Social and ethical marketing: essence, goals, idea

The conditions of fierce competition, in which the brand needs to try very hard to be noticed by the consumer, dictated their own rules: business needs a completely new approach, as traditional advertising has become obsolete. Now a business does not just have to satisfy needs.

Social and ethical marketing: essence, goals, idea

A business, if it wants to survive in conditions of fierce competition, must develop in step with the times. If he intends to prosper, he must be two steps ahead of progress.

Such a rule is applicable not only to production processes, but also to its interaction with the outside world in a social context. The system, in which the whole approach boiled down to the fact that "the consumer has a demand, we satisfy it," goes back to the historical stage. Today it is not enough to satisfy the needs of the buyer. Competitive conditions have taught entrepreneurs to do this job perfectly. Now there is a new trend - the business is moving to a new level at which the consumer can realize his ambitions, develop and contribute to something more by using a product or service.

Support and help to society instead of intrusive advertising

The essence of the concept

According to experts, for this it is not enough to have a whole department of cool marketers who will develop promotion strategies in their comfortable offices. Another thing is relevant: everyone who participates in the business processes of the company must transmit the concept of this business. Such modern conditions have led to the formation of a new direction - social and ethical marketing. He poses new challenges and requires a more thorough approach than simply establishing contacts with partners and promoting his brand.

Marketing in the classical sense means promoting a brand, product or service. In other words, paving the way for a consumer’s wallet through his brain. The tool is all types of advertising, from simple booklets to large-scale events. A key factor in the implementation of marketing activities is its budget.

What is it based on?

The concept of social and ethical marketing significantly expands this framework. She puts several requirements:

  • A business must satisfy market needs at a higher level than competitors.
  • Production processes should not infringe on the interests of other people, nature or other entities.
  • Promotion of universal values.
  • The need to implement all types of advertising aimed at increasing the prestige of the company: from printed materials to large-scale events.
  • Purposeful maintenance and improvement of the quality of communication with consumers.
  • Promoting your own image by designating your own real achievements, and not through the use of typical marketing templates.
  • Anticipation of socially significant events and readiness for them.
  • Contribution to the development of society, improving the environment.
The slogan of the business of the new time: power in unity!

The development of these areas cannot be carried out only by the marketing department. It is believed that entrepreneurs should know the answers to these questions at the stage of business formation.

Those companies, at the origin of which the concept of social and ethical marketing has not yet become widespread, should include top management and the human resources core to reformat their strategies. In particular, they will be required to master the skills of social technologies and realize the mission of their own company.

What is the purpose of the application?

The goal of classic marketing is very simple - to bring the product to the consumer and stimulate customer interest. Later, another trend appeared - the desire for multiple purchases. However, the essence remained the same - the buyer satisfies his need. There is no other ideology in this process.

In contrast to these processes, the goals of social and ethical marketing are broader. Here, ideological factors are included in classical goals: the enterprise must satisfy the needs of the client in such a way that there is public benefit from the whole process, an elevated meaning.

Moreover, these goals should be realized for all types of marketing campaigns and at all stages. Typical marketing tasks should include the following elements:

  • At the stage of studying the interests of the target audience. The classic marketing approach focuses on the social position of the consumer. In particular, he is looking for the answer to such questions: "How much does he earn?", "How old is he?" “What gender is he?”, “What problems and needs does he have?” Social and ethical marketing adds other questions: "What is the consumer thinking about?", "Does he have a desire to make the world a better place?", "What are his unfulfilled ambitions and plans?", "How can it be useful to other people and society?"
  • With the desire to increase customer loyalty. Typically, this task has two goals: retaining the consumer and adding to his number of customers his circle of friends. This is achieved by convincing the merits of your brand and disseminating information about the positive, friendly approach of the company. Now this will not be enough. Orientation to social and ethical marketing requires companies not to distribute their brand, but an idea that may not be directly related to the product or service. Moreover, the emphasis is on the importance of solutions to a particular society problem. The belief is being introduced that the consumer can join this process, becoming a client of this company.
  • At the stage of strengthening the brand, the image of the company. Typically, such events include business development in a new way. This may be the introduction of new technologies, the release of a new product, the automation of customer interaction systems or another production process. But if the company adopts new marketing rules, it will be forced to make significant changes at this stage. The concept of social and ethical marketing is characterized by the holding of socially significant events, the purpose of which is not the interests of the company, but to contribute to society. It can be a charity concert, an exhibition with the participation of socially vulnerable layers of the population, fairs and auctions, the proceeds of which funds are spent for charity.
  • With the improvement of the quality of goods and services. The classical approach in this aspect involves the exclusion of chemical additives, synthetic products, and other dubious factors from the composition of the products. A new round of marketing and its requirements may create some difficulties at this stage, since the concept of social and ethical marketing requires maximum environmental friendliness of goods and services. If it is a service, then additional bonus options or customer rewards through affiliate networks can be introduced.

To summarize the above, it can be concluded that the goals of social and ethical marketing are the actualization of universal values, the introduction of other people to this idea and the search for solutions to improve the environment in priority order. Own interests in the form of increasing prestige and making a profit should be in the background.

The trend is spreading across the planet: more and more countries where business is actively involved in public life

What is the idea?

Social and ethical marketing is not a collection of dry recommendations and strategic plans. This is a common set of principles, business philosophy. The idea of ​​social and ethical marketing carries the propaganda of honesty, justice and a responsible attitude to society in all manifestations of advertising.

To some extent, the idea even carries the unity of diametrically opposed categories. For example, marketing in the classical sense is aimed at making a profit, and ethics is in the category of the non-material sphere. Ethics is a complex topic, since each member of society has its own subjective ideas about what is right and what is wrong.

Principles of Socially-Oriented Marketing

Based on the above, the idea of ​​social and ethical marketing is expressed in the following principles:

  • All types of marketing communications adhere to the principles of maximum truthfulness.
  • Marketing professionals adhere to the highest level of personal ethics.
  • The company's advertising content is clearly different from news and entertainment materials.
  • Marketers are required to be honest with those directly involved in the implementation of events.
  • Fair and courteous attitude towards consumers.
  • Respect for absolute confidentiality regarding consumer data.
  • Marketing specialists must strictly observe the norms, standards and rules of their state and society.
  • Ethics must always be at the forefront. They should be discussed openly.

Keep in mind that along with the benefits, ethical marketing also carries a number of difficulties, including reducing the company's profit. Therefore, not every organization can apply its principles. For example, a meat-processing company must decide whether to exclude flavors in order to follow honesty principles. At the same time, the raw materials used deeply offend the feelings of vegetarians and representatives of certain religious faiths, as well as those who advocate for the protection of animals. The question arises: how can a company make everyone happy, because the concept of social and ethical marketing requires taking into account the interests of absolutely everyone?

Consumers are very happy about this approach, even in Africa

Stages of organizing marketing campaigns with a social bias. Features

The whole process of organizing a marketing campaign with a socio-ethical bias consists of several stages. They are as follows:

  1. Identification of a problematic issue. If at this stage shortcomings and errors are made, then the rest of the process may become meaningless.
  2. Target audience selection. Based on the problem, an audience interested in solving it is determined. The whole audience is divided into small groups, one of which will be selected as a field for the implementation of social marketing. If the sponsor of the program is the state, then the choice will fall on vulnerable segments of the population.
  3. Additional research within the selected group.
  4. Development of a detailed plan, where the type of product will be determined, ways of conveying it to the consumer, promotion goals and implementation period.
  5. Analysis of the expected public reaction to a new product and the study of behavioral factors. The audience will be interested when there is something to compare.
  6. Product manufacturing. As already noted, the goals in the concept of social and ethical marketing pursue a positive change in consumer behavior. Experts in this field note that with proper organization, significant changes in people's behavior occur.
  7. Price factor control. Price and profit in this case, of course, occupy a non-priority position. However, the production of the desired product may require the investment of huge intangible resources. If you follow all the requirements, then social and ethical marketing should result in a completely new product or a new model of behavior. But the manufacturer is not required to set the price below the cost of the product. The main work should be directed towards the consumer. He will need to overcome inertia in his behavior, which remains to be changed within the program.
  8. Defining the roles of each member of the group in the implementation of the program.
  9. Creation of information products. This is necessary to bring product information to the public. Attracted by the media. To achieve the desired effect, the information campaign is pre-tested on a small group of the target audience. If necessary, amendments and adjustments are made. An important issue is the correct interpretation of the information message from consumers. If they do not understand the idea or disagree with it, then this is another risk of failure of the whole process.
  10. Efficiency mark. It will help to identify strengths and weaknesses, mistakes made and alternatives for the future.
Remembering your customers only on holidays is no longer ethical

The choice of strategy and complexes

In classical marketing, there are several types of strategic complexes. Factors of social and ethical marketing are most optimally correlated with the 5P complex. It is based on 5 factors: the product itself, its price, place, promotion and participants in the entire process.

Details can be disassembled as follows:

  • 1P - a service or product intended not for commercial purposes, but for the benefit of society;
  • 2P - cost, which takes into account all the main costs, coupled with promotion measures;
  • 3P - distribution of a product or service in a selected group;
  • 4P - advertising campaigns aimed at promoting the product itself;
  • 5P - advertising and other campaigns aimed at disseminating product ideas.

Who is it suitable for?

Each company can use this approach. Efficiency will depend on how well thought out it is. Also, creative approach and innovative solutions help minimize the marketing budget. But, as it turned out, the concept of social and ethical marketing includes a requirement for the absolute environmental friendliness of the production process and other aspects of doing business. Based on this, we note that not every company can afford to introduce social marketing. The reason is the lack of natural raw materials on a global scale, a tough information environment and individual business features that are incompatible with high principles of social and ethical marketing. However, no one can guarantee that advertising will be effective. On the contrary, in most cases unethical advertising is highly profitable.

If some companies have to study the theory on paper, then others initially envision in their conception rules that meet the requirements of social and ethical marketing. Where ethical advertising and promotion are natural, and internal production processes are highly likely to be based on high principles.

Other companies use social and ethical marketing to increase their prestige and to attract customers. The effect may also be different. For example, Domino pizza decided to show customers the natural look of its product, without studio shoots with special effects. It was something new for its sphere and for its time. But fans of the brand were well aware that everything was done in order to attract attention.

Advertising should be similar, almost indistinguishable from charity


Socially-oriented business projects as a new round of marketing are implemented mainly by large corporations. Given the essence of social and ethical marketing, aimed at solving specific problems of society, we can distinguish industries in which it can be applied in the best way. They are as follows:

  • Religion.
  • Healthcare
  • Cultural sphere.
  • Protection of the environment and nature.
  • Pure charity.
  • Education.
  • Sport.

Practical examples

The most striking examples of social and ethical marketing are being introduced in the field of charity. For example, Avon in Russia. The brand has created its own charitable organization that specializes in protecting women's health. The company released a line of products marked with a pink ribbon - tag. Part of the proceeds from the sale of such goods was directed to the budget of the charity fund.

In addition, Avon products are actively participating in a government program aimed at defeating breast cancer in women. Among other activities, Avon has set up a mobile laboratory running around the country. She managed to identify about 700 women who are at one stage or another of a breast cancer. Perhaps this way the company contributed to the timely treatment and saving of lives.

Coca-Cola entered the market as the perfect example of manufacturing technology, sales and marketing strategies. But when consumers began to talk about which components are used in production, some of them began to doubt the harmlessness of the drink. Experts believe that one of the reasons for the firmness of the company may lie in impeccable marketing decisions.

It seems that global brands have taken care of social and ethical marketing even before it was formed as a direction. , . . .


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Experts ask: "Is the idea of ​​social and ethical marketing a tribute to fashion or a necessity dictated by realities?" But there is still no right answer. If the first, then the forecasts are optimistic - this will help business to reach a new level.

When it comes to necessity, not all companies can accept its rules. A simple example is a company that produces weight loss products. Many say that such companies do not spare money on advertising, and, in fact, at the expense of it, they made their way to the market. If they are forced to introduce social and ethical marketing, then they may have to abandon their own production technologies. This can lead to collapse.

So, each company has the right to independently determine the ways of establishing communications with the general public, ways to contribute to the development of society and gaining the favor of consumers with the help of high ideas.


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