Societal marketing

The social marketing is a marketing concept that the company wants to make the decisions of the consumers, the company’s requirements, and the society’s long-term interests.

The social marketing concept holds que la organization’s task is to determine the needs, wants, and interests of a target market and to deliver the Desired satisfactions more Effectively and Efficiently than concurrents in a way That preserves gold Enhances the consumer’s and the society’s well-being . Therefore, marketers must endeavor to satisfy the needs and wants of their customers and consumers. [1] [2] It is closely linked to the principles of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development .


Various attempts to define the objectives of societal marketing have been noted, [3] such as:

  • ” Social responsibility implies that a business decision maker … is obliged to take actions that also protect and enhance society’s interests.
  • “Business has the responsibility to help [the consumer] … It is the duty of business to promote proper consumption values.”
  • “Business leaders are mandated to adopt roles of leadership in the advancement of our society to new levels of moral conduct.”


The concept of Social Marketing emerged in 1972, promoting a more socially responsible, ethical and ethical model of marketing, countering the consumerism way of thinking that had been promoted by then.

It was introduced in an article by Philip Kotler , “What consumerism means for marketers” in the Harvard Business Review . The social and societal concerns had existed, but it has not been established in the marketing literature .

Kotler introduced the concept of social marketing (extending marketing technologies into non-business areas) and societal marketing, arguing that the marketing concept and its technologies must be tempered and replaced by a more explicit social orientation. [4]

Kotler’s novelty to the marketing concept was the idea of ​​”long-run consumer welfare”, emphasizing that the short-term desires might not support the consumer’s long term interests or be good for the society as a whole.


Kotler identified four categories of products, classified in long term benefits and immediate satisfaction:

  1. Deficient products, which bring neither long-term benefits
  2. Pleasing products, which brings a high level of satisfaction , but can cause harm to society in the long run
  3. Salutary products, which bring low short term satisfaction, but benefit the society on the long run
  4. Desirable products, which combines long-term benefit and immediate satisfaction

Kotler’s concept of societal marketing suggests that for the well-being of society, the deficient products should be eliminated from the market. products and the companies’ ultimate goal should be to develop desirable products.

This way, rather than focusing on selling products, which can be good or bad for the consumers, the main focus is on consumer and society well-being.


Most companies recognize that socially responsible activities improve their image among customers, stockholders , the financial community , and other relevant public. Ethical and responsible business practices are simply good business, resulting in favorable image.

  • The Body Shop : The International Body Shop is the original, natural and ethical beauty brand. The company uses only plant based materials for its products. It is against animal testing , supports community trade, activate self esteem, defend human rights, and overall protection of the planet. They also have their own charity, The Body Shop Foundation, to assist in the development of environmental protection. Thus Body Shop is really following the concept of Societal Marketing. [5]
  • AVON Product inc. has started an initiative known as Avon Breast Cancer Awareness Crusade in 1993 in partnership with National Alliance of Breast Cancer Foundation (NABCO) .They started selling pink ribbon pins which depicts the international symbol for breast cancer for $ 2 and donates $ 1 to NABCO. Through the crusade Avon sales have been raised to billions of dollars for breast cancer. In addition, Avon’s 45,000 US patients have been trained to breast cancer patients and distributed 80 million flyers on breast cancer detection. [6]

Social marketing

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 to “Customer Oriented” Approach and Uses the Concepts and Tools Used by Commercial Marketers in Social Purposes and Anti-Smoking Campaigns or Fundraising for NGOs.

As we mentioned above, Societal Marketing can be defined as “Marketing with a social dimension or marketing that includes non-economic criteria”. [7] Societal Marketing “Concerned for society’s long term interests”. [8] It is about “the direct benefits for the organization and secondary benefit for the community”. [9] It makes a difference between the consumer’s satisfaction and the long term consumer benefits. Accordingly, Andreas Kaplan defines societal management as “management that takes into account society’s overall welfare in addition to mere profitability considerations.” [1]

Social marketing is a discipline that began in 1971, with Kotler and Zaltman. It is defined as an “adaptation of commercial marketing technologies to programs designed to influence the voluntary behavior of target audiences to improve their personal welfare and that of the society they are apart from”. [10] Social marketing uses more traditional techniques and strategies, focusing on selling, to achieve goals for the greater social good. Its campaigns can encourage Either merit goods , as for example fund raising for not-for-profit organisms or discourages the use of demerit goodspromoting society’s well being, as non-smoking campaigns or promoting the use of seat belts. Another characteristic of social marketing is that of influencing individuals’ behavior to improve their well-being. It includes “more than just advertising in print media, radio or television”, [11] it includes sponsorship or online marketingand is usually planned or implemented by governmental and nongovernmental organizations. A clear example that societal differentiates from social marketing is a marketing campaign on non-smoking. A discussion of cessation advertisement is an example of social marketing, but the marketing strategies and techniques used in this campaign are increasing the importance of the society, which is an example of societal marketing.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Unlike societal marketing, CSR has existed for many years. Another difference is that CSR “focuses more on a corporate level and stakeholders”, [12] while societal marketing is more concerned about the consumer and their long term benefits. CSR social and environmental concerns are integrated into all business operations. CSR is mainly run by companies, while social marketing by Government or Non profits organizations. One example of CSR among companies is what Hagen-Dazs is doing with their “microsite” to raise awareness to the general public about the preservation of the honeybee.


Corporations are the one who are striving for the whole time for improvements. They are turning to all kinds of corporate social networks to help them build their brand images.

Corporate Social Marketing, or CSM, usually refers to marketing efforts that have at least one social related objective, such as charity founding, among its goals. Typical examples are a certain percentage of the final product to a charity related to the product, or sponsoring events that promotes social well-being such as the Olympic Games. Corporate Social Marketing benefits a company in many ways, but its main goal is to improve the image of the public has of the company. A company that appears committed to improving the lives or others, the environment or other worthy causes is seen in a better light than that.

So, it can be so, that CSM programs are becoming extremely popular because the leaders believe it is a good business to be viewed as a socially responsible company. [13] However, even though past research suggests that CSM may be effective in improving equity and increasing market share, there are limits to the effectiveness of these initiatives.

An example of a corporate social adversely affects the company. [14]

Depending on the nature of the CSM program, the intent of the corporation may be obvious to the consumers. This happens if the benefits to the corporation are not apparent or conflicts with what the consumer believes.

Businesses exist to make a profit, consumers can spend considerable energy in an attempt to infer motives related to the profit-oriented goals. As an example, a consumer may be suspicious of a tobacco company that undertakes a campaign to prevent underage smoking. If this is successful, the company would be affected and the cigarette sales will be lowered. So, in this situation, consumers ‘suspicions may lead them to infer motives that would actually protect the companies’ financial condition – they are trying to improve their image to sell more cigarettes to adults. However, if a tobacco company undertook a CSM Campaign, that would sustain their business customers may be able to infer profit motives more easily and then have a more favorable attitude towards the partnership. Therefore,

Another aspect that may cause suspicion with consumers is the amount of harm that a company has already done, or because of unsafe products or harmful production practices. It is logical that consumers are more likely to suffer than harmful products. Again examples are the tobacco companies and alcohol companies as well. They will meet when they will be socially-oriented campaigns. [15]

That is why when different industries are used, the two are generally used – the harmful nature of the products and the harmful nature of the production methods.

This classification can be broken down by the various CSM efforts. Companies that work in this “dangerous” industries are not always successful, because the customers may be suspicious of any societal endeavors. Consumers will infer the less-serving society and more self-serving motives for corporate societal marketing programs.

The following are some of the most popular reasons for CSM campaigns: Positively tied to product sales, completely unrelated.


Societal marketing has received a considerable amount of criticism.

Gaski argued whether the marketers shoulds step away from Their classic goal of customer satisfaction and profit maximization while Respecting the minimum standards Governmental Imposed by law and enter this public policyarea, since Would Have Themselves to decide what are actions consist with the public welfare. Gaski states that the marketers might not have the jurisdiction, nor the right, to decide what public interest is, since it should be the customers who decide what is good for them, or their political representatives and dictates that to the industry.

The societal marketing concept has become an excellent strategy for doing business with ‘doing good’. [16]

Future development of the concept

Societal marketing is gaining the attention of the marketers and consumer is every reason to expect it to continue to evolve in practice. It focuses on providing win-win opportunities to companies, consumers and society. But achieving the compelling benefits for each party involved is very complicated. So much more research is needed. To achieve a situation for the organization involved, In this context, anticipating consumer reaction is very much a problem which can be affected by many factors. The several research questions remain to be answered differently how do you react to societal marketing and how do the various factors interact? How can societal initiatives be designed to leverage positive reaction and negative negative?[17]

For consumers to win, societal marketing must provide them with benefits that increase their overall welfare. What benefits did societal marketing initiative actually provide to consumers? Are there any direct benefits to their satisfaction with their interaction with commercial or nonprofit organization? Determining whether there is a win situation for societal marketing initiative is the most difficult question to be answered. We turn to the two questions by Bloom, Hussien and Szykmann (1995): Is the society better off because of this program? Does corporate involvement result in better performance than it if managed by NGOs or government agencies? Societal marketing is becoming globally popular but there is a scarcity of research in this field.[18]

See also

  • Sustainability marketing
  • Social marketing
  • Green marketing


  1. ^ William Lazer, “Marketing’s Changing Social Relationships,” Journal of Marketing, Vol. 33 (January 1969), pp. 3-9
  1. ^ Philip Kotler and Sidney J. Levy, “Broadening the Concept of Marketing,” Journal of Marketing, Vol. 33 (January 1969), pp. 10-15
  2. ^ Kotler, P. (1972) “What Consumerism Means for Marketers”, Harvard Business Review 50 (3), 48-57
  3. ^ Chattanano, A. (2003), The impact of societal marketing programs on customer
  4. ^ Gaski, JF (1985), “Dangerous territory: The societal marketing concept revisited”, Business Horizons, 28 (4), 42-47
  5. ^ Crane, A. Desmond, J (2002), “Societal Marketing and Morality,” European Journal of Marketing, 36 (5/6) 548-569
  6. ^
  7. ^ Bloom N. Paul, Gundlach T. Gregory. Handbook of Marketing and Society, Sage Publications
  8. ^ Handelman, Jay M .; Arnold, Stephen J. 1999: Journal of Marketing
  9. ^ Elliot, GR (1990) The marketing concept: Necessary but sufficient? an environmental view. European Journal of Marketing
  10. ^ McColl-Kennedy, J., Kiel, G., Lusch, R., Lusch, V. 1994, Marketing: Concepts and Strategies, Nelson Australia, Melbourne
  11. ^ Andreasen, A. 1995, Social Marketing Change: Changing Behavior to Promote Health, Social Development and the Environment, San Francisco: Jossey BassI
  12. ^ Belz, Martin Frank, Peattie, Ken (2010): “Sustainability Marketing”, John Wiley and Sons
  13. ^ Business in the Community (2001), “Businesses Use Marketing Muscle to Tackle Social Issues,” in Cause-related Marketing Website,
  14. ^ Sen, Sankar and CB Bhattacharya (2001). “Doing Good Always Leads to Doing Better, Consumer Reactions to Corporate Societal Responsibility,” Journal of Marketing Research, 38 (May).
  15. ^ Hoeffler, Steve and Kevin Keller Lane (2002), “Building Brand Equity Through Corporate Social Marketing”, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 21 (1)
  16. Andrew Takas, “Societal Marketing: A Businessman’s Perspective,” Journal of Marketing, Vol. 38, No. 4 (Oct. 1974), pp. 2-7
  17. Russell Abratt and Diane Sacks, “Perceptions of the Societal Marketing Concept,” European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 23, Issue 6, pp. 25-33 (1989)
  18. Friedman, 1962 “The social responsibility of business is to make a profit”
  19. Kotler, Philip. Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning, Implementation and Control 8th ed. Prentice Hall, 1994
  1. Jump up^ “Andreas Kaplan: European Management and European Business Schools: Insights from the History of Business Schools”. European Management Journal . 32 : 529-534. doi : 10.1016 / j.emj.2014.03.006 .