What is the Societal Concept of Marketing Management?


Companies must survive and thrive in the "red ocean" market. The red ocean signifies the cutthroat marketing environment that we are in. For companies to thrive, they must ensure that they are marketing their products to consumers and society as a whole. Marketing, in simple terms, means selling products that satisfy consumers. The five different concepts in marketing are

  • Production Concept

  • Product Concept

  • Selling Concept

  • The holistic concept or the societal concept

  • Marketing concept

These concepts help us a lot in understanding how the firm operates and what they are targeting.

Societal Concept of Marketing Management

Firms primarily operate to earn revenue. This single-minded approach was not enough for their success, so they diluted their focus on both profits and customer satisfaction. Soon enough, they realized that even this approach was not enough for them to beat their competitors and ensure a loyal customer base. It was the time when they came across the societal concept of marketing management. The societal concept is also known as the human concept or the intelligent consumption concept. This concept focuses on

  • Revenue for the firm.

  • Customer satisfaction through the company’s products.

  • Sustainability for the ecology and the environment.

Birth of a Societal Concept

In the 1960s and 1970s, a lot of firms were found to be abusing ecology and the environment for their success. We saw a lot of companies −

  • Dumping hazardous waste materials in the nearby lakes and rivers without thinking about the pollution and the effect that it might cause on the community residing beside the riverbed. There were enormous deaths and illnesses because of the unavailability of clean drinking water.

  • Releasing toxins and harmful gasses in the air without worrying about air pollution, climate change, and the melting of glaciers. This release of toxins led to respiratory diseases in the community living in the nearest proximity and deaths. There were breathing and visual problems around the clock.

  • Companies also abused their workers to ensure maximum profits. Poor working conditions, underpayment of wages, unpaid overtime, and mental and emotional abuse were common among the factories.

  • Land dumps by the companies without giving any consideration to the ill effects it might cause to the farming community, the people residing on the land, and others.

These abuses were now no more tolerated by the community. Consumers were members of the community, and it became difficult for them to consume the products or services produced by the company without feeling guilty. Hence the boycott of the company and its products started. This boycott led to the birth of the societal concept of marketing for companies.

A company can easily implement the societal concept of marketing management by producing goods that satisfy the wants of the consumer, are sustainable for the environment, and ensure certain revenue for the company. The company just has to ensure that −

  • For all the toxins and harmful substances, it is releasing into the environment, there are positive actions taken by the company for the environment. for example, planting and maintaining trees. This will ensure sustainability.

  • It is helping the community grow through its products and actions. For example, many companies have their own free teaching and skill development programs for youth and children.

  • It is ensuring that they are limiting the usage of plastic and other harmful materials in the making of the product and others.

Benefits of the Societal Concept of Marketing

  • It enhances the public image of the company.

  • It helps the company develop a loyal customer base.

  • It helps the employees of the company fulfill their social responsibility and helps the company increase employee engagement. This also ensures employee satisfaction.

  • It gives the company an edge over its competitors and its products.

  • It increases the community’s preference for the company’s product.

  • It helps the company in creating products that will solve the issues faced by the people, in short, more relevant and sought-after products.

  • It impacts both the bottom line and the top line of the company. Communities will prefer companies that are ecologically responsible.

  • It helps the company survive in the short term by ensuring regular sales.

  • It helps the company with its future or long-term diversification and expansion plans.

  • It improves the standard of living in the community.

Trending Examples of Societal Marketing

  • Body Shop − We know that the cosmetic industry is known for its animal testing and ingredients for products obtained through dirty sources. As a society, we are concerned about our fauna and flora. Hence, body shops advertise and practice no animal testing, and ingredients obtained only through vegetables and plants go a long way. This is the unique selling proposition of Body Shop and the reason why consumers are ready to buy a product that is expensive and mostly 5 times the worth of the products that are generally available in the market.

  • Toms − Working for the underprivileged. Realization about the fact that not everyone can afford to buy shoes was disturbing for the owner of Tom. He started the societal marketing strategy by saying that the company would give a pair of shoes to the underprivileged for every pair of shoes bought by its customers. The "buy one, give one" marketing strategy was a total hit. Here, the company understood that not everyone has the time to help the underprivileged, irrespective of their willingness to do the same, and targeted them accordingly.

  • Woodchuck USA, Tentree, Wewood, Enties, Good Seeds apparel, Wave Tribe, Trinity Oaks, Pacific shaving company, prestige decanters, and Baron Fig −all these companies have incorporated sustainability into their selling proposition. These companies plant a tree for every purchase that a customer makes from their shop. This is an amazing proposition for sustainability and helps the company's marketing as well as its public image.

Sustainability, or the societal concept of marketing, is no longer a luxury that a brand can avoid. It is a way of living. Companies have to think about their survival and long-term success. The societal concept of marketing management is going to ensure the same for them. The societal concept of marketing helps firms earn profit and also helps in societal development and human welfare.

Updated on: 19-Jan-2023

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