Mark Sapienza talks sustainability and shares advice for sales and marketing professionals

By Joe Opaleski

Sales and marketing professionals play a key role in sharing an organization’s vision with the public, and as innovation takes everything that creates this vision up a notch, these executives must also stay at the cutting edge.

Mark Sapienza, a Charles Aris practice leader in our Sales & Marketing Practice, sat down to share his experience of what skills and positions are most in demand, and why.

“There’s this new emerging need for skilled marketers who can create value propositions around sustainability,” Sapienza said. “I did not see any role like this five years ago.”

According to Sapienza, his client organizations are taking big steps to improve the efficiency of their products, including cutting waste, cutting emissions and sourcing sustainable materials. But the work going into this is highly technical, he explained, so marketing executives must be well versed in how these innovations work and how they factor into an organization's business model and value proposition for the customer, a rare trait that’s increasingly in demand.

“Marketers in general are not scientists, and scientists are rarely marketers,” he said. “A marketer now needs to take that science and connect those dots, so it resonates with the consumer. That’s the interesting skill set that I’m trying to find.”

Big-name organizations have made public moves to show how they are taking significant steps to reduce their carbon footprints and exceed their customer’s objectives, and it is now common practice to issue a yearly sustainability report. In an article from the Harvard Business Review, author Andrew Winston explains that the practice is now “ubiquitous” among the world’s largest companies for a myriad of social, political and economic reasons.

As Charles Aris recruiters work to match such clients with sustainably minded sales and marketing executives, Sapienza shared his advice for interested candidates entering the talent pool:

  • Learn the numbers. Explaining sustainability metrics to investors or consumers is now common for sales and marketing executives. To stay competitive in this talent market, make sure you can effectively explain numbers-based information.
  • Educate yourself. Whether formal or informal, candidates should pursue a diverse range of educational experiences related to sustainability. Online seminars, courses or books are good starting points to becoming an informed communicator.
  • Know the facets of sustainability. Familiarizing yourself with the principles of sustainability will be invaluable when explaining carbon-reducing practices in various levels of an organization.
  • Pursue relevant opportunities. Many organizations have environmental committees or teams dedicated to heading sustainable innovations. Experience taking part in such an opportunity shows organizations how dedicated you are to leading these initiatives and will provide invaluable experience.
To learn more about Mark Sapienza’s executive search capabilities via the Charles Aris Sales & Marketing Practice, call or text him at (336) 217-9172 or email him at mark.sapienza@charlesaris.com.