By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- 1 List the principles of sustainable marketing.
- 2 Explain how these principles are put into practice.
Consumer-oriented marketing is a solution focused on a customer’s need. The product is designed to solve a problem, distributed for convenience, and promoted as a solution to the consumer’s needs. A consumer-oriented marketing strategy requires extensive marketing research to understand the consumer’s needs. Organizations then must design the four Ps around those needs. Finally, a consumer-oriented marketing strategy requires customer service and feedback to ensure that consumer needs are met. Zappos is known for having a customer-oriented marketing strategy. With its strategy, it focuses heavily on customer service and has assembled an extensive team that solves any issue a consumer may face with an order.
Customer-value marketing seeks to provide the customer with maximum utility compared to competitors. Customers make a value exchange when purchasing a product, so they naturally ask themselves whether the cost is worth the value of the transaction. This does not mean that all customer-value products and services are inexpensive. In fact, the high price of a product might be an intentional choice by the company to attract a specific target audience. For example, Tiffany & Co. has created a luxury brand around its jewelry’s value to customers.
Innovative marketing uses media as a method for capturing shoppers’ attention and converting them into customers. The ever-changing digital landscape offers myriad possibilities to engage an audience in an innovative marketing strategy. For example, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago took its penguins on a field trip to meet their aquatic roommates for a virtual event in 2020. During the field trip, the Aquarium broadcasted on social media and delighted animal lovers worldwide while promoting the aquarium.
Mission-driven marketing aligns purpose and brand. With mission-driven marketing, a company uses its core mission and purpose as the focus of its marketing strategies.
A mission-driven organization can be a for-profit or nonprofit, governmental or nongovernmental, public or private, or religious entity.
Charity: Water is an outstanding example of a mission-driven organization that uses marketing to inspire its audience. Its mission is to bring clean water to communities that face a clean water crisis. The founder, Scott Harrison, has his own story that inspires the mission, and storytelling is integral to implementing charity: water’s marketing strategy.
Societal marketing is most akin to the sustainability strategies discussed in this chapter. A societal marketing strategy fulfills social responsibility obligations while satisfying customer needs. Athleta, a Gap company, sells premium-priced performance apparel to female athletes. Its product is designed for a target audience of women in motion. Athleta launched a Power of She campaign to celebrate the diversity of women and serve as a societal marketing effort. Additionally, approximately 70 percent of Athleta’s apparel is manufactured from recycled and sustainable materials.26
It’s time to check your knowledge on the concepts presented in this section. Refer to the Answer Key at the end of the book for feedback.