Dentsu and Kantar have launched a study exploring the role Asia-Pacific marketers play in achieving corporate sustainability ambitions and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), titled ‘Marketing a Better Future’.
‘Marketing a Better Future’ is Asia-Pacific’s first study into marketers’ role in sustainability, and found the newly identified organisational intention-action gap is as big a challenge as the consumer intention-action gap to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.) Radically reimagining the role of marketing to make a sustainable transformation of its organising principle could help achieve 40-70% reductions in greenhouse gasses.
With the growth of Asian economies, spending power is moving East with the region shaping global consumption trends. This gives Asian consumers/companies a unique responsibility, especially as the region is expected to face the brunt of climate-related catastrophes.
The report argues consumer behaviour urgently needs to shift to more sustainable habits and lifestyles. According to Kantar’s latest Global Issues Barometer, climate issues are a key concern with nearly 60% of consumers globally saying they experience eco-anxiety, which is driving increased consciousness and desire for action.
Dentsu and Kantar’s inaugural study of over 70 brand marketers in 12 markets across Asia-Pacific found that 34% of marketing and insights teams are ‘executing against their sustainability plans and measuring progress’. This compares unfavourably to 46% in the supply chain, and 51% in corporate strategy.
In order to achieve advancement in sustainability, the study found marketing functions need a philosophical revamp in order to drive innovation beyond short-term sales KPIs, and to create growth that is good for society and the planet. The study predicts that by making changes, brands will be able to help achieve the 40% – 70% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that the sixth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report estimates as achievable.
Dominic Powers, chief growth officer, of Dentsu Asia Pacific, said, “At Dentsu we design the ‘what’s next’ for brands. It is clear that sustainable consumption has to be the organising principle of marketing teams, who must now instead focus on inspiring people everywhere to a new way of sustainable living. To do this, brands and marketers must reframe their constituents to include ecosystem partners that co-own the sector’s value chain and its carbon footprint. By positioning themselves as the change agent between the larger ecosystem, customers and their company, marketing teams will be uniquely positioned to drive relevant, resonant, step-change innovation that will help ensure a sustainable future for us all.”
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