ESG Marketing: Stand out online by leading with your values

January 23, 2023

Stellar offers and solid positioning are non-negotiable to win over consumers. But, sometimes, that alone isn’t enough to stand out online.

Today, consumers also want to know what your brand stands for. They want to align themselves with businesses that genuinely get fired up by the same issues as them.

Chances are, as a business owner, you already care about more than turning profits and scaling. Maybe you’re passionate about hiring a diverse workforce, taking on projects that uplift your community, or reducing resource consumption.

But does your audience know that?

If you can showcase your values on your website and in your marketing, it could mean the difference between a dream customer choosing you, or someone else.

Enter: ESG marketing.

What is ESG Marketing?

ESG is a framework for defining the values an organization upholds to create a more positive impact in three key areas: environmental, social, and governance. It can involve your business’s processes, materials, investing strategy, donations, external initiatives, hiring protocols, and more.

ESG marketing’s job is to sincerely communicate how your business stays true to these values in a way that resonates with consumers.

Here’s a deeper look at what each of the ESG areas means



Environmental refers to your organization’s impact on the Earth. It can include efforts you make to minimize natural resource use, carbon emissions, energy efficiency, pollution, and excess waste.


Social refers to your impact on the people and communities your organization interacts with. It can involve your internal workforce, external hires, collaborations, accessibility, human rights practices, diversity efforts, and community initiatives.


Governance refers to how your organization is built in terms of investors, systems, and leadership. It can include factors like management structure, the balance of power, employee relations, executive compensation, and employee compensation.

Why is ESG Marketing so important?

Obviously, upholding ESG-centered values can have a positive impact on peoples’ lives, communities, and the world. That’s reason enough to give them extra thought. But when you build these values into your marketing strategy, it can also have a positive impact on your business.

There’s loads of research that shows consumers prioritize brands with solid values. For example, new studies by Google show 82% of shoppers want consumer goods brands that share their values, while 66% are looking for sustainability as a value specifically. And a 2021 Ipsos Global Trends report showed more than half of US consumers prioritize businesses that take a stand on social issues.

Long story short, many people don’t just want a great product or service. They want to know your business cares about making the world a better place too.

Examples of ESG marketing

ESG marketing can take as many forms as there are businesses. Here are a couple examples of ESG marketing in the wild:

Nordstrom pledges 15% to black-owned businesses

Retail giant Nordstrom signed the Fifteen Percent Pledge, which announces their commitment to increase their purchases from Black businesses owned businesses by 10x by the end of 2030.

This press release was picked up by the media and they also made the announcement on social media. From there, they’ve been able to highlight the Black owned brands they purchase from such as UOMA Beauty, O’Dolly Dearest, King + Lola, and Jessica Rich.

Drio’s support of women-owned businesses

As a certified Minority Business Enterprise and a passionate supporter of women-owned businesses, social values are an integral part of our work.

If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll know we’re on a mission to help more women CEOs crash the million and billion-dollar boys club. We want to help women business owners take charge of their marketing and show up as themselves in it. We do so by hiring women contractors, building our community the Monument Women’s Collective, and of course through the work we do for our woman-owned business clients!

This messaging shows up regularly in our email newsletter, blog, and social media.

Walk the walk

This goes without saying but ESG values are not simply a tactic to help you make more cash.

They should come from a place of genuine concern and desire to make a difference. Then they can be tailored into strategic messaging that supports your brand. They’re heart-driven and never, ever misleading.

Walk the walk and, with a little strategy, everything will fall into place

Need help weaving ESG values into your marketing?

Our digital marketing strategy sessions could be just the ticket. During this half-day strategy intensive, we’ll peek under the hood of your business and give you the space to lay out all of your goals and challenges. Following your session, we’ll build a 90-day action plan to move your biggest goals forward.

Get in touch to request a strategy session.

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About the Author: Hazel Geary

She’s led marketing efforts for multimillion-dollar brands including Under Armour, McCormick, and more. You know the window installations at department stores that make you want to buy all the things? She helped concept, design, and install those across the country for Under Armour. In other words, she knows a thing or two about creating head-turning brands. Now, as the marketing strategist in your back pocket, she’ll be the sounding board and outside perspective you need to get clear on your unique market position.

Ready to strike your perfect balance between head turning and revenue generating?

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