What Is Sustainable Marketing? - Definition & Concepts

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  • 0:01 What Is Sustainable Marketing?
  • 0:56 Why Is It so Popular Now?
  • 1:49 Disadvantages of…
  • 2:35 Examples of…
  • 3:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

Sustainable marketing is a new trend in marketing and business and one that many people are likely to have been exposed to. In this lesson, we learn about it, its advantages and disadvantages, and its likely future.

What Is Sustainable Marketing?

Do you ever wish that companies would start to view you as more than just the sum of your spending power? Or perhaps you own a company and would like to know how to connect to your potential clients on a more visceral level? In either case, you need to learn about sustainable marketing. Sustainable marketing is a new concept in marketing and business, but it is already proving to be a game changer. Based on ideas of environmental and social sustainability, sustainable marketing seeks to meet the needs of this generation without messing up the future. It's part of a much bigger theme in business that is focused on everything from wind power to eliminating trans fats. However, sustainable marketing still has some disadvantages, some of which we will discuss in this lesson. Finally, we will look at examples of sustainable marketing that you may have encountered.

Why Is It so Popular Now?

Although some politicians and lobbyists still debate about global warming, climate change, and the role of different social classes, many businesses have recognized that people who are friendly to the environment and society are also consumers. Businesses also understand that these people are so passionate about their beliefs that they prefer companies that cater to them. The recognition by established companies has created enough momentum for newer companies to take notice as well. Take organic food, for example. In the past, organic meant growing it yourself. Today, even big box stores have sizeable organic food selections. Further, as more people embrace organic foods, they look for other ways to decrease their own footprint on the planet. Sustainable marketing points them in the right direction, not only to a smaller impact, but also to bigger profits for companies that use it well.

Disadvantages of Sustainable Marketing

Still, not everyone has felt the advantages of sustainable marketing. For starters, some companies face a big investment when they switch to sustainable marketing. For a small florist to switch to an e-newsletter is no major change. However, a multi-national energy company would have to invest billions of dollars to change its image from a heavy polluter to a company that cares about the environment. However, one must also look at whose idea of sustainable is being pursued. Like I said earlier, a lot of the core concepts of sustainable marketing are still heavily debated in the public sphere. A company that makes a point of going green could face opposition if its clientele is not convinced of the real need to do so. They could think that the company they support is simply wasting money.

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