societal marketing concept

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What is the Societal Marketing Concept?

The societal marketing concept is an enlightened marketing that holds that a company should make good marketing decisions by considering consumers' wants, the company's requirements, and society's long-term interests. It is closely linked with the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility and of Sustainable Development.

The concept has an emphasis on social responsibility and suggests that for a company to only focus on exchange relationship with customers might not be in order to sustain long term success. Rather, marketing strategy should deliver value to customers in a way that maintains or improves both the consumer's and the society's well-being.

Most companies recognize that socially responsible activities improve their image among customers, stockholders, the financial community, and other relevant publics. Ethical and socially responsible practices are simply good business, resulting not only in favorable image, but ultimately in increased sales.

Early papers on the topic include those by William Lazer[1] and by Philip Kotler and Sidney Levy.[2] The Journal of Marketing presented a comprehensive discussion of societal marketing in July, 1971.

Societal marketing should not be confused with social marketing. The societal marketing concept was a forerunner of sustainable marketing in integrating issues of social responsibility into commercial marketing strategies. In contrast to that, social marketing uses commercial marketing theories, tools and techniques to social issues. Social marketing applies a “customer orientated” approach and uses the concepts and tools used by commercial marketers in pursuit of social goals like Anti-Smoking-Campaigns or fund raising for NGOs.

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1. ^ William Lazer, "Marketing's Changing Social Relationships," Journal of Marketing, Vol. 33 (January 1969), pp. 3-9
2. ^ Philip Kotler and Sidney J. Levy, "Broadening the Concept of Marketing," Journal of Marketing, Vol. 33 (January 1969), pp. 10-15
3. Andrew Takas, "Societal Marketing: A Businessman's Perspective", Journal of Marketing, Vol. 38, No. 4 (Oct., 1974), pp. 2-7
4. Russell Abratt and Diane Sacks, "Perceptions of the Societal Marketing Concept", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 23, Issue: 6, Page: 25 - 33 (1989)
5. Andrew Crane and John Desmond, "Societal marketing and morality", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 36, Issue: 5/6, Page: 548 - 569 (Jun 2002)
6. Friedman, 1962 "The social responsibility of business is to make a profit"

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