Sustainable Marketing: Only Socially Responsible Companies Win


Increased social responsibility and rising environmental concerns have influenced a shift in focus from traditional marketing to sustainable marketing, although this trend has a positive impact not only on the future of the planet, but also brings benefits to companies, in particular, according to Harvard Business Review research, companies that implement sustainable business principles have better risk management practices, have more innovative potential and have higher financial performance (HBR).

So, let's find out what sustainable marketing means. Every business has an impact on the environment and it doesn't matter if it's a big business or a small business. And if the business is focused on the long term, the focus should not only be on increasing profitability, but also on focusing on preserving the environment, providing value to society and meeting their needs, and ensuring that the business does not violate the rights of future generations in meeting their needs. Sustainable marketing is defined as the result of the evolution of traditional marketing, aimed at promoting products and services that are produced in an environmentally friendly way, in addition, the production and supply processes are also taken into account, it is important to understand that sustainable marketing has differences from green marketing. Green marketing focuses solely on promoting environmentally friendly products, i.e., the emphasis is on emphasizing the sustainability of products, while sustainable marketing encompasses the sustainability of products throughout the entire value chain.

The concept of sustainable marketing consists of three key elements, which are shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1 - Key Elements of The Concept of Sustainable Marketing According to F. Kotler, marketing at the present stage of development is based on the methodology of three-level design, which is the result of evolution from the marketing-management concept to the relationship marketing concept and further to the concept of social responsibility to employees, consumers, third-party suppliers, other stakeholders and society as a whole for conservation of natural resources and maintenance of environmentally sustainable equilibrium.

Let's look at the fundamental differences between sustainable marketing and traditional marketing, shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2 - Principal Differences Between Sustainable Marketing and Traditional Marketing According to IBM research, sustainability is at an all-time high in 2020 (IBM).

Thus, for the bulk of consumers, it is important that companies effectively manage recycling and offer environmentally friendly products that benefit health and simplify life.

The same trend can be seen in researches conducted by other companies and organizations, confirming the increasing importance of social responsibility of brands, which has become even more relevant in 2021:
- a special Edelman Trust Barometer research, which focused on consumer confidence in brands during a pandemic, showed that 71% of consumers are willing to refuse the products and services of those companies that prioritize profit over protecting people;
- in 2021, consumers will choose brands that support the idea of sustainable development - according to 69% of experts from Euromonitor International;
- Futerra research shows that 88% of consumers are more likely to buy products and services from companies that care about the environment.

The influence of consumers on increasing the social responsibility of brands is due to the development of social media and the high speed of information dissemination, and their role will only increase every year. At the same time, companies that opt for sustainable marketing gain advantages, some of which are shown in Figure 3.


Figure 4 - Key Benefits for Companies Choosing Sustainable Marketing

Well, only companies that care about their consumers and the future of the planet will win.

by Charlie Jones