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Concept of sustainable marketing
The concept of sustainable marketing can be defined as creating and maintaining sustainable relationships with target audiences and the environment. Sustainable marketing includes procurement, production, packaging, transportation, distribution and waste disposal. This marketing differs from ordinary marketing in that it also aims to take social and environmental criteria into account.
The main difference between conventional and sustainable marketing is that companies set precise, specific marketing goals that are achieved through collaboration with customers. The main objectives of sustainability marketing are to satisfy three main requirements: short-term and long-term economic objectives, social and environmental objectives. Conventional marketing focuses on economic aspects and short-term economic development. According to the authors, economic goals – increasing revenue from the sale of sustainable products and services, increasing market share and increasing long-term customer satisfaction are the most important economic aspects of business development. Social goals – in the field of sustainable development, companies must demonstrate that their products are safe to use and have no impact on the health of consumers. In addition, company managers must take necessary measures to ensure the well-being of not only consumers, but also stakeholders, employees, contractors, suppliers and others. Green goals are the most important goal in sustainable marketing. It must motivate companies to minimize their impact on the environment during the production process by choosing better, healthier materials, using renewable energy, conserving water and other natural resources, reducing waste water and the disposal of harmful, toxic and non-recyclable materials into the environment.
Managerial approach to sustainable marketing
A managerial approach to sustainable marketing consists of the following six main parts:
- Social and ecological problems;
- User behaviour;
- Sustainability marketing values and goals;
- Sustainability marketing strategies;
- Sustainability marketing mix;
- Transformation of sustainability marketing.
The application of sustainable marketing in the company’s activities is closely related to cooperation with customers and maintaining strong relationships.
Sustainable marketing communication to the customers
In order to attract the attention of customers, companies are increasingly incorporating sustainability into their corporate activities, thus trying to demonstrate their uniqueness, increase company name recognition, improve customer relations and attract new ones. It is important to ask customers and listen to them, what their needs the company can help to satisfy, what social or environmental problems are important to them and the company could contribute to solving them. Customers and companies must be motivated to reduce the impact of production and consumption on the environment, to choose more sustainable alternatives during the entire production process. It is important for the company to feel a connection not only with the customer in pursuit of economic benefits, but also with the social environment, with nature contributing to reducing the scale of problems. Social and environmental performance leads to better company performance in the market: business creates economic value, but also creates value for society, which helps to solve emerging challenges. Sustainability can help business leaders spot consumer needs that need to be met, but so far none of their competitors are doing so, new markets that can be helped or help solve social problems.
The increasing public and consumer interest in sustainability has led businesses to respond to it, and as a result, sustainability has become one of the main reasons that shape marketing trends. What matters is when sustainability must be embedded throughout a company’s strategy and supply chain, from product development to consumer presentation and consumption.