Societal marketing is a marketing concept that gives priority to safeguarding society’s interests. Other marketing concepts focus on promoting profitability, and satisfying customer needs that puts the human welfare at stake. Societal marketing, therefore, seeks to address the shortcomings of other marketing concepts. The concept is based on three pillars which are company, consumers, and society.
A business is created to increase the owners’ wealth. Shareholders are therefore interested in both short-term and long-term profitability of a business. Marketing operations should, therefore, seek to increase the return on investment thus meeting the shareholders’ expectations. However long-term profitability of a business is dependent on the extent to which customer needs and the society’s interests are met.
Besides meeting the corporate obligation of profitability, societal marketing requires firms to focus on satisfying customer needs. Customer loyalty is a crucial determinant of long-term competitiveness. It is created when products are aligned with the current customer needs that enable a firm to meet market expectations.
Businesses interact with the society in the course of meeting their goals. Marketing decisions have direct impacts on the society’s welfare that makes it necessary to consider human welfare when making key marketing decisions. For instance, production activities have ecological footprint that threatens the society’s wellbeing. The societal market requires businesses to carry out an impact assessment to ascertain the impact of operations on the society which is used as a basis for decision making.
Societal marketing concept provides an advanced approach to marketing management by bringing on board the interests of different stakeholders. Image management continues to gain popularity in today’s business environment as it influences long-term competitiveness. Operating in a way that meets the interests of the society enables a firm to improve their reputation thus gaining societal acceptance that is a critical business success factor.