What is marketing?
Marketing, more than any other business function, deals with customers. Understanding, creating, communicating, and delivering customer value and satisfaction are at the very heart of modern marketing thinking and practice. What is societal marketing or social aspect in marketing?
Societal Marketing is basically a marketing concept that is of the view that a company must make good marketing decisions after considering consumer wants, the requirements of the company and most of all the long term interests of the society.
Societal Marketing is actually an offshoot of the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainable development. This concept urges companies to do more than having an exchange relationship with customers, to go beyond delivering products and work for the benefit of the consumers and the society. Meaning:
The societal marketing concept embodies a higher and more enlightened plane of marketing thought and practice. The concept has an emphasis on social responsibility and suggests that for a company to only focus on exchange relationship with customers might not be in order to sustain long term success. Rather, marketing strategy should deliver value to customers in a way that maintains or improves both the consumer’s and the society’s well-being.
Most companies recognize that socially responsible activities improve their image among customers, stockholders, the financial community, and other relevant publics. Ethical and socially responsible practices are simply good business, resulting not only in favorable image, but ultimately in increased sales.
The societal marketing concept:
The 1980s & 1990s saw the emergence of Societal Marketing concept. The Societal Marketing concept calls upon marketers to build social & ethical values into their Marketing practice. It states that firm should not just make consumer satisfying goods but also “Environmental Friendly” & “Consumer Health oriented Products”. It should then deliver superior value to customers in a way that maintains or improves the consumer & society’s wellbeing.
The societal concept of Marketing insists that organization while framing their Marketing policies should balance 3 considerations –
Consumer satisfaction + Public interest + Company Profit
this concept holds that –
* Determine the needs, wants & interest of target market. * Deliver, the desired satisfaction more efficiently & effectively than competitors, and. * Preserve & enhance the customer’s & society’s well being.
(Kotler et al, 1993)
The societal concept calls on marketers to balance three considerations in setting their marketing policies: company profits, consumer wants, and society’s interest. Originally, most companies based their marketing decisions largely on short-run company profit. Eventually they began to recognize the long run importance of satisfying consumer wants and the marketing concept emerged. Now many companies are beginning to think of society’s interests when making their marketing decisions.
Societal marketing planning model:
This stage is the most crucial, as it is essential to focus on understanding the consumer first. This stage delivers the market research data required in order to make the correct case for change. It involves a variety of methods, including desk-based research into local, regional, national and international work, stakeholder and customer consultation as well as workshops with the client, its partners and the target audience.
During this phase we use the formative research to establish the product and message design in order to identify the most appropriate way to reach the segmented target audience and develop the message and imagery. This includes – * Working on the interventions to overcome challenges and overcoming barriers which such as accepting new behavior, rejecting old behavior or a new behavioral concept or modifying current behavior. * Develop behavioral goals
* Agreeing the most dynamic social marketing mix to maximize use of key messages via a variety of mediums * Developing campaign strategy and design
* Developing and agreeing key messages
* Segmenting the audience into accessible groups
* Identifying incentives
* Identifying performance indicators
Using the formative research, the team will have established how to connect with the key audience on their ‘turf’, geographically, emotionally and physically. Following a trial with key target audiences, we deliver campaigns which connect geographically, intellectually and emotionally Throughout the campaign process, we anticipate and deal with issues and problems; track, test and analyze performance to increase the impact and identify new opportunities which we can capitalize on. Evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation is essential to inform and direct future campaigns and to provide key data in line with performance indicators. During this phase, the team will: * Assess achievement of aims and objectives (short, medium and long-term goals) * Evaluate the impact on audience, outcome, process and cost effectiveness of the campaign * Determine the impact on specified behavioral goals
* Take on key learning – effectiveness, efficiencies, quality, management process
Evaluation isn’t the end of the road – effective social marketing campaigns should progress to the follow-up stage. Clear and dedicated follow-up is essential in ensuring the short term impact of a campaign is built on to achieve medium and long-term goals. We therefore – * Consider the outcome of the campaigns – what impact did we have, why and how? * Agree on how best to capitalise on achievements and learn lessons from previous activities * Clearly define what remains to be achieved
* Use this as an informative resource to move forward
Our social marketing team works for Government departments, health boards and health trusts, universities, local authorities and global corporations. In the health sector, we work in partnership with Finnamore, the largest independent healthcare management consultancy in the UK. This allows us to offer a unique one stop shop in terms of the specialist development, implementation and evaluation of social marketing campaigns, not to mention providing innovative and comprehensive solutions for the healthcare sector. The joint venture brings together two companies that are leaders in their respective fields: healthcare strategy and change management, market research and marketing communications. If achieving sustained change for the social good is on your agenda, we would like to think that we might be your ideal partner.
Following are the three examples of Societal Marketing Concept:
1. Body Shop: Body Shop is a cosmetic company found by Anita Roddick. The company uses only vegetable based materials for its products. It is also against Animal testing, supports community trade, activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights, and overall protection of the planet. Thus it is completely following the concept of Societal Marketing.
2. Ariel: Ariel is a detergent manufactured by Procter and Gamble. Ariel runs special fund raising campaigns for deprived classes of the world specifically the developing countries. It also contributes part of its profits from every bag sold to the development of the society.
3. British American Tobacco Company: BAT is a British based Tobacco company. It was found in the year 1902. BAT is involved in working for the society in every part of the world. It conducts tree plantation drives as part of its societal marketing strategy.
4. the brand of fat free oil to prevent the growing ratio of heart disease.
5. Various automobile manufacturers are focusing more on producing CNG cars that is not only environmental friendly but it is also very economical. So this trend is getting popular very quickly. One can verify it by observing the increasing number of CNG stations.
6. There are various companies that are favoring the use of recycled paper to aid more life to trees.
Is Societal marketing contributing for the betterment of Indian consumers?
“Societal marketing blends social, company and customers wants.”
The modern time is the time of information, peoples are more aware of sensitive issues which the earlier generations did not know, like shortage of resources, health issues, environmental deterioration.
And the reason of this well learned society is ubiquity of information, through the means of electronic media and print media, and internet now is playing very important part in providing up to date information at the rate of just one click. So this generation has developed the ability to judge any marketing strategy, whether it is correct or not
Trend of societal marketing is growing rapidly by the time. Many multinational companies are adopting this marketing philosophy to get the attention of well learned customers of the society and to educate normal citizen.
Societal marketing sidesteps the potential conflict between customer wants, company interests and long run societal welfare.
But, India is an under develop country, there are 35% Pakistani’s that are living below the poverty line, Availability of Clean water, High Standard Education, Pollution are the big concerns for Indian consumers.
•White collar person in Indian society cannot buy a bottle of mineral water for its supper unless it is in his economical range. •Virtual University could not be successful if it had a same fee criteria as that of others institutions. •People would not use CNG cars if it was expansive.
From Indian consumers’ point of view, I have come to the conclusion that any marketing strategy, regardless of how beneficent it can be for the betterment of human life, cannot appeal Indian customers, unless it is economical.