how Marketo achieved a 107% increase in email open rates and 120% increase in CTRs by adopting sustainable marketing and sales practices.

So, what metrics are you graded on?

Without a doubt, sustainable marketing and sales practices can help you achieve them.

Whether it’s meeting creation rate or CTRs, sales and marketing strategies that use Intent data to ensure they’re approaching the right target accounts with the right information at the right stage of their buying cycle deliver better results and see improvement on their key metrics.

Don’t believe us, read more of our case studies here.

Start your journey to sustainability today

Imagine if we could physically see the waste we and our prospects experience from traditional marketing and sales practices:

  • The cold emails and calls for products and services we aren’t even vaguely interested in that are filling our inboxes and interrupting our days
  • The irrelevant ads popping up when we’re just trying to watch a YouTube video or listen to our favorite jams on Spotify
  • Even the hours our SDRs pour into outreach when it just isn’t the right time, and the dollars poured into marketing and sales campaigns that just don’t land

…it’d be just as ugly as any landfill (or perhaps worse, as we’re wasting preciously limited human time and attention).

Adopting sustainable marketing practices helps prevent this mound of waste through conservation of your marketing budget, your SDRs’ time, and your prospect’s attention, and all of this ultimately leads to more conversions, a smoother sales cycle, and higher brand trust and appreciation.

So, are you ready to dive in?

See which of your customers are ready to hear from you — Sample Bombora’s Intent data today!