Our forests, social and political systems, and hearts scream at us with a plea to be healed and restored. With 90% of the earth’s topsoil at risk, water scarcity, floods, conflicts, and massive migration, we need to fundamentally change how we do business. And while it is one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced, change is possible, even if the road to it is full of falling and pulling oneself back up again. What matters is how we choose to walk this road. We can sprint, feeling terrified and confused, or take the time to study, heal ourselves, and come out on the other side of the grief united and ready to reinvent the parts of the business we know inside and out.
As the stakes get higher, I embark on a quest to explore and apply a conscious, impact-driven marketing approach introduced by ethical marketing pioneers  a decade ago. It needs all marketers’ support, and I’ll be adding my experiences, playfulness, and authenticity to the pot. I imagine this journey to be like stepping into a forest: fearing the depths and getting cut by thick thorns, but finding beauty, healing, and answers along the way.
I am on a journey to Rewild Marketing, inviting changemakers to come along.
Marketing needs healing
Traditional marketing is broken, manipulative, profit-driven, and disconnected, and it is contributing to the planet’s destruction. For us marketers, the task has been clear for decades: use all the tools and talents at our disposal to sell the product to maximise profits at all costs.
While the goal is clear, it’s not always easy: good marketing requires research, insight, and creativity. It has also become more challenging due to saturated markets, new regulations, and the ‘sustainability tide’. So we roll up our sleeves and study human psychology and social behaviour, run market research to understand buying habits, only to twist reality, package it in shiny ‘eco’ wrapping, and sell it at a discounted price (hurry, if you buy right now you can get two for the price of one)!
What is the most unethical is that we use fundamental human values like love, family, self-worth, self-realisation, the need for connection, and the search for meaning to aggressively convince you to buy that 4×4 Rolls-Royce that you don’t need, stealing and selling your private data along the way. These methods are legal, supported by our governments and corporations, and trickling down to small-business owners like viruses, partly because these dirty tactics work due to years of brainwashing us into a consumeristic mindset.
The problem of growth
We have not only an ethical problem but also one of economic growth. According to a Forrester report, annual worldwide spending on marketing continues to increase and will reach $4.7 trillion by 2025. Moving at such a pace with a blind aim to only increase GDP, we are running out of natural resources, degrading the environment, and pushing all that is giving us life outside the social and planetary boundaries .
We need to ensure we don’t fall short on life’s essentials (i.e., food, housing, and healthcare) or overshoot our pressure on the planet’s life-supporting systems. So in this context, can we still discuss increasing ROI and growing the economy? Companies talk about wanting sustainability and ethics, but I believe it’s only possible within a new economic model.
Luckily, some boundary-pushing economic thinkers are working towards alternative economy models (such as regenerative economy, degrowth, well-being, commons, and indigenous) , inspiring me to follow their lead and apply these principles to marketing. So here’s my take on it.
Taking Marketing onto Rewilding Path
In ecology, rewilding is the conservation practice of letting nature take care of itself by enabling natural processes, repairing damaged ecosystems, and restoring degraded landscapes. In other words, it’s healing what is broken and giving it new life.
Effective healing starts with addressing and finding the root cause. The same applies to marketing: we must start with the client’s WHY (why you do what you do). What is your business’s intention, deeper impact, and mission?
Is your service or product’s end result contributing to making a positive impact (for communities, ecosystems, biodiversity, and non-human beings)?
Is your mission driven by the intention to do good? Are you being fair and inclusive of all stakeholders? Is it regenerating the outer and inner systems? Is it essential? Is it honest?
If so, let me introduce you to Rewild Marketing.
Rewild Marketing is not just about changing how we market products; it’s also about rethinking the entire business organism. What if we organised our companies with regeneration in mind? What if we prioritised healing the planet, enriching biodiversity, and promoting mental, physical, and spiritual health?
Rewild Marketing is not just a concept; it’s a movement. It’s a call to action for us all, marketers and business leaders, to promote regeneration, ethics, and collaboration in our work to heal our communities and the environment.
The main principles
◊ Moving from intention to do good
All actions, decisions, and marketing forms arise from the intention to do good and are aligned with our deep purpose.
◊ Spending time in the trenches with your client
We encourage meeting clients where they are (i.e., sit in the trenches with them while learning and practising deep listening to step into their shoes and hear their experiences when interacting with our products or services).
◊ Non-violent communication and honesty
We communicate with love and leave pain-point marketing outside closed doors. We do not manipulate; we always tell the whole truth.
◊ Slowing down
We move with nature’s cycles and take time to form deep relationships. We do not rush; we stay grounded and move patiently, actively listening to our hearts and community.
◊ Creating experiences vs acquiring things
We prioritise creating experiences that support personal and collective healing and growth instead of acquiring things.
◊ Authentic and unapologetic point of view
We support you in stepping into an unapologetic and authentic YOU while speaking your truth.
No more hiding behind our fears or lingering in the middle. We take a stand and practise original thought.
◊ Long-term sustainability vs short-term profit
We support your choice of platforms and build sustainable strategies that will work in the long term.
◊ Re-defining success
We support you in discovering and defining your success by your ‘metrics’ (e.g., social, ecological, financial, and spiritual).
◊ Moving from inner to outer
We encourage connecting to intuition and creativity using your whole body and soul—not just your mind.
◊ Aligning all stakeholders with one purpose
We are moving toward evolving all stakeholders for a common purpose and ensuring inclusivity.
◊ Nature as a mentor
Practising marketing through the lens of rewilding, regeneration, and biomimicry.
◊ Taking an extra step towards consent & privacy
Applying practices that not only comply with GDPR but take an extra step to ensure the safety of customers’ data.
◊ Personal growth as a guiding light
We understand that to make a difference; we need to work on ourselves; we invest in mental, physical, and spiritual growth. It is our guiding light.
◊ Collaboration instead of competition
Shifting from an individualistic mindset to a collective one and understanding that we are all inherently connected and one with nature. Moving from ‘me’ to ‘we’ – the most surprising things happen when people in the same industry work together.
◊ Attraction instead of interruption
We value the energy of attraction, creating something so needed that it attracts the right people.
Rewild Marketing aims to make a difference and prove that the regenerative way is highly effective. I commit to exploring these principles with humility, transparency, and an open mind, with nature as my muse.
If you’re an impact driven start-up, community or social movement interested in finding a deeper connection to your marketing, I invite you to follow along!
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 Planetary boundaries are a framework to describe limits to the impacts of human activities on the Earth system. Beyond these limits, the environment may not be able to self-regulate anymore. This would mean the Earth system would leave the period of stability of the Holocene, in which human society developed.