Can ‘Sustainability’ be Profitable? Answer: It Has to Be.

As marketers, we have the chance to lead what Harvard Business Review calls the third great wave of global enterprise: sustainability.

In this blog, I will be posting questions, opportunities, concerns and observations on sustainability in marketing.

Why do I get to write about this? Because I want to, and the editorial team at Target Marketing has provided a central venue for blogging all things direct marketing! Plus I am motivated by opportunity: As marketers, we have the chance to lead what Harvard Business Review calls the third great wave of global enterprise: sustainability (following the previous waves of IT and quality).

Harvard Business Review, “The Big Idea: The Sustainable Economy” (October 2011)

Harvard Business Review, “The Sustainability Imperative” (May 2010)

While public policymakers dither over climate change, carbon management, green jobs and trying to pick winners and losers, the private sector—and non-profit sector, too—recognize a simple truth: future riches will flow to the innovators. Those inventors, startups, organizations and corporations that can deliver a “smarter planet” in efficiency, use of resources, and return on investment, taking into account the triple bottom line: people, planet and profits.

Now, let’s bring this home to marketing.

In our discipline of direct and interactive marketing, and more broadly integrated marketing, we are everyday focused on efficiency, resourcefulness and return on marketing investment. To do otherwise is to fail our employers, clients and customers, and investors—as well as ourselves as marketing professionals. The sooner our choices in marketing activity reflect this third wave of global enterprise, the more profitable we will become.

I welcome your thoughts, comments and conversation. Let’s make sustainability profitable.