Sustainable Marketing In Principles of Marketing: Chapter 20 Summary


Write a summary of Chapter 20: “Sustainable Marketing: Social Responsibility and Ethics” in the book Principle of Marketing (17th . Ed). by Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong.

Summary of Sustainable Marketing

In Principles of Marketing, the authors Armstrong and colleagues (2017) have demonstrated how creating and capturing value leads to effective advertising strategy. Thus, it is a resource that introduces the practices, tactics, and promotion concepts with ease of learning and depth of coverage. Of special concern is Chapter 20, “Sustainable publicizing: Ethics and social responsibility,” because it makes instructions on how to trade products more enjoyable, accessible, and useful, following up-to-date information and real-world examples.

One of the crucial ideas that the authors discuss is the concept of sustainable marketing. They cover viable development and current issues, which form the setting for improved awareness concerning the topic and dwell on benefits, selling strategies, consumer behaviour, and description of the model. As an illustration, Armstrong and colleagues (2017) define the approach as ecologically and socially responsible publicizing that satisfies the organization’s and client’s requirements and simultaneously caters to future generations’ needs.

Arguably, the sustainable marketing concept compromises the company’s and consumers’ future because it only focuses on meeting their current requirements; nonetheless, the sustainable aspect means satisfying the needs while preserving the options and rights of the generation to come (Armstrong et al., 2017). Therefore, based on the latter’s definition, the environmental aspect encompasses organizations reducing negative impacts on the surroundings and making responsible decisions. On the other hand, the social dimension concerns equality, communities, and employees; thus, the personnel are expected to be treated well, and the working conditions are decent. The writers’ focus is not only on the products that businesses use but also on the ones they create. From this point, it is evident that they recognize that companies thrive daily by determining the current desires and needs of their market segment; they aspire to meet them more efficiently and effectively than their competitors.

The second aspect that the authors discuss is the dominant social criticisms of sustainable marketing. To this end, they assert that advertising causes mischief to the clients through the following dynamics: illusive practices, forced selling, high costs, inferior and unsafe merchandise, plan to obsolesce, and disadvantaged consumers (Armstrong et al., 2017). Concerning the extraordinary expenses, the writers cite excessive mark-ups, promotion, publicizing, and distribution as the primary causes. In this regard, they also provide various responses associated with these aspects. For example, they argue that the customers do not understand the rate of conducting the business, so advertising enlightens them on the merits and availability of a brand; in this context, intermediaries are essential since they provide value.

Another complaint raised by the authors is that organizations apply deceptive practices to lead consumers to believe they will gain more value, which is not the case. First, firms embellish the package content through subtle designs, labelling dimensions in distorted expressions and ambiguous cataloguing. Secondly, various organizations use biased promotion tactics, such as luring consumers into their shop for a bargain that is out of stock or misrepresenting the performance and features of a product. Lastly, they use illusive pricing, which they apply by falsely advertising a reduction from an insincere high retail list rate. The authors have also found that in sales, companies use high-pressure selling to persuade their target market to purchase products they had not intended to buy. However, this practice often damages the long-term relationship with valued consumers.

Sustainable Marketing Shortcomings

Based on social criticism of sustainable marketing, Armstrong and colleagues (2017) also demonstrate that moral salespeople realize there is no value in marketing unsafe, harmful, and substandard products. More so, they state that various business practices apply planned obsolesces, leading to their merchandise becoming outmoded before they require replacement. Furthermore, they show how numerous structures of sustainable marketing poorly attend to disadvantaged groups. Another criticism raised in this regard is that the mentioned advertising structure urges too much attentiveness to material possessions. There are also too few social goods since companies oversell individual products at the expense of public ones. More so, sustainable marketing and adverting are deemed responsible for cultural pollution; thus, firms would probably infuriate and bore those who lack interest in their merchandise since such messages are bound to reach them using mass media.

The guideline described by the authors on customer action to support sustainable marketing is useful and accurate. The first significant step therein is consumerism, which involves the organized association of the government and citizens to enhance the powers and rights of consumers regarding the sellers. The aim, in this case, is to ensure that the clients have the right to be well-informed concerning any merchandise, be protected against low-quality ones, and consume in a manner that will preserve the future generation of users. The second decisive mission is environmentalism involving a systematized movement of government organizations, enterprises, and apprehensive people aspiring to advance and safeguard the community’s living surroundings. The measures include product stewardship, pollution prevention, maintainable vision, and new clean technologies (Armstrong et al., 2017). In brief, the writers demonstrate that ecological promotion consists of the following ideologies: innovative, sense-of-mission, customer-value, consumer-oriented advertising, and societal.


Armstrong, G., Adam, S., Denize, S. M., Volkov, M., & Kotler, P. (2017). Sustainable Marketing: Pearson Australia.

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