Why Sustainable Marketing?
While the notion of the sustainable consumer is relatively recent, the debates about consumption, consumer behaviour and consumerism are ancient (see Fig 1.1). This chapter will first consider the historical view of consumption, and then it will define the elusive sustainable consumer. It draws on the work of Professor Tim Jackson, who in 2005 produced a detailed review of consumer decision-making from a sustainability perspective. The review is comprehensive and should be compulsory reading for marketers. Stakeholder theory is used to identify and create sustainable segments shaped by the TBL. The notion of sustainable consumption is developed in it, and it considers how purchasing decisions are increasingly influenced by sustainability. Marketers who identify the key influences affecting decision-making will establish a deeper understanding of customers’ behaviour and will be better placed to create value for (and support) the customer. Furthermore, sustainable marketing cannot ignore the criticisms aimed at marketing. Hence, critical marketing and the persistent myths associated with marketing will be discussed. Marketing research is at the heart of most marketing decisions. To remain competitive, innovative and attractive to the customer, marketers must constantly develop their products, services and even organisations. Marketing research is central to providing the data and information to do this successfully. Finally, this chapter considers the role of systems and their influence on adopting sustainable practices.