Sustainable Marketing with Paul Randle and Alexis Eyre

This week’s guests, Paul Randle and Alexis Eyre, discuss their book, “Sustainable Marketing: The Industry’s Role in a Sustainable Future.” They explain why it’s imperative for marketers to shift from a focus on revenues toward balancing commercial, societal, and environmental goals. The authors also describe how their framework, the Sustainable Marketing Compass, can help brands and agencies in their transition. Save 25% off “Sustainable Marketing” with code BIGEYE25 at checkout.
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Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant: Coming up in this episode of IN CLEAR FOCUS. 

Paul Randle: On the impacts of marketing: Because we pursue growth at all costs, we’re therefore exploitative of nature, society, and individuals as well. 

Alexis Eyre: By putting the SDG framework over the top of marketing and starting to see marketing’s impacts towards the goals instead of towards just revenue, you get a completely different picture.

Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, fresh perspectives on marketing and advertising, produced weekly by Bigeye, a strategy-led, full-service creative agency growing brands for clients globally. Hello, I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, Chief Strategy Officer. Thank you for joining us.  Brands that align their strategies with environmental and social responsibility respond to a growing demographic of eco-conscious consumers. But at the 2022 Annual Conference of the World Federation of Advertisers, three-quarters of the 1,000 attendees indicated that they believe marketing is incompatible with a sustainable future. Now in previous episodes of IN CLEAR FOCUS, we’ve discussed the challenges of adopting more sustainable marketing practices with experts, including Solitaire Townsend, the author of “The Solutionists,” and Mark Shayler, who wrote, “You Can’t Make Money From A Dead Planet.” This month’s Bigeye Book Club selection is “Sustainable Marketing: The industry’s role in a sustainable future,” by Paul Randle and Alexis Eyre. Working at the intersection of marketing and sustainability, the authors explore how brands can contribute to a more sustainable future without compromising their growth or market presence. Paul Randle is the CEO of Pickle Consulting and has worked with global clients, including Microsoft and Philips, pushing the boundaries of traditional marketing to embrace sustainability. Alexis Eyre is the founder of Green Eyre and the co-founder of Sustainists Consultants. She has extensive experience on all three sides of the marketing triangle – agency, client, and media owner – and has worked with clients including NatWest, Sunsail, and Hewlett Packard. Together, Paul and Alexis offer a unique perspective on how marketing professionals can adopt sustainable practices. To discuss some of the ideas in their new book I’m delighted that both Alexis and Paul are joining us from neighboring counties in the UK. Paul is joining us from Berkshire, and Alexis from my old neck of the woods, Hampshire. Paul and Alexis, welcome to IN CLEAR FOCUS.

Alexis Eyre: Hi, thanks for having us. 

Paul Randle: Thank you very much.

Adrian Tennant: Well, Alexis, how did you and Paul first meet each other?

Alexis Eyre: It was about four years ago. We had both had a light bulb moment in our lives working in the marketing industry. Mine was I was having a break from work, and I was sailing across the Atlantic and could not get over the amount of plastic. I literally saw Blue Planet 2 in real life! I was about a thousand miles from land, and there was more plastic in the water than wildlife, which was utterly shocking. It really got to me, especially when a plastic chair came floating past, and I just thought, “I’ve got to do something about this.” And I’ll let Paul say what gave him the lightbulb moment.

Paul Randle: Mine was actually my daughter simply walking up to me after I’d been on a conference call with an automotive client. And she just asked me, she said, “Daddy, is your job good for the environment?” And I didn’t have a good answer.

Alexis Eyre: So that was both how we sort of had our lightbulb moments, which meant that we ended up, through different channels, on a business sustainability management course by the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership, which is a huge tongue twister in its own right. But [it’s an] arm of Cambridge University, and they run this amazing course. And we ended up on that. And we were the sort of two marketers that whenever we had to admit to people what we did, people were like, “Oh goodness, you’re part of the problem.” And we just felt like we were wandering through the course with devil horns coming out of our heads. And we actually both probably had the same reaction coming out of it is that we just felt we had to leave our jobs – despite the fact that we’ve got half a century’s worth of experience in the marketing industry! We’re just like, “We can’t keep going on in this industry. It’s causing too many of the issues.” And actually, it was one of the professors of the course who turned around to us when we spoke to them, who actually said to us, “You’ve got to carry on, but you’ve got to find the solutions to ensure that the marketing industry becomes part of the solution, not part of the problem.” And that became basically our North Star. And we met on one of many calls that you do on the course and we went away with that, and that’s really how we started our whole journey.

Adrian Tennant: What prompted you to write “Sustainable Marketing” together?

Paul Randle: We had spent a lot of time doing research into marketing’s impacts both environmentally and societally. And that takes you on a journey to really understand marketing’s role in our economy, marketing’s role in our society, and why it’s adopted that role. And it’s quite an exciting journey, to actually go through. And what we realized was is that a lot of people in the industry just aren’t alert to that history, that heritage of marketing. And it’s a really important context to help marketeers understand their mindset. So, part of the book is going back and interrogating the history of marketing and its relationship with sustainability so that it helps the marketeer understand the context and mindset they’re bringing to their role, and that therefore allows us to try and make marketers step out of that context, have a fresh look at what they’re doing, and then realize that they are being complicit in the problems that we face, but have a huge opportunity to be a force for good as well. And we felt the only way really to convey that was through a book – one that can take you on that journey and on that narrative.

Adrian Tennant: Well, the first part of your book provides an introduction to sustainability. Paul, what’s your definition of sustainability?

Paul Randle: Well, we always go back to the definition that was laid down by the Brundtland Commission back in 1987, which, I’ll quote it, is, “Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” And, you know, that works Both for humans and for nature as well, and we didn’t see any need to rewrite that. It’s one that informs everything that’s done through the UN and IPCC, etc, etc. So, there was no reason for us to try and change that.

Adrian Tennant: In the book, you mention three models that prime the reader for their sustainability journey. Can you briefly describe them?

Alexis Eyre: Yes, absolutely. So these three models are huge in the sustainability world, and yet it’s extraordinary how they just don’t appear in the marketing world at all considering they are the biggest instigators in where we need to go in terms of the sustainability transition at the moment. The first one is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which was set up in 2015, by all the countries in the world coming together and basically defining what are our 17 biggest challenges that we have and that we need to overcome if we want to give a fair and just transition, or sort of life to everything on earth, not just humans, but to plants, to animals, to our oceans. And yes, as I said, they are the 17 goals, and some people fondly refer to them as “the world’s to-do list,” which I actually quite like, it makes them much more personable. The second big framework, came up by an economist called Kate Raworth, and she wrote this paper, I think it was around 10 years ago, called The Safe and Just Space for Humanity. And she basically said our current economic system, solely focused on GDP, doesn’t work because we’re operating like we are on a planet that’s driving infinite growth, where we only have a planet that has finite resources, and this is why we are seeing so many issues today. So she came up with this new operating model, effectively, that basically says, if we sit comfortably between the environmental ceiling, which is we can’t go beyond certain limits of which the environment can take, so the amount of carbon dioxide you can have in the air, the amount of ocean acidification that can work. And then you’ve got to have social foundations at the bottom. so you end up with this doughnut effect, where you sit in the doughnut, So you can’t go too much into the environmental area and you can’t go too little down into the social issues like poverty, like hunger. If we can find a way that we can sit in this comfortable space where we’re not causing damage, but we’re thriving as a community, then that is a much better way of thinking of how to run an economy properly. So basically, if UN SDGs are humankind’s to-do list, the doughnut economics model that Kate Roweth came up with is a potential operating model that we need to adopt to deliver them. Then the final framework is called rewiring [the] economy, which is by the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership, which helps us understand the subsequent ramifications for businesses, governments, and financial institutions. And it’s a 10-point plan that really tells the world, or the economy, how do we actually create this kind of economy that means we don’t overstep, into the ceilings or into the foundations of the doughnut.

Adrian Tennant: The second part of your book examines marketing’s role. Paul, how has marketing contributed to our environmental challenges?

Paul Randle: That’s a brilliant, very large question there, Adrian. I’ll break it down into two sections: What’s the role of marketing, that traditional role of marketing, and how is that played out in contributing to the challenges that we face? If you go back to, you know, the era when the Four P’s were first envisaged by Jerome McCarthy, it was a really interesting time in the early 1960s where kind of our new economic model that we live and breathe today largely was being laid down. And the economists at the time said that would drive well-being in society through the concept of purchase and allowing us as citizens to buy goods that made our lives better. And that kind of thought, that model had two assumptions in it, which were that you had a rational human with perfect knowledge. Now, any marketeers will be listening to that going, “Well, that sounds a little bit daft because I’m not rational and I don’t know anybody with perfect knowledge,” but the marketeers of the time, and of today, can kind of say, “Yep, we can help with that. We’re very good at understanding emotion and irrationality, and we’re very good at solving problems of awareness and knowledge.” So, we actually made that economic model work without it, that economic model that was being laid down, wouldn’t have taken off and become the foundation of Western society today. We’ve made it possible to actually motivate people to buy things. We made it possible for people to know about those things. So, we’re part and parcel of that new economic model, but as Alexis has just said, with things such as doughnut economics, that’s actually beginning to change. Those economic models are gradually beginning to change. Yet, marketing isn’t. It’s still working to that remit that was laid down in 1962 by Jerome McCarthy in Marketing Management and the introduction of the Four P’s. So, we’re carrying on with that role that we will delight customers by allowing them to buy things that satisfy their needs, and we motivate to buy them, and we make them aware of the products to be available. And critically, we do that in the sole pursuit of profit and growth. And we have become the engine of growth for the economy and the engine of growth in society. Now that causes us problems. When we actually think about where we’ve got, you know, sort of 60 years later on. And to come back to the second part of the question on the impacts of marketing, because we pursue growth at all costs, we’re therefore exploitative of nature. We’re also exploitative of society and individuals as well. So we break down those impacts into three broad areas. Firstly, there’s that operational impact of marketing itself. When we’re doing exhibitions, when we’re doing campaigns, when we’re running media, that carbon footprint operational impact of marketing is substantial and inherently very wasteful. Of all the global industries you can think of, marketing is the only one that can pretty much celebrate being one percent good at what it does – which sounds brutal, but actually if you do a very rough aggregation of all the performance metrics across all different media channels from events to programmatic media, you get roughly to about 1 percent. And because John Wanamaker said decades ago, “50 percent of what I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which 50%” marketeers come at that 1 percent figure today and actually say, “That’s fine. And actually what I need to do is optimize that 1 percent and ignore the 99%,” which is actually waste. And when you look at things such as the exhibition industry: The global exhibition industry has the same carbon footprint as the entire United States of America. And take all those impacts across all our digital media and things like that, and the marketing industry alone roughly equates to the airline industry its carbon footprint. So that’s its operational impact. The second impact we have is what we call brain print. So brain print was a phrase first used by the World Wildlife Fund back in the early 1990s, and talks about the collective impact of everybody in the global north receiving between 4,000 to 10,000 media impressions a day, 70-odd percent of which are using the concept of inadequacy marketing, basically telling you, “You’re not good enough unless you buy this product.” So, that collective impact of all those ads, all those messages 24/7, has an emotive impact. It’s telling us we’re not good enough unless we buy things. At the same time, it’s also embedded kind of aspirational lifestyles in society that have become cultural norms. A great example of that is how we express love now. If I want to express love to somebody, I have to go and buy a rock and put it on somebody’s finger. That’s entirely a marketing construct, and those aspirational lifestyles that we leverage in marketing and deploy in marketing are wholly unsustainable and set expectations that I should be able to live this way. And then you come to the final impact of marketing, which is actually where you take the idea that I do an ad, I use an attribution model that actually says that ad sold that product. And then I look at the carbon footprint of that product. It’s a methodology called advertised emissions that was created by The Purpose Disruptors. You take that and apply it at a kind of country level across the industry. And in the UK alone, it highlights that advertising contributes to 32 percent of the carbon footprint of each and every individual in the UK. So, marketing impacts are vast. They cover wastage, they cover emotive, societal damage, and they cover environmental damage as well. 

Adrian Tennant: Alexis, you introduced readers to the UN SDG framework. How do you think it can help marketers?

Alexis Eyre: Traditionally, our sort of targets have always been measured against revenue. You think of ROI, how many clicks, it’s all revenue-focused. There are very few metrics that marketers work to outside of the revenue focus. And actually, by putting the SDG framework over the top of marketing, and starting to see marketing’s impacts towards the goals instead of towards just revenue, you get a completely different picture. There are a lot of negative aspects that come out of it, and you really start to understand where marketing is really hindering the progress towards the goals around life on land, life below water, responsible consumption – and production is probably the biggest one, it probably has the most negative impact, but also towards climate change as well. It also shows the positive impacts as well, you know, gender equality we’ve moved on hugely in terms of marketing. There’s still a long way to go, but it has really helped work towards that. So I think that’s the reason it was such an interesting framework to bring into marketing’s world is because it offers that completely different lens on how to view the industry.

Adrian Tennant: Let’s take a short break. We’ll be right back after this message. 


Each month in partnership with our friends at Kogan Page, the Bigeye Book Club features books by industry thought leaders. Our featured book for February is “Sustainable Marketing: The industry’s role in a sustainable future,” by Paul Randall and Alexis Eyre.

The book provides a comprehensive guide to transitioning to more sustainable marketing practices while avoiding the pitfalls of greenwashing. The authors explain key concepts using their unique framework and provide actionable insights based on real-world case studies.

You can save 25 percent on a print or electronic version of this month’s featured book using the exclusive promo code BIGEYE25. This code is valid for all Kogan page titles, including pre-orders and their free paperback and ebook bundle offer. Shipping is always free to the US and UK when you order directly from Kogan Page – and it supports the authors as well.

So, to order your copy of “Sustainable Marketing,” go to 

Adrian Tennant: Welcome back. I’m talking with Paul Randle and Alexis Eyre, the authors of this month’s Bigeye book club selection, “Sustainable Marketing.” Towards the conclusion of the book’s second part, you present old versus new roles for marketing. Paul, what do you identify as the three missions for marketing?

Paul Randle: The three missions help inform what we perceive as the new role for marketing. As I’ve said, the old role is about growth and that commercial focus and priority. The new role we envisage for marketing is about marketing existing to make the most optimal contribution possible to the long-term well-being of people and planet. Which means it can’t just think about growth. So we have three missions: environmental, societal, and commercial. We’re not walking away from commercial performance at all. It’s part and parcel – it’s mixed in with the other two. But the three missions seek to bring a balance for the marketeer. So, the environmental mission is for marketing to protect the environment and aid its restoration through responsible consumption, production, and respect for the true value it delivers. The societal mission for marketing is to help humans fulfill their potential in dignity, equality, and in a healthy world. And then the commercial mission is about partnering with the citizen and shaping behavior that supports the new and emerging economic models, such as the Doughnut Economics one. And what we do is we put these three missions into a triangle and then put marketing in the heart of that, in the middle of that. And the marketeer – basically his role becomes the conductor of performance across those three missions. And the reason why the marketer needs to be there is because in a sustainable world, we’re still going to have irrational humans with imperfect knowledge. So this is where a new role for marketing becomes massively exciting because it means marketing’s using its capabilities and its skills in pursuit of environmental, societal, and commercial performance. But he’s having to be even more nuanced than ever in understanding the interconnectivity between them and managing that interconnectivity. 

Adrian Tennant: The third part of “Sustainable Marketing” presents readers with frameworks and tools, including your Sustainable Marketing Compass. Alexis, can you explain what the SMC is and how marketers might use it?

Alexis Eyre: Yes, absolutely. So, to put it in a really simplistic form, the Sustainable Marketing Compass helps marketers embed sustainability thinking into every single aspect of marketing, from branding and strategy through to tactics and governance. So, that’s really what we’re trying to help all marketers do with this framework. It’s not a sole construct of ourselves. It actually was brought about because we did loads of research into the industry and found that there’s loads of pockets of amazingness and there’s different tools like carbon calculators and everything else. There was nothing that actually brought it all together and said, “This is how you fit all the pieces of the puzzle together.” So that’s where the compass actually came from. Ideally you want to start at the center, which is basically, how do you align with your company’s sustainability objectives? Or if your company doesn’t have any, then, where do you start? And we use the UN SDG framework as the basis for that, because again, it is such a good one to start with. So that you can start thinking around what can your targets look like, across environmental, societal, as well as commercial. And then the next layer out is all around strategy. So, it’s rethinking how you build a strategy for marketing and it’s about redefining success. So what do your parameters look like? It’s about rethinking the value that you can create in the market that is not just commercially led and revenue solely for the company. Where else are you giving value into the wider world? It’s about thinking about people. How do you start communicating with all of your stakeholders, not seeing them as targets, but actually seeing them as real people and, really starting to think of them as that – people that have feelings, they have emotions, they have different things that they do in their world. They’re not someone that just needs to have a bottle of Coca-Cola right there and then. And then, it’s really around starting to think around governance and how do you really start to think around, what parameters need to be put in place to ensure that you are not causing harm to an environment and society while you’re doing this? So what kind of governance needs to be put in place? And then the outer circle is really around how do you then actually instigate all that? How do you bring that strategy to life? And that really focuses on participation as one area. So we’re not talking about us talking to you as a brand. It’s about how do we actually work together with our customers, with our other stakeholders? It’s around partnership as well. So how do you really partner with people? It’s about purpose. It’s about really having a driving purpose. You know, a lot of the purpose that we see today is brand-led and it’s not actually embedded in the wider organization. When we mean purpose, we mean as in, what are you living and breathing as an entire organization that then can come out within the brand? Not be brand-led, but the rest of the company aren’t living and breathing that. So really bringing that about. And then the final one is around performance metrics like making sure that you are proving that you’re having those impacts, those positive impacts in environmental society as well as commercial and knowing how to track that. And then the final circle on the outside is the sort of data and making sure that you underpin everything you do around data to prove your concept. The key thing with this is not telling you exactly what to do. It’s a guide. It sets the parameters. It asks the right questions around what you need to consider, but it’s to give you enough room so that you’ve got the creativity to go off and innovate within these areas.

Adrian Tennant: Why did you make the SMC framework publicly available in your book rather than a proprietary resource that only your clients could access?

Paul Randle: Alexis and I came out of the course with a shared mission to scale our impact as much as possible. We’re also both huge fans of SDG 17, which is Partnership for the Goals and that kind of SDG really underpins all the other SDGs. And it’s about putting the right structures and partnerships and infrastructure in place to actually drive change and bring manifest change about. So, we felt that if we just kept this to ourselves and could influence two or three companies, through some consulting work, we weren’t living those values. We weren’t living to the SDG 17. So by putting it into an open-source framework, it can scale beyond our individual remit, and it is doing that. We are seeing that happen. When we launched it, we had 750,000 people look at it within the first 24 hours. We’ve trained global companies, we’ve trained global agencies. We’ve actually had agencies use the framework, deploy it in a pitch, win the pitch, and then come on, knock on the door and say, “Can you give us a bit of help on how we actually do this?” But it means that the scale and reach of what we can do to help change marketing can be broader.

Adrian Tennant: Well, your book certainly challenges many foundational marketing concepts, but it also emphasizes the role of strategy. How can the SMC framework help account planners and strategists think about marketing communications?

Alexis Eyre: Yeah, it’s a good question. I think firstly, we’ve got to get everyone thinking around this redefining success. If you’re working in an agency and you’ve got a client, then how do you start asking the questions [to] the client to get them to push so that they have other parameters, other success, rates that they need to hit? How can you start instigating environmental and societal targets within the campaigns that you’re looking to build for them? That’s a really good place to start getting them to think because it will start to move the conversation away from just commercial only and where you can actually have a much greater impact. The second one, as I mentioned earlier, is really around thinking of individuals as individuals, not targets. It really does start to pivot that conversation moving away from individual targets and really starting to move towards that sort of participation and partnership approach. You know, how can we work with our customers and our potential customers to create a much greater value in society, rather than, “I’m just going to force you through all of my behavioral science and everything else to drink this drink!” You know, I think really starting to have that much greater awareness of the individual is really key. I think the third bit is actually thinking about your own role and the operational impact that you might be having in the environment and society. So really starting to think what kind of governance and efficiency measures can you put in place within your own role that means that you’re starting to take ownership of your own operational impact for whatever you’re designing, you’re thinking about, what strategies you’re building. The final aspect, which is the bit that excites us most, is around, actually creativity and radical thinking. If you start to actually think around success, around environment and society, as well as commercial, by moving the parameters much wider and having three different pillars, it’s amazing how it starts to make you think in a creatively, completely different way. And actually, I think at the moment, the creative industry is being stuck on these creative tramlines. How often do you actually think, “Oh my goodness! That was the most extraordinary creative campaign that caused so much change. It caused an entire movement”? And I’m not talking about revenue base, I’m talking about mass societal change, mass environmental change. If we think of it like that, if we start to set these new parameters, this is going to just cause so much creativity and innovation that it’s such an exciting time to be part of this industry if we start thinking along those lines. But that is what I really want strategists and account planning to start thinking is how can we creatively think so different, so innovatively in this space.

Adrian Tennant: That seems like a great invitation to all strategists and account planners listening to this. Paul, in what kinds of ways do you think we need to shift our thinking about reporting on ad campaigns towards new models of commercial performance? 

Paul Randle: Brilliant question. Now, this is an area that, in my kind of nerdy days, I get really, really excited about because if you’re now saying that marketing has these three performance areas, commercial, societal, and environmental, each of those areas has its own KPIs, its own measures and benchmarks of success. So, the first step is bringing all of them to the table. And when we do this with clients and agencies, it’s quite often the first time it’s ever been done. But that’s only the first step because once you’ve got all those kind of objectives and goals on the table. You then need to start exploring the interdependencies and connections between them. If I over-perform on my commercial targets, is that to the detriment of my environmental targets? You know, if I sell too many cars, that means I’m going to blow my kind of carbon footprint out of the water. So you need to look for those new connective KPIs and performance measures that sit between environment and commerce and environment and society and commerce. And that leads you to a new data universe, and a new reporting universe. I led a brainstorming workshop with CapGemini a couple of weeks ago, where we had their head of customer first data, their head of sustainability data, and it’s like, “Well, what might that start to look like? If I’m a drinks manufacturer, am I doing campaigns that are benchmarked on beverage per liter of water?” So actually, my success is benchmarked on a natural KPI – a KPI from nature – rather than a KPI from the commercial performance space. And that takes you into very, very interesting places. And of course, we need to build out the reports and the data in the dashboards to facilitate that. But it’s kind of a mandatory if we’re getting to a place where companies have to report on the emissions Scope Threes coming in this year for lots of organizations they have to be able to understand exactly how they drive performance, both commercially and environmentally, and inevitably that brings in a societal context. So I think there’s a whole new world of campaign performance to be explored. By bringing these three pillars together.

Adrian Tennant: Based on the consulting work you’ve already done with clients, do you have any practical tips on how agencies can start to make the necessary changes we’ve been discussing?

Alexis Eyre: I’d say actually the first practical thing is map out your agency’s current impacts against the UN SDG framework and that is going through every single element, both operational but also the campaigns that you’ve run for clients and run through every single element and feed it through all 17 goals and see what comes out, where you’re having positive impacts, where you’re having negative impacts. We actually divide it down into 11 areas that you need to look at, which include targeting, governance, et cetera. And then you map those 11 areas against the 17 goals. So there’s no way that you can prioritize all of them at once. So the next thing is actually looking around. Where do you want to proactively make a difference? Where do you know that you’re making an impact, but it’s not so significant. So you want to keep on making a positive impact, but it’s not so significant. And it’s really mapping out those priority areas. Then, the second big one is starting to think, once you’ve mapped out your priorities, is actually having those real proactive areas. Pick out three or four areas where you want to really make a difference. And if you can push those across environment and society, as well as commercial, that’s brilliant. And then that starts to form your new, redefined success around where you want to actually have an impact going forwards, where you proactively want to do stuff in that space, I think that’s absolutely key. So I think that would be the starting thing, then obviously you can carry on through everything else, but I think the starting thing are those two things – what are your impacts, and where do you want to make your biggest difference going forward?

Adrian Tennant: The fourth part of your book focuses on building capabilities for sustainable marketing. Paul, what advice would you give to agencies or brands looking to develop these new kinds of thinking? 

Paul Randle: There’s two elements to that really: One is seeking to identify what are the pillars of capability for sustainable marketing you need in your marketing function or in your agency? So, you know, the ability to drive sustainable decision-making, for example. So you’re not just thinking commercially, you’re thinking across environment, societal, and commercial targets. How do you embed that sort of thinking? You know, how do you embed new processes in place, such as carbon budgets and methodologies like that? And, you know, you can use a kind of capability lift approach to that where you identify what’s important to your organization and then for each pillar of that capability, you just say, “What does the ideal future state look like?” Benchmark that across all your stakeholders. Then say very openly, “Where are we today? And where do we want to be tomorrow? Where do we want to be in six months?” And put the work streams in. And that can help you start doing a structural capability lift. More importantly, you need to take individuals on that emotional learning journey as well in support of that and that leadership journey. And I think that’s as important as putting the right policies and processes in place. You need to take the marketer’s mindset into a new place and there I think it’s more of a learner journey model where you need to get your team to have a shared understanding of the challenges we face. And then move from that shared understanding of the challenges to a critical understanding of how you would practically change that and why that’s important, which is kind of aligned with what I was just saying about a capability lift program. But then you’re really down to leadership, and are you equipping the individuals in your team to have that leadership capacity for action? Are you enabling individuals to make those changes? Because you’ll undoubtedly get very new things that require bold and courageous steps to be taken. You’re breaking down business as usual. So, I think two things – one, look at those structural capabilities, but then secondly, really look at the leadership that you’re empowering within your teams.

Adrian Tennant: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Alexis Eyre: I hope they come out feeling a passionate flair to want to do something about it. I don’t want them to feel like they need to leave their jobs. Please do not stop after the first third of the book, because you might feel like that, because that’s when we’re opening up the stark reality of where marketing sits today. Please read it to the end because it really does end on a positive note and a real call to arms. But I think, yes, that would be my biggest takeaway. I just would so love people to come out with that absolute drive to want to do something, and actually start looking at how they can generally start making change in their own career.

Adrian Tennant: Paul, if IN CLEAR FOCUS listeners would like to learn more about “Sustainable Marketing,” or your consulting practice, what’s the best way to do so?

Paul Randle: Obviously, we’d love people to read the book. That’s great. But you can also get directly in touch with us. We’re both very active on LinkedIn and we’re very open to having conversations and helping nudge people in the right way, or we can come in and do full training programs in your organization as well. The other advice I’d suggest is that there’s actually a very passionate and growing community of people in and around sustainable marketing. It’s wonderful to see, and we see it growing each and every day. And you know, just simple hashtags on LinkedIn, like, #SustainableMarketing starts bringing you into a lot of the conversation that’s going on.

Adrian Tennant: And Alexis, how can listeners learn more about your work?

Alexis Eyre: I think LinkedIn probably is the best place actually for us, in terms of knowing what we’re up to. We do put the majority of stuff down on there, so do follow us both on LinkedIn and we’ll keep putting stuff out there. We’ve got some more open-source work coming through at the moment, called the Sustainable Marketing Task Force, which is hopefully going to be huge, but details will come out about that – it will be coming soon. So yes, I think LinkedIn is probably the best place to start.

Adrian Tennant: Perfect. And listeners, if you’d like a copy of “Sustainable Marketing,” you can save 25 percent when you order directly from the publisher, Kogan Page. You’ll find the promo code and links in the transcript for this episode. Paul and Alexis, thank you both very much for being our guests this week on In Clear Focus.

Alexis Eyre: Oh, thank you. Thanks for having us.

Paul Randle: Yeah. Thank you so much 

Adrian Tennant: Thanks to our guests this week, Paul Randle and Alexis Eyre, the authors of this month’s Bigeye Book Club selection, “Sustainable Marketing.” You’ll find a complete transcript of our conversation with links to the resources we discussed on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at – just select ‘Insights’ from the menu. Thank you for listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS produced by Bigeye. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Until next week, goodbye.

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