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Societal Marketing Definition and Examples

Societal marketing is an orientation or philosophy that holds that a company should make marketing decisions not only by considering consumer wants but also by considering society’s well-being. In this type of marketing, the consumer’s wants are given primary consideration, while the company also tries to balance these wants with the interests of other stakeholders. To learn more about societal marketing definition and see some examples of companies that practice it, read on!

Societal marketing definitions by different scholars

Societal marketing is a concept within marketing that emphasizes the idea that businesses should make an effort to improve the lives of consumers and society as a whole. Many renowned marketing authors defined societal marketing differently but the goal of societal marketing is to create a long-term, sustainable relationship between a company and its consumers and the wider world. We will outline some definitions of societal marketing from major authors below.

Kotler’s definition of societal marketing

“The societal [social] marketing concept holds that the organization’s task is to determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets and to deliver the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors, in a way that preserves or enhances the consumer’s and the society’s well-being.”

Kotler et al. (2005)

Dawson’s definition of societal marketing

Human concept’ entails a widening of business concerns on three levels: the internal environment (human resources within the organization); the proximate environment (consumers, competitors, suppliers and distributors); and the ultimate environment (society) in general.

Dawson’s (1969)

Schwartz’s societal marketing definition

The societal concept of marketing recognizes profits as a major business motive and counsels firms to market goods and services that will satisfy consumers under circumstances that are fair to consumers and that enable them to make intelligent purchase decisions, and counsels firms to avoid marketing practices that have deleterious consequences for society.

Schwartz (1971)

Takas’s definition of societal marketing

Only way in which societal marketing can become operational is to make it immediately profitable for business through business–government co-operation.

Takas (1974)

Choudhury’s definition of societal marketing

Marketing managers’ consideration, appraisal, recognition and response to the long-run consequences that will accrue to the society as a result of the firm’s marketing activities.

Choudhury (1974)

Sirgy’s definition of societal marketing

Societal marketing orientation posits that marketing success is likely to be mostly based on serving the many stakeholders of the firm and balancing their demands.

Sirgy (2001)

Kang and James’ definition of societal marketing

Attention to the long-term well-being of individuals and society at large by enhancing positive impacts from and reducing negative effects associated withthe production and consumption of a product.

Kang & James (2007)

Societal marketing definition by Shuptrine and Osmanski

Greater attention should be paid to the type of products sold in terms of their effect on human welfare, society and the natural environment, by adding the ‘three considerations’ consumerism, clean-up and conservation-to the four P’s of the marketing mix.

Shuptrine & Osmanski (1975)

Societal marketing definition by Drumwright and Murphy

Encompass marketing initiatives that have at least one non-economic objective related to social welfare and use the resources of the company and/or one of its partners.

Drumwright and Murphy (2001)

What is societal marketing?

Societal marketing is a term that is used to describe a type of marketing that focuses on the welfare of society as a whole. This type of marketing takes into account the ethical and social concerns of consumers and attempts to market products and services in a way that is beneficial to both consumers and society as a whole.

In order to achieve this, businesses need to consider the ethical implications of their actions and how they might impact the environment. They should also think about how their products or services can be used to improve people’s lives.

An important part of societal marketing is creating a shared value between the business and its consumers. This can be done by creating products or services that offer benefits to both parties. For example, a company might create a product that is environmentally friendly and also helps to save money.

Societal marketing is not easy to achieve, but it can be very rewarding for both businesses and consumers. It requires businesses to think beyond profit and consider the wider impact of their actions. When done correctly, it can create a mutually beneficial relationship between companies and their customers.

Examples of societal marketing companies

There are many examples of companies that practice societal marketing.

One example is Warby Parker, which gives a pair of glasses to someone in need for every purchase made. Its mission statement is “To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.” For every pair of glasses sold, they help to provide access to vision care for someone in need.

Another example of a societal marketing company is Seventh Generation, a cleaning product company. Seventh Generation’s mission is to “create products and business practices that help protect human health and preserve the environment.”

Other companies that practice societal marketing include L’Oreal, which has a program that provides free haircuts to cancer patients. Also, Nike, a footwear manufacturing company donates athletic equipment to schools.

The benefits

The societal marketing concept is a sustainable business philosophy that meets the needs of consumers while also protecting and improving the quality of the environment. This approach to marketing focuses on creating a long-term relationship with customers, rather than short-term profit goals.

It is a type of triple bottom line (TBL) philosophy, which takes into account social and environmental concerns in addition to financial performance.

The goal of societal marketing is to find the balance between meeting customer needs and wants while also preserving or enhancing the quality of the environment for future generations. This can be accomplished through various means, such as using recycled materials, investing in renewable energy, or supporting programs that improve social welfare.

There are many benefits to implementing a societal marketing strategy. For one, it can help businesses gain a competitive edge by differentiating themselves from others in their industry who are not practicing this type of sustainability. Additionally, it can lead to increased sales and brand loyalty as customers become more aware of and concerned with environmental and social issues. And finally, it can help reduce costs associated with waste disposal and other negative environmental impacts.


Societal marketing is a complex and difficult undertaking, as companies must balance the needs of different stakeholders while also trying to achieve their own business goals. This can often be a difficult tightrope to walk, and many companies have found themselves criticized for their attempts at societal marketing.

One of the most common criticisms of societal marketing is that it is simply a form of greenwashing, or using environmental or social causes as a way to improve a company’s image without actually making any meaningful changes. While it is true that some companies engage in greenwashing, this is not always the case. Many companies are genuinely committed to making positive changes in the world, even if their motives are not entirely altruistic.

Another criticism of societal marketing is that it often relies on emotional appeals rather than rational ones. This can make it difficult to gauge the effectiveness of a company’s campaigns, as well as make it seem like companies are trying to exploit people’s emotions. However, emotional appeals can be effective in getting people’s attention and motivating them to take action.

Despite these challenges, societal marketing can be a powerful tool for promoting positive change. When done correctly, it can raise awareness about important issues, engage people on a personal level,

How to create a successful societal marketing campaign

There are a few key things to keep in mind when creating a societal marketing campaign:

1. Keep your target audience in mind – who are you trying to reach with your message?
2. Keep your messaging positive and upbeat – remember, you’re trying to make the world a better place!
3. Be clear about what you want people to do – make it easy for them to take action.
4. Use all available channels – don’t just rely on one form of marketing, use as many as you can (social media, PR, events, etc.)
5. Measure your results – track how successful your campaign is so you can adjust and improve for next time.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful societal marketing campaign!


Societal marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on the well-being of society as a whole. The goal of societal marketing is to create long-term, sustainable change that will improve the lives of people both now and in the future. Some examples of companies that practice societal marketing are Tom’s Shoes, Warby Parker, and Toms Market.