My background is in engineering so I naturally approach problems from a technical mindset. This means asking questions like: How will it work? How might it fail? What ways can we mitigate risk?
In an attempt to broaden my perspective and skill set, I took an online class last year called The Marketing Seminar. The course explains how true marketing is all about making change happen and it focuses on how to enroll, engage and transform the people we seek to serve. We can have the best products or solutions, but without effective marketing, we won’t make the change we seek to make.
The course also taught that marketing communication should create tension, because this tension encourages someone to act. Look at the classroom for a simple example of tension. A teacher asks a question and no one answers. The teacher calls on someone and creates tension. If it goes well, new trust is created and forward motion happens.
So what does this have to do with our climate? Essentially, we have most of the tools and solutions to combat climate change, but for the last 30 years, we haven’t succeeded in changing people, governments, and businesses to take significant action. We’ve failed on the marketing front. Seth Godin, who created The Marketing Seminar, talks about how even the terms “global warming” and “climate change” are poor marketing. They don’t create tension and inspire action; in fact, global warming might even sound like a good thing to some folks. He poses the question, “What if we called it atmosphere cancer instead?”
As we attempt to create positive change for our environment, let’s not just focus on the technical solutions, but prioritize the work of marketing – the work of enrolling, engaging, and transforming our audience. Our climate needs successful marketing.