Sustainability Marketing: Definition, Strategies & Example

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  • 0:03 What Is Sustainability…
  • 1:27 Consumer-Oriented
  • 2:10 Customer-Value & Innovative
  • 3:02 Sense of Mission & Societal
  • 4:03 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Loy

Dr. Loy has a Ph.D. in Resource Economics; master's degrees in economics, human resources, and safety; and has taught masters and doctorate level courses in statistics, research methods, economics, and management.

This lesson will define sustainability marketing while providing concrete examples. Different types of strategies will be discussed, including those focused on consumers, value, innovation, the mission, and society.

What Is Sustainability Marketing?

When you go to have the oil changed in your vehicle, do you think about where that oil goes? Is this important to you? Would you rather it be recycled or dumped into your groundwater? If you'd rather pay more for it to be recycled, you are interested in sustainability and can likely be swayed by sustainability marketing.

Sustainability marketing, also referred to as green marketing, is when a company focuses social and environmental investments as a marketing strategy. Companies are often criticized for waste, price markups, and misleading advertising. To counteract this type of publicity, more companies are turning to sustainability marketing.

Sustainability marketing is a way to build relationships with consumers while letting them know that they are important and so are future generations. While it is a developing field, sustainability marketing is an important piece of marketing strategy. How many companies are there that can change your oil? Sustainability marketing may just be the reason you choose a certain company over the many others out there.

There are five common strategies for sustainability marketing. These include:

  1. Consumer-oriented marketing
  2. Customer-value marketing
  3. Innovative marketing
  4. Sense of mission marketing
  5. Societal marketing

Let's review each of these and look at some examples.


Consumer-oriented marketing is when a company markets its products and services from a consumer's point of view. You want a message that shows the company is a better choice. This is marketing that consumers can see from their own perspectives.

Say you own ABC Oil Change and you want to use sustainability marketing to engage more customers. You might create an advertisement that shows children and parents playing by a stream. One side of the stream is littered with oil puddles. On the other side is a playground made of recycled oil products. Consumers can place themselves in that contaminated stream with their children. This ad would drive the point home that recycling with ABC is the sustainable choice.

Customer-Value & Innovative

Customer-value marketing is when a company invests in building value with its customers. This means a company researches what their customers appreciate and markets those exact qualities to them. For example, with our company, we may focus our marketing on supporting our customers' lifestyles. Most of our customers work, so we can market that we open early and stay late so customers don't have to miss work. Highlighting this convenience is customer-value marketing.

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