Reinventing Marketing to Manage the Environmental Imperative In the article, “Reinventing Marketing to Manage the Environmental Imperative,” Kottler states, “With the growing recognition of finite resources and high environmental costs, marketers need to reexamine their theory and practices” (132). Additionally, because of the downturn in the economy, marketers have adjusted their strategies to compensate for consumers with limited disposable income.
In the sustainability market, companies recognize such forces as globalization, cultural differences, the Internet, social media, brand proliferation, retail concentration, recession, and environmental issues. Sustainability is a word often heard on this small island of Kauai. Sustainability also raises the question of whether or not future generations will be able to survive with resources that today’s society continues to deplete.
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Some of the challenges facing today’s society include atmospheric and climate changes, ozone layer depletion, soil degradation, air and water pollution, decreases in the various natural resources such as water, oil, and timber, to name a few. Global markets in the past operated on the assumption of utilizing these resources and relying on them for not disappearing. As a result, companies were not held liable or accountable for the cost to the damages caused to the environment such as pollution and natural resource depletion.
Over-production and unnecessary consumption now add to these problems. For instance, before sustainability, consumers and businesses were not concerned the planet had infinite resources – inevitably, the emphasis of the market before environmental awareness issues was based on producing exclusively to suffice consumer’s thought that “•Quality of life and personal Maides-Carroll 2 happiness increase with increased consumption and want satisfaction” ” (Kottler 132).
The mindset has changed in the sustainability realm that these assumptions are not correct and in fact quality of life and happiness are not directly linked to their consumption of goods. Why do companies need to change their marketing practices to adjust for this? There is a great deal of pressure from consumers to meet their demand for social responsibility. Studies have shown consumers will buy products that are labeled as environmentally responsible. In some cases people will pay more for these products. Many consumers have become accustomed to a lifestyle approach of “more is less”.
Some due to environmental consciousness and some due to economic instability. Pressure is now upon producers to carefully decide what, how much, how to distribute and promote their products. In the age of social networking word of mouth can spread negative press on company’s who are not employing environmentally friendly practices. Marketing has generally targeted creating more demand for a product. merriam-webster online defines demarketing as, “the use of advertising to decrease demand for a product that is in short supply”.
We have seen demarketing in the insurance, healthcare, tourism and oil. We now face using this strategy to adjust for water shortages, over fishing and energy overuse. Some public service companies have employed demarketing even though their revenues will decrease such as promoting lowering electricity use or switching to solar. Wikipedia (2010) online defines Social marketing as, “the systematic application of marketing, along with other concepts and techniques, to achieve specific behavioral goals for a social good”.
The health industry has engaged in social marketing for a long time, Quit Smoking, Get Healthy, Change Your Lifestyle have been marketing mantra’s for many years. Maides-Carroll 3 In order for sustainable marketing to be successful, there are several research imperatives that must be met. For example are there certain segments of consumers more likely to require sustainability, what can companies do to persuade investors to agree to invest in sustainability, is there government legislation, regulations or taxation that incentivizes sustainability.
Our society has a long way to go if we are committed to providing future generations with resources and a clean environment. This article was chosen as an example of the discussion on environmental effects on marketing. The environmental imperative touches on legal and regulatory restrictions that are placed on many industries. Companies are promoting their eco-friendly image as a competitive edge and sustainability is promoted using marketing tools; product, price place and promotion.
The sustainability movement is also a Socio Cultural factor as there are even groups now that are labeled “LOHAS” which stands for “lifestyles of health and sustainability” (Kottler 135). Companies are now concerned not only for the earth’s environment but a new marketing environment in which companies are competing in making the smallest footprint. Works Cited Kotler, Philip “Reinventing Marketing to Manage the Environmental Imperative”. Journal of Marketing Vol. 75 (2011) American Marketing Association 132 –135, EBSCO, Web 16 July 2011. Merrion-Webster source Wickipedia source