Marketing with an ESG lens: making your advertising more diverse, equal and inclusive

Businesses and organisations can no longer simply sell a product or experience. They need to sell a connection, lifestyle, value, too, in order to engage with their audience. And Gen Z has been at the forefront of this marketing shift: the ‘we’ generation. 

Increasingly, marketing and advertising in today’s world needs to be analysed using an ESG approach: Environmental, Social and Governance. The term came into prominence in the finance industry, but is equally relevant for universities as well.

Why ESG?

An ESG lens allows you to view your organisation as students do, ensuring that every conceivable touchpoint works to build and develop the reputation of your business, maximising your likelihood of becoming the students’ first choice institution. 

How can you use ESG to articulate your value? 

The question you need to ask (which students will be asking themselves, too): What value do you add, not only to them, but to society as a whole?

In other words, what non-financial value does your company generate? And how do you embed these values in your advertising and marketing campaigns? 

Embracing conscious advertising

All your advertising activity must be approached ethically and with care. Whether that’s on specific platforms or programmatic in general, what you align yourselves with should always be at the forefront. There can be no justification for brands, particularly those in the education sector, to fund less than progressive organisations - even if it does return great prices per impression and conversions for your campaign. 

Using a specialist advertising platform such as Akero can help ensure that your advertising is ethically sound, brand-safe and truly inclusive.

At least 15% of all Student Marketplace media represents or is owned by LGBTQ+ and ethnic minority communities, leading the way in supporting diversity in advertising. And with no compromises either; our Student Marketplace campaigns have seen 60% more brand engagement with prospective student audiences than what IAB recommends as the standard viewability and dwell time. It’s worthwhile doing good. 

We also ensure that our advertising placement is 100% brand-safe media inventory and there is zero tolerance to ad fraud (based on the CAN Manifesto pledge). 

Student Marketplace ensures any advertising will only be placed and tracked on the appropriate, relevant, brand-positive sites for your audience. Our approach to programmatic combines whitelists, blacklists and semantic technologies to filter out sites and placements that could cause brand damage, making sure every impression is truly accountable. And taking this a step further and looking to platforms' core values and practices before investing substantial budgets. All while looking after the planet, too.

Your prospective students don’t just want to know they’re getting a good deal at your institution, they want to know society is. And they’ll take their support somewhere with a conscience. Working with Akero, and using the Student Marketplace, means your advertising will be progressive, diverse and ethical in a way that your students have come to expect. As a minimum. 

Take the next step today.