ESG marketing: The importance of looking beyond the end of your nose

Your ESG marketing strategy is like a buddhist monk.


There’s an old Buddhist meditation technique that starts by telling you to close your eyes and focus on a point past the end of your nose. By taking your focus away from your body, your current mindset, and your worries, you open your mind to bigger opportunities.

It’s the same in many martial arts. You are taught that to deliver a knockout blow, you aim at a point through the target to give maximum impact.

Why then, can we not apply this thinking to our marketing goals, or going further, to our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategies?

Wherever you work, ESG has become a key consideration and is now something every one of our clients want to talk to us about.

Your approach to ESG sets the standards by which you measure your business’s impact on society, the environment and how transparent and accountable it is.

So, how would we use ESG to protect and enhance your brand?

  • Set ambitious goals not arbitrary targets.
  • Make changes practical, so everyone can help and your people see little victories – removing the likelihood for despondency.
  • Take the whole team with you, celebrating and rewarding striving and effort.

It’s like the now apocryphal story of the plumber at NASA HQ in the days before the moon landing. When asked by President Kennedy what his role was, he said “I’m the plumber helping to put the first man on the moon”. Whether true or not, there is power in getting a whole team or organisation laser-focused on a goal without being incumbered by arbitrary targets.

We’ve helped many clients focus their strategies to deliver bigger and more beneficial opportunities.

Recently, we worked with SYNETIQ, the UK’s biggest vehicle salvage and recycling business, to help define and articulate their ESG initiative. The ‘Our Road To Tomorrow’ strategy focused on the brand’s ongoing commitment to becoming a better business, rather than short term goals. This meant that SYNETIQ, as a leader, could approach their partners and help with their own ESG initiatives.

We also supported tech company Pagabo in their partnership with MoodBeam, a wearable mood-tracking tool. Helping to promote mental health and wellbeing in one of the most challenging environments, construction.

Most recently, we were briefed by Go-Ahead Group, the international public transport operator, to help encourage more people to ride the bus. Achieving this meant looking beyond short-term tactical activity, to completely reappraise what the bus stands for. ESG and the power of community where at the heart of this. By positioning riding the bus as a force for good for your local area, we showed how participation supported local businesses, created jobs, and improved air quality – what better reason to ride the bus?

If you’d like another perspective on ESG or your marketing in general, please feel free to get in touch.