Without transparency there is no credibility

Sustainability in marketing – just empty promises? At the club evening of the Marketing Club Austria there were prominent guests and critical opinions.

Vienna (OTS) The discussion round at the last club evening of the Marketing Club Austria was attended by top-class and prominent people. Carina Budgen (Head of Marketing at ADEG Austria), Lisa Manigatterer (Green Marketing Account Manager at sgreening), Andreas Martin (Managing Director of Porsche Media & Creative), Martin Rohla (Founder Goodshares, member of the jury in the TV show “2 Minutes 2 Millions”) and Karin Seywald-Czihak (Managing Director of ÖBB advertising) also brought to light exciting details on this ubiquitous and inflationary subject of sustainability, which made us think.

A narrow borderline to greenwashing

Martin Rohla got off to an interesting start when he said: “Capitalism is currently undergoing a major transformation.” He was already fed up with the term sustainability and pointed to the description of the three pillars that, in his opinion, effective action should be based on: the ecological, the economic and the social. However, he also issued a warning: “Anyone who is doing sustainability marketing these days should be careful that it is not greenwashing. There is a very narrow boundary here. Printing stories that aren’t true can quickly backfire. Sustainability is not a project, it is a process.”

Big load in the image backpack

Carina Budgen addressed the challenge of large companies that appeal to the masses: “As a start-up, I can choose an direction from the start, determine the focus and the target group. But big companies have to please everyone.” Karin Seywald-Czihak shared this opinion. In her eyes, large companies find it particularly difficult to be credibly sustainable. She said that the big ones in particular often still carry a lot of things from the past in their image backpack. That is where the greatest challenge lies.

Fallibility is allowed

Lisa Manigatterer also spoke about challenges, in her case from the point of view of the agency: “Many customers are incredibly afraid of transparency, of consumers and other market participants. But the communication of fallibility is also allowed, it triggers a lot of sympathy. Without this transparency, there is no credibility for companies.” According to Manigatterer, one does not necessarily have to get these legacy issues out of the minds of consumers in the hope that they will forget. Market communication should be used to raise awareness, reassess the topic and steer it in the right direction. “Things are allowed to change, even if they were worse before. Sustainability is a continuous process of change and should happen in the core business.” Andreas Martin also spoke about the cooperation with agencies. He also saw it as the responsibility of the agency to properly support the company with the appropriate competence. That is why it is all the more important to choose the right agency partner.

Sustainability is a top priority

All participants in the discussion agreed that there should be clear statements and goals on the subject of sustainability, especially from management positions, i.e. at C-level. And that it is important to also communicate internally, to get the employees on board in order to turn them into ambassadors. Otherwise it doesn’t work. At the end of the discussion, Carina Budgen gave the marketers valuable advice to take with them. It is better to set fewer goals at the beginning and make sure that you can achieve them, because “as a marketer you can really make a valuable contribution”.

Constantly exciting topics in the club

Franziska Keck (Head of Readers’ Market & Marketing at “Die Presse”) hosted the club evening, which this time took place in the Mooncity Vienna. Around 70 interested members and guests romped around between the latest electric car models. The next club event will take place on June 2nd, the MCÖ Afterwork Talk – “Bipa Live Shopping” powered by Schlumberger at the Planter’s Club in Vienna. There, Claudia Baumschlager (Head of Marketing & Own Brands / Private Label Products Strategy and Communication at BIPA Perfumery GmbH) will talk about Bipa’s new live shopping format, with lots of insights into the implementation of the campaign!

Questions & contact:

Bettina Almeida
Head of Communications

Praterstrasse 9/7, 1020 Vienna
E-Mail: [email protected]