GoodSense Learning, the Sustainable Business Network and the NZ Marketing Association are this week launching Sustainable Marketing Online, thought to be the world’s first online professional course in sustainable marketing.
The course will enable sustainability managers and CEOs to better manage the risks and opportunities of communicating social and environmental initiatives.
It will also train marketers to adapt to the growing consumer and commercial concerns about sustainability, how to avoid the dreaded ‘greenwash’ and lead their brands to success.
The course, which can be accessed from any device, takes approximately 12 hours to complete on-demand. Participants have unlimited access to extensive additional resources for six months and receive personalised feedback on a series of short assignments.
Rachel Brown, CEO of the Sustainable Business Network, says sustainability issues are fast becoming mainstream and are becoming harder for businesses to ignore.
“At the same time, brand reputation is one of the most valuable assets a business can have. If your sustainability strategy aligns with your business’ product or brand, this will help you to tap into what the market cares about,” she says.
“So to get ahead, it’s important for your business to tell its sustainability story, and to tell it well.”
Course creator Kath Dewar, from GoodSense Learning, says that sustainability is making radical new demands on marketers and business education must enable professionals to adapt fast.
“Sustainability requires re-thinking the basics, across the marketing mix. Marketers who fail to grasp this put their brands at risk of committing greenwash and make them vulnerable to social media firestorms and media criticism,” she says.
“I’m stoked to be able to share insights and examples from the world’s best practitioners and thinkers in this new field of ‘Sustainable Marketing’ with NZ marketers first, before we launch the online course overseas.”
Michael Pryor, CEO of the NZ Marketing Association, agrees that sustainable marketing is ‘business critical’.
“Consumers’ expectations of brands are changing. We are holding business to a higher standard than ever before. Social and environmental factors are an increasingly important part of many purchase decisions, but many marketers are either not aware or are not skilled in incorporating sustainability when marketing to their customers. For marketers to better connect with their customers and this growing trend the ‘Sustainable Marketing Online’ course is a must,” he says.