CHAPTER 4 Social Responsibility and Ethics: Sustainable Marketing PREVIEWING THE CONCEPTS In this chapter, we’ll examine the concepts of sustainable marketing, meeting the needs of consumers, businesses, and society—now and in the future—through socially and environmentally responsible marketing actions We’ll start by defining sustainable marketing and then look at some common criticisms of marketing as it affects individual consumers, and public actions that promote sustainable marketing Finally, we’ll see how companies themselves can benefit from proactively pursuing sustainable marketing practices that bring value to not only individual customers but also society as a whole. First, let’s visit the concept of social and environmental sustainability in business. The marketing concept is a philosophy of customer value and mutual gain. Its practice leads the economy by an invisible hand to satisfy the many and changing needs of millions of consumers. 1 SUSTAINABLE MARKETING Sustainable marketing calls for socially and environmentally responsible actions that meet the present needs of consumers and businesses while also preserving or enhancing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Figure 4.1 compares the sustainable marketing concept with marketing concepts we studied in earlier chapters. The marketing concept recognizes that organizations thrive from day to day by determining the current needs and wants of target group customers and fulfilling those needs and wants more effectively and efficiently than competitors do. It focuses on meeting the company’s short-term sales, growth, and profit needs by giving customers what they want now. However, satisfying consumers’ immediate needs and desires doesn’t always serve the future best interests of either customers or the business. Whereas the societal marketing concept identified in Figure 4.1 considers the future welfare of consumers and the strategic planning concept considers future company needs, the sustainable marketing concept considers both. Sustainable marketing calls for socially and environmentally responsible actions that meet both the immediate and the future needs of customers and the company.
Figure 4.1 Sustainable Marketing Truly sustainable marketing requires a smoothly functioning marketing system in which consumers, companies, public policymakers, and others work together to ensure socially and environmentally responsible marketing actions. the marketing system doesn’t always function smoothly. The following sections examine several questions about sustainability: What are the most frequent social criticisms of marketing? What steps have private citizens taken to curb marketing ills? What steps have legislators and government agencies taken to promote sustainable marketing?
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