Sustainability and environmental marketing issue Essay Example

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Sustainability and environmental marketing issue


21.0 Introduction

32.0 Literature Review

53.0 Causes of Sustainable and Environmental Marketing Issue

64.0 Potential Implications of Sustainability and Environment Marketing Issue

75.0 Conclusion and Recomendation

106.0 References

Sustainability and environmental Marketing Issue

1.0 Introduction

Green marketing is very important in today’s marketing activities and plays a major role in promoting sustainability and protecting the environment (Dobhal, 2005). Many organisations today are successfully practising green marketing techniques. A number of studies show that people today are very concerned about the environment and are demanding for environment-friendly products. Owing to this, green marketing evolved that focus on marketing sustainable and environment-friendly products and services (Dobhal, 2005). We can define green marketing as the delivery and promotion of products and services that satisfy the customers and at the same time do not affect the environment and society at large. It involves activities like modified advertising, product modification and change in packaging to name a few. Companies globally are striving to reduce the effects of their products or services on the environment and people (Dobhal, 2005). Marketers are also taking the challenge and are going green. As a result of the growing demand for green products and services, green marketing advocates for sustainable and environment-friendly products and services. In Australia, majority of customers feel that sustainable and environment-friendly products and services are safe to use. And as a result, marketers are faced with the challenge of delivering such products in order for them to gain a competitive edge (Pronthero, 2011). This represents an era of recyclable and non-toxic products. Nevertheless, this has proven to be a huge hurdle for some marketers in Australia. There are many challenges that may result due to implementation of sustainable marketing. This paper will discuss the reason for the existence of sustainable marketing and why it is relevant to the Australian Business and marketers. In addition, the essay will detail out the potential implications of sustainability and environmental issues on marketing.

2.0 Literature Review

Due to the pressure from sustainability and environmental concerns, organisations are expected to prepare for a further sustainable era by reviewing their social and environmental implications of their marketing techniques. It means that organisations should re-evaluate and assess their product and service portfolio and the way their products are produced, designed and marketed (Peattie and Crane, 2005). Nevertheless, this can be a huge challenge for marketers. It may involve assessing the impacts to customers and stakeholders at large. Sustainable marketing can take marketers outside their normal frame of reference. Over the years, store shelves in Australia have been occupied and packed by greener commodities as diverse as ozone-safe aerosols, cruelty-free cosmetics and recycled toilet tissue to name a few (Peattie and Crane, 2005). However, the sustainability of marketing has not always been easy. There exist a number of controversies over political challenges and environmental claims in designing green labelling schemes in Australia. There have also been challenges in implementing recycling initiatives. Several organisations have been disappointed with the results of their green products and services and withdrawn them. But many organisations in Australia have developed their sustainable products further since it makes good business sense (Prothero, 2010).

Market leaders in Australia are now incorporating environmental considerations in their products development. This has resulted to the establishment of ISO 14062 guidelines involving the integration of environmental concerns towards commodities and service design and development (Prothero, 2010). Marketers are involved in the environmental and sustainability debate at macro and micro level. Marketing plays an important role in the interfacing consumption and production thereby influencing a company’s product portfolio. Marketers take part in the product development process. For this reason, marketers are expected to receive proper training and education regarding social and environmental responsibility issues. Marketing can advance in sustainability further as this will be excellent from a ‘people, planet, profit’ point of view. Nevertheless, the pursuit of sustainability can have an effect on the marketers since it takes them into strange territory and confront them with difficult challenges and questions. Sustainability strategy is a business model that is based on the extensive triple bottom line of profit, people and planet consideration (Wilson and Beard, 2014). In order to overcome sustainable and environmental issues, organisations should independently design a functioning learning environment that contributes positively to the economic, social and environmental sustainability. In order for sustainability to be developed, all marketers must be ready to learn the practise of sustainability marketing (Wilson and Beard, 2014).

3.0 Causes of Sustainable and Environmental Marketing Issue

According to Dobhal (2005), there is a huge potential for sustainable products and services in Australia since customers are now becoming engrossed by environmentally sustainable options. Therefore, businesses are challenged to utilize green marketing in order to give a company a competitive edge. Environmental-friendly and sustainable marketing issue has been brought about by the need to satisfy the changing needs of the consumers in terms of considering the wellbeing of the environment and the community at large (Kotler and Keller, 2012). In order to meet the harsh environmental standards and regulations, marketers are becoming sensitive to the growing need to switch to green products and services. Owing to this, sustainable marketing has emerged that communicates to the market about sustainable commodities.

In the opinion of Kotler and Keller (2006) all economic resources are considered scarce. As resource become limited and the human wants unlimited, marketers should utilize the available resources efficiently and effectively with the aim of achieving organisational success. Therefore, sustainable marketing is inevitable. Based on a number of literatures, Prothero et al., (2011) has identified a number of reasons for the rising publicity of green marketing. In his opinion, green marketing enables a company achieve organisation objectives. Studies show that concern for the environment is reflected in the changing nature of consumption-related perceptions. According to Prothero (2010), 87% of Australia adults are highly concerned about the environment while 57% of them buy environmental labels and brands. In consumer point of view, conscious is the way people choose which products are more ethical among many options (Prothero et al., 2011). Customer conscious has a huge influence on buying behaviour. Customer conscious is influenced by popular opinion, personal values and the media. Today, environmental concern is a topical issue thereby it is something that customers take into account. When people use a service or product that conforms to their personal values, they feel good. Marketers have realized the opportunity available that allow them to capitalize on the influence of consumer conscious. This has brought about the need for sustainable marketing.

4.0 Potential Implications of Sustainability and Environment Marketing Issue

The concept of sustainable marketing has evolved over the years (Kotler and Keller, 2006). The concept is vast and has many implications for public policy as well as business strategy. Implementation of sustainable marketing into an organisation boosts competitive advantage. In addition, sustainable marketing has the potential to expand the market as it assist in the access of new markets. In addition, sustainable marketing ensures sustained long-term profitability and saves on money although initial cost may be high (Kotler and Keller, 2012). Nevertheless, the concept of sustainably and environmental concerns may have negative implications on marketing. Addressing the issue of market risks is a marketing plan process. However, sustainability and environmental issue has the potential to add a dimension of uncertainty to its “newness”. This means that sustainable marketing is still in its high-risk phase as the appeal for the concept by the consumers is yet to be well defined (Prothero et al., 2011). Although many consumers advocate for sustainable products and services, they are not ready to pay extra for sustainable products and services. There is a huge gap between the customers’ words and their actions. Therefore, implementation of sustainable marketing may not yield results as expected. As mentioned earlier, consumers easily agree with the coupling of the economy and sustainability. This appeal has led many marketers to believe that sustainability efforts have mass potential. However, consumer buying pattern and behaviour to date has not showed the sustainability appeal of the customers. As argued by Peattie and Cane (2005), customers are still capturing sustainability benefits. Nevertheless, customers are showing appeal for sustainability and will possibly be involved more in the future.

In addition, chasing the sustainability opportunity can bring about operating costs that would require to be dealt with during marketing plan development (Peattie and Cane, 2005). Some operating risks associated with sustainability and environmental concern issue is loss in profitability and focus. Some companies have incorporated sustainability marketing into their mission statement and have yielded positive results. Loss of profitability and focus however, can occur as a result of using higher financial and human resources than the commensurate benefit. Incorporating sustainability into marketing can result to loss of focus on fundamental objectives of an organisation (Peattie and Cane, 2005). Driving activities and processes that are not part of the primary strategy through marketing may damage profitability by shifting focus and misallocation of resources. Also, sustainability marketing can create higher degree of either positive or negative impacts on brand image. Sustainability as an altruistic and noble cause can boost brand recognition for companies practising sustainability marketing (Peattie and Cane, 2005).

5.0 Conclusion and Recomendation

Through the research into sustainability and environmental issue, sustainability and environmental concern has increased in relevance over the years especially in Australia. The issue has had a huge impact on marketing and business at large. I agree with what the research is showing about the growing concern of Australian companies on marketing and promoting sustainable products and services. There is no single strategy that works for every company. Sustainability may present a challenge to organisations but when done appropriately using effective models, it can create opportunity to achieve business success. In order for organisations to be successful, they must develop marketing strategies that convert environmental venture into source of competitive edge. Marketers have the role and responsibility of making sure that consumers realize the need for green products as well as maintain greener environment. My opinion on the sustainability marketing is that although environmental concerns have increased pressure on marketing, it can be a powerful tool for companies in terms of increasing competitive advantage.

Although customers are not entirely ready to embrace and spend extra money for green products, the future looks good for sustainable marketers. This means that all organisations should strive to implement sustainable marketing that has the potential of bringing long-term success. Marketers should introduce environmentally sustainable products and services in order for customers to have a choice on what they want to buy. When presented with a choice of environmentally sustainable products and those that are not, consumers will be persuaded by their conscious to buy the sustainable products. I agree with the research that environmental sustainability have a significant influence on public image.

Sustainability marketing is very important in today’s marketing activities and plays a major role in promoting sustainability and protecting the environment. Over the years, there has been a growing demand for sustainability in companies (Kotler and Keller, 2006). Therefore, companies globally are striving to reduce the effects of their products or services on the environment and people. We are in the era of non-toxic and environment-friendly. Therefore, marketing has been affected considerable by this notion. In an effort to promote sustainability, sustainability marketing has been incorporated into the business operations. Sustainability and environmental issue has affected marketing in many ways. For instance, sustainability marketing can bring about competitive advantage to a company and boost its image. In contrast, sustainability marketing can be detrimental in that it can lead to decline in profitability and loss of focus. Although there are a number of significant disagreements to support the implications of sustainability and environmental issue in marketing, there are evidences to support the fact that sustainability marketing is relevant. Owing to the unique and constant changing of the positioning of sustainability and environmental concern in the customers’ minds, green marketing is accompanied by many setbacks and benefits. In order for any company to be successful in sustainability marketing, it should take into consideration a number of factors and be ready to overcome risks and challenges.

6.0 References

Kotler, P. & Keller K. L. (2006). Marketing Management, 12th ed., Pearson Prentice Hall

Kotler, P. & Keller, K. (2012). Marketing management. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Peattie, K. & Crane, A. (2005). “Green marketing: legend, myth, farce or prophecy?”,
Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 357-370.

Prothero, A. (2010). “Green consumerism and the societal marketing concept: marketing strategies for the 1990s”, Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 87-103.

Wilson, J.P. & Beard, C., (2014). Constructing a Sustainable Learning Organization: Marks and Spencer’s First Plan A Learning Store, The learning organization, vol. 21, no. 2, p. 98-112.

Prothero, et al., (2011). “Sustainable Consumption: Opportunities for Consumer Research and Public Policy,” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing​, vol. 30 (Spring), p. 31–38.