What is a regenerative marketing activation?
Regenerative marketing is a new approach to event planning and execution that focuses on leaving a net-positive impact on the environment, society, and economy.
It goes beyond eco-friendly and sustainable experiential marketing practices. The goal is to leave people, the planet, and society in a better place than when you started.
Why is regenerative marketing essential?
Just imagine if the billions of dollars spent on promoting brands did good in the world. It would put us on a path to a more sustainable future.
And, personally, wouldn't you want your brand marketing activities to contribute to restoration and regeneration? If your answer is yes, then bet your bottom dollar that your customers will feel strongly about it, too.
All brands will eventually require regenerative marketing activation practices, so why not be the one spearheading it at your company?
How to spark the regenerative marketing conversation
Now, we recognize that brands are bureaucratic, and big things start in small increments. Here are a few suggestions to spark change in your organization.
Start Where You're At
Build on your brand values and what you're already doing. People will listen if it's already part of your mission and what your brand values. View your current situation as a springboard.
Focus on Customers
Center your regenerative marketing conversation around what customers want now and in the future, as this will undoubtedly get things flowing.
To elicit support for regenerative marketing, ask questions. People love to share their opinions. Here are our top ones to broach the topic with your co-workers:
Activations create so much waste; is there a better way?
How can we reuse these event assets?
Can we integrate a greater good into our activations?
Collect and share co-workers' ideas with the higher-ups at your brand, although it is best to have a well-thought-out action plan as well. The aforementioned approaches will help build support for your regeneration efforts and inspire others to join you in creating solutions.
Reputation and Revenue
Regenerative actions help improve an organization's reputation as a leader in sustainability and social responsibility. It also attracts a broader audience of consumers, which directly connects to an increase in a brand's revenue.
Regenerative Marketing Best Practices
Now, let's get to the nitty gritty. Here is our regenerative marketing activation guide.
It's best to think about regenerative marketing as an ecosystem - it isn't one thing; it's multiple, and it's all interconnected.
Focus on one or two aspects you'd like to improve for an upcoming activation. Then, for a subsequent activation, add two more regenerative goals. Soon enough, you have robust regenerative marketing activation practices in place.
Aim to create a closed-loop system where resources are reused, reclaimed, or recycled.
One of the simplest ways to integrate is by leasing event assets instead of building them. We all know what happens with custom-built displays, stages, and installations post-activation.
Then, there's the branding of event assets - ask your production suppliers to use substrates that are recyclable or compostable. Apply this approach to small decor as well.
Aim to donate any activation elements that cannot be reused or recycled.
The further people and event assets need to travel to your marketing activation, the more harm it causes — source activation elements as close to your activation as possible.
You can easily do this with your food and beverage choices. Select a local independent caterer, never use name-brand cans or bottled drinks, and apply the circular economy principles - ask for everything to be recycled or compostable.
Select venues, production partners, organizations, and other brands with similar values.
Host your marketing activation at locations prioritizing sustainability - LEED-certified buildings, public parks, and outdoor city spaces where your inclusion fee fees supports public services.
Another is integrating local nonprofits and social enterprises into your marketing activation. It's a win-win for the brand, organization, and society. And, when you align with other organizations, it'll help you improve and share your regenerative practices.
Travel, shipping, and in-city transit for your marketing activation significantly contribute to climate change.
Luckily, there are numerous things you can do to offset event-related carbon emissions. The easiest way is to work with an organization like Carbonfund - their motto is Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can't.
And, to make it more tangible and relatable, offset your travel carbon emissions with a tree planting organization like the Arbor Day Foundation.
And not everyone needs to be at your marketing activation physically. Integrate live-streaming, virtual participation, and other tech options.
Use metrics and data to measure the social and environmental effects of regenerative event marketing efforts.
Whenever possible, assign an impact value to each effort. It'll allow you to establish impact.
The vital last step involves sharing your plans and outcomes. People are interested in brands that try to do the right thing.
Track your regenerative marketing milestones and share them with everyone. Bring people along on the journey, although never brag or over-claim your regenerative efforts.
Regenerative marketing isn't about doing less harm; it's about doing more good.
Event organizers who embrace regenerative practices will have a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy. Furthermore, they will be well-positioned to attract employees, customers, and accolades. Get started!