Societal marketing is a concept that holds that companies should make good marketing decisions by considering consumers' wants, the company's requirements, and society's needs. It is an approach to business that focuses on long-term relationships with customers and other stakeholders rather than short-term financial gain. This type of marketer aims to build up trust among all parties involved to work together for mutual benefit.
Victor Lebow first introduced this philosophy in 1955 when he wrote "Price Competition in 1955." He said, “Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. We need things consumed, burned up. Otherwise there would be no economic growth."
Societal marketing was developed in response to the traditional marketing concept, which focuses on satisfying consumer demand for products. This is done by understanding what customers want and how they behave.
In contrast, societal marketers believe that companies must consider their limitations and social responsibility when making marketing decisions. They argue that it isn't enough to meet customer demands; companies need to be socially responsible and consider other stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, distributors, retailers, etc.
If these groups are not considered, there could be negative consequences for all involved parties, including the consumer, who may ultimately have fewer choices available or face higher prices due to lack of competition within the marketplace. Society can also suffer if businesses do not act responsibly concerning their impact on communities or environmental issues associated with production processes.
In other words, his idea was to create demand where none existed before through planned obsolescence (the practice of designing products with limited useful lives) or creating new wants through advertising campaigns. By following this principle, companies can create better products for everyone involved while also creating an ethical business model.
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