Societal Marketing Concept: How does your business transform the world?

In order to do societal good, businesses are reassessing their marketing strategies and adapting them to address not only the consumers’ needs and wants but also the well-being of society as a whole to transform the world.

Updated: February 16, 2022
Societal Marketing Concept: How does your business transform the world?

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Change continues to occur across business and marketing strategies, and so does the philosophy behind those strategies.

As more businesses move away from a narrow focus on high selling tactics and get behind the philosophy for meeting the needs of consumers, they’re also taking it a step further.

While profits and consumer needs are still important, companies are beginning to consider their effect on society as a whole and how they can become more socially responsible.

In order to do societal good, then, businesses are reassessing their marketing strategies and adapting them to address not only the consumers’ needs and wants but also the well-being of society.

This is referred to as societal marketing.

The societal marketing concept will shift the focus away from purely economic gain and onto the implications of its products, services, and actions on society.

It will also mesh with the newest changes in organizational culture, evolving with conscious policies and strategies internally as well as externally.

Here is what we will cover in this post:

    Understanding the Societal Marketing Concept

    The societal marketing concept emphasizes that a company should better its digital marketing decisions by taking a three-pronged approach to strategies.

    These three prongs include:

    • Considering consumers’ interests, wants, and needs.
    • Understanding the company’s requirements.
    • Taking into account society’s overall long-term interests.

    Think of it along the lines of environmentally and socially responsible marketing, which takes into account the present needs of consumers and your business’ profits, along with efforts to enhance or create a more sustainable future for the younger generations.

    Also referred to at times as the “concept of intelligent consumption” or “concept of people,” societal marketing places its emphasis away from consumerism and consumption and lands it more on conservation and social improvements.

    How Does This Philosophy of Societal Marketing Transform the World?

    The philosophy behind the societal marketing concept takes into account the environment, society, and your business needs.

    It is a way to transform the world away from a main focus on consumerism and to create motives for businesses to exist beyond earning a higher profit.

    Marketing strategies under the concept now focus on delivering value to consumers in such a way that improves and maintains their well-being and that of society.

    With it, content marketing is undergoing a change, with importance being placed as much on the message as the product or service itself.

    Going even further, by eliminating products with no long-run societal value and modifying others to meet both the needs of customers and society as a whole, companies can begin to transform the world one step at a time.

    What are the Benefits of Societal Marketing for Companies?

    Instead of focusing only on a company’s unique vision and mission, businesses today need to open up and look at the long-term welfare of society as a whole and its role in maintaining its well-being.

    By doing so, the business can benefit in a variety of ways. Essentially, societal marketing can:

    • Improve or establish a favorable image of your company.
    • Increase your company’s competitive advantage, placing you above your competitors and increasing your market share.
    • Help to build customer relationships, leading to long-term customer retention.
    • Build trust and credibility by incorporating internal company policies and external marketing to prioritize social welfare.
    • Lead to business growth and expansion over the long term.
    • Utilize company economic resources more efficiently.

    Above all else, companies incorporating the societal marketing concept into their strategies, and providing goods and services benefiting society, will build profitable, long-term relationships with their current customers and also attract new ones.

    7 Examples of Societal Marketing

    Successful examples of the societal marketing concept are already appearing today.

    These examples can provide beneficial clues as to how your business can build better customer relationships, tend to the well-being of society as a whole, and still increase profits.

    1. The Body Shop

    The well-known beauty, skincare, and bathing products company, The Body Shop, has long included societal marketing in its strategies.

    The brand uses environmentally friendly ingredients, including natural, vegetable-based materials, in all its products. This action itself boldly shows the company’s concern for environmental and societal issues.

    Further, The Body Shop is highly vocal and takes a conscious stance against animal testing with its animal protection program, and also promotes human rights and environmental protection.

    In addition, the company advocates for community fair trade, launching a program for sourcing high-quality, ethical ingredients across the globe.

    2. Pela

    Pela is a company built on developing products consisting of environmentally friendly materials, with a streamlined focus on moving towards a more waste-free future.

    For example, their Pela Case is an eco-friendly, no waste cell phone case that is 100% compostable.

    Pela is also transforming the world in its own way by inspiring and educating the worldwide community to contribute and make a positive impact on society and the planet.

    3. Beyond Meat

    Beyond Meat, as its name implies, is all about producing plant-based alternatives to meat products.

    Not only will this benefit people’s health, but its production saves land, water, and energy resources as a whole, generating less Greenhouse Gas Emissions in comparison to beef burgers.

    Still, there’s more. The brand’s goal is to impact not just one global social issue but at least four that are important now and also imperative to the future.

    These four global social issues include human health, animal welfare, natural resource constraints, and climate change.

    4. Adidas

    Adidas, the competitive sportswear and shoe company, is already a world leader. Yet the brand continues to incorporate societal marketing into everything it does.

    With a commitment to bettering the environment, the company manufactures its products in ways that make them reusable, again and again.

    This means constructing their shoes from recycled plastic waste as one way to show they care.

    The plastic waste itself comes from their partnership with a company that works to clear beaches of waste and debris.

    As a result, they are promoting cleaner beaches and efforts to protect the oceans and the marine life within while also creating products consumers want to purchase.

    5. Budweiser

    Back in 2017, Budweiser presented a Super Bowl ad that told the story of its German co-founder, Adolphus Bach.

    The goal of the ad was to present the importance of immigrants and their passion, drive, and hard work in achieving their ambitions and goals regardless of any obstacles.

    6. Ariel

    Ariel, a detergent product created by Proctor and Gamble, focuses its societal marketing efforts on special fundraising campaigns.

    These campaigns focus on the less privileged classes around the world and specifically on those in developing countries.

    Ariel also shares its profits by contributing to societal development a share of every bag of detergent sold.

    7. Green Toys

    The name of this company speaks to what it produces and also implies how it is going about making a difference in society and the world.

    Green Toys only produces toys made from 100% recycled materials. The main source is milk jugs, and the production process adheres to stringent environmental and safety practices and laws.

    The company collects, cleans, shreds, and reprocesses the plastic to use in their toy offerings.

    Wrap Up: Make a Difference in the World with Societal Marketing

    There are numerous other examples out there that show how societal marketing can work to improve a company’s image while doing good in the world.

    Wider examples of the societal marketing concept include focusing on healthier fast foods for customers and offering products to help people stop smoking, which in turn benefits all of society’s health.

    Overall, societal marketing requires companies to create a unique balance of consumer needs, company profit-making, and the interests of society as a whole.

    The societal marketing concept can help your business accomplish these changes and more.

    In addition to this focus on society as a whole, creating conscious policies and strategies internally will also benefit your brand and help you build trust and credibility along the way.

    Find out more about how to build an internal environment filled with diversity and inclusion to boost your societal marketing efforts!


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