INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION FOR SUSTAINABLE ENTERPRISES
IMC was first developed in the 1990s by Professor Don Schultz at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.
IMC is a strategic business process used to plan, develop, execute and evaluate coordinated, measurable, persuasive brand communications programs over time.
The discipline engages consumers, customers, prospects, employees, associates, and other targeted relevant external and internal audiences.
IMC objectives include:
ANCIENT WISDOM: Early Humans knew how to survive.
“They had neither the technical capacity nor the cultural habits of excess. Indigenous cultures, living much closer to the Earth, traditionally passed the habit of restraint from one generation to the next since restraint in consumption, behavior, lifeways and relationships confers economic and environmental survival advantage to the tribe." Life Rules, Ellen Leconte
SCIENCE: Earth’s relationship to the Sun was discovered 520 years ago. Religion objected.
Renaissance-era mathematician and astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus in his book, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies in 1543 formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth at the center of the (Heliocentric) cosmos. His scientific observations were not well received by the prominent Protestant theologians of the day.
“Some people believe that it is excellent and correct to work out a thing as absurd as did the Polish astronomer who moves the earth and stops the sun. Indeed, wise rulers should have curbed such light-mindedness.” Philipp Melanchthon
ECOLOGICAL INSIGHT: Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) suggested these three rules for living a life in harmony with Nature, that is, within our own and Earth’s means. Yet, we humans have balked at both voluntary and involuntary frugality ever since greed and wealth have been an option.
"On the other hand, at our own 'Waldon Pond' we have also often found peace of mind, freed time and a sense of belonging, self-worth and accomplishment when we have taken frugality up with the same passion with which we sought wealth. The desire to survive may stir that passion in us when we fully realize that doing more of what we have been doing will be fatal."
SCIENCE: What did Albert Einstein add to the equation in 1905?
A German-born, American immigrant citizen, Einstein was a theoretical physicist, developing the general theory of relativity which he applied to model the structure of the universe.
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
INNOVATION: Thomas Edison Predicted Solar Power in 1910
“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left."
GAIA: Earth is a single, self-regulating organism.
James Lovelock, born in 1919, is an English independent scientist, environmentalist, and engineer who, in the 1970s proposed the Gaia Hypothesis: Living organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic and self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet. However, recent unprecedented growth in CO₂ levels are leading Earth to a hotter, quasi-stable state.
"The causal chain is: warming from more CO₂ → more stable oceans, less circulation → less nutrients at surface, so less algal production → less pumping of CO₂ into deep oceans → more CO₂ remains in the atmosphere, locking in the Global Warming.”
BUSINESS TRUTHS: What is the Triple Bottom Line?
Where do Sustainability and the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ come in? As early as 1994, John Elkington and others began to insist upon a broader definition of ‘Bottom Line’ taking into full account(ing) every aspect of corporate operations.
"For example, if a corporation posts monetary profits, but their asbestos mine causes thousands of deaths from asbestosis, and their copper mine pollutes a river, and the government ends up spending taxpayer money on health care and river clean-up, how do we perform a full societal cost benefit analysis?"
The NEW Triple Bottom Line:
– Financial (Profit) – Existing
– Social (People) – NEW - How do operations affect people?
– Environmental (Planet) – NEW - How do operations affect the ecology?
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Thousands of Startups Focusing on a “Green New Deal”
Global innovators are developing and implementing effective and sustainable products and services in response to social and environmental challenges. Founders who want to do social good with their business are starting Benefit Corporations.
"B Corp Certification is to sustainable business what LEED certification is to green building or Fair-trade certification is to coffee. Well-known B Corps are the Honest Company, Patagonia, Etsy, Warby Parker, Numi Organic Tea, Seventh Generation, Method, Natura and Ben & Jerry’s. www.bcorporation.net."
BLACKROCK MOVES: Largest Global Investment Firm (Over $7.5 Trillion in Assets) Bets on Earth's Future.
“Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects. Last September, when millions of people took to the streets to demand action on climate change, many of them emphasized the significant and lasting impact that it will have on economic growth and prosperity – a risk that markets to date have been slower to reflect. But awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”
Larry Fink, CEO, Blackrock
As an Adjunct Professor at UCLAx, the continuing education division, Joe Hartnett teaches IMC as a required course for the Marketing Certificate, including Digital Analytics and Social Media. Hartnett has also taught Sustainability.
Click below to learn more about IMC.
"If a corporation posts monetary profits, but their asbestos mine causes 1450 deaths from asbestosis, their copper mine pollutes rivers, and the government ends up spending taxpayer money on health care and river clean-up, what's the full societal cost/benefit analysis?"
Triple Bottom Line: People. Planet. Prosperity.