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Marketers are not doing enough in directing their target markets toward sustainable consumptions.
The students are required to respond to the statement above and write the responses in an essay format. The points of this assessment are to test students knowledge on contemporary marketing issues as well as to provide students with an at-risk assessment.

Discussion

Marketing concept has changed over the years and so does the role of the marketers. Their role is not just limited to provide the customers products that fulfill their needs also. Marketers over the years with help of innovation have made the lives of the customers easier. Marketers play many other important roles like providing post sales services, handling the grievances of the customers. They also maintain a healthy customer relationship. According to Armstrong et al. (2014) between identifying and fulfilling the needs of the customers, one very important aspect is often ignored. The marketers seldom focus on the impact of their product on the environment and sustainability. They forget about their role in promoting sustainable consumption (Armstrong et al. 2014) this limitation provides scope for discussion of the following essay. The essay would focus on the role of the marketers in guiding the consumers for sustainable consumption.

To discuss further it is very important to know what exactly sustainable consumption is. According to Charter (2017), Sustainable consumption is referred to the responsible use of products and services so that the impact on the environment is minimal. Consumption of products and services today should not compromise the needs of the future generation. Whatever resources are available they should be used wisely without wastage and problems like pollution should be reduced. According to Products and services require too much natural resources some are renewable and some are non-renewable resources.

For example, many developed nations depend upon fossil fuels for their transportation needs. Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources. The level of consumption if remains the same because it causes to the depletion of non-renewable resources. According to Sahakian and Wilhite (2014) Unsustainable is not a problem of developed countries but also a problem of developing country. All individuals are consumers because they use products and services. The products and services used by consumers put a negative impact on the environment. For example, the automobiles create air pollution. The plastic packets when thrown create soil, air and water pollution when they are dumped near water bodies (Sahakian and Wilhite 2014).

According to Lacoste (2016) Refrigerators and air conditioners have coolants that cause emission CFCs and these appliances are used in almost all the houses, workplaces and in factories as well.  The amount of pollution hence created is disastrous as it causes environmental pollution and global threats like global warming and ozone layer depletion. Human beings in the present scenario have become very much dependent these appliances. In large retail, stores have open freezers that consume lot of energy. The retailers can use covered and bunker style coffins so that the energy consumption can be reduced.

The wrappers and packets of the products are usually made up of plastics that are non-biodegradable. Consumers once done with using the products throw the packets (2016). Not all consumers are sensible enough to throw the wrapper in garbage bins some throw it anywhere on the road, public places and water bodies. Animals like cows or dogs often eat the plastics thrown on roads. It is very harmful for them. Most of the daily activities in the human life owe to pollution or exploitation of the resources. According to Lacotse (2016) in food and beverage industry in order to fulfill the increasing demand, a lot of pressure is put to the farmers to increase their yield. In order to increase their yield they use chemical fertilizers, which is harmful for the crops and plants. Not only products even services negatively affect the environment like the transport industry causes pollution (Lacotse 2016). In hospitality industry when number of tourists increase, the resources available are used excessively and the destination quality usually deteriorates. Tourist often with their activities destroys the natural resources and assets. If tourists destroy the resources now then the future generation might not be able to experience the same form of tourism

The marketers’ role is very important in directing the target market for sustainable consumption. They are required to direct their target customers that their consumption today should not compromise the interests of the future generation or put an impact on the environment. The marketers might fulfill the short term needs of the customers but the impact of the unsustainable consumption is long term and might cause severe problems in future risking the lives of future generations then no product or service would be able to prevent disaster.

Marketers are driven by profit, which is not bad. Ignoring the interests of future generations and environmental concerns is bad (Oates, Alevizou and McDonald 2016). The marketers flood the market with all kinds of products and services to fulfill the needs of the people. Marketers provide all important information related to the product and how it should be used (Oates, Alevizou and McDonald 2016). Most of the manufacturers do not direct their customers that the packets of the products like soaps, biscuits, cups and many others are made of plastics that is non-biodegradable does not decompose causing pollution. They do not direct their customers to use dustbins once they remove the wrappers. According to Mont, Neuvonen and Lähteenoja (2014) Marketers responsibility is to direct their target customers that the packets of the products used needs to be disposed in garbage bins that are taken for waste management. Packets that are made of plastics, which should not be burned because plastics when burned produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide causes ozone layer depletion (Mont, Neuvonen and Lähteenoja 2014). If all the consumers all around the world burn the plastic packets then the impact is very destructive. According to Kang, Liu and Kim (2013) the marketers’ duty is to create awareness about the sustainable consumption. For example in hotels and restaurants, a lot of food are wasted daily. One should buy too much food if they cannot consume it because there are many people who do not get to fulfill their necessities and if resources are wasted this way the future generations might be deprived from fulfilling their basic needs (Kang, Liu and Kim 2013). According Boons et al (2013) Marketers of the food and beverage industry should take an active role to guide their customers to consume food products sensibly and avoid wastage. Water bodies and nearby areas are often clogged with garbage even domestic wastes produce foul smell and feeding the flies. Plastic packets keep floating in the water bodies polluting the water bodies also contribute to growth of mosquitoes and flies causing harmful diseases. The marketers are required to address these issues in their corporate social responsibilities.  This can be done by simply putting the information on the packets of the products that the wrappers and packets should be disposed in the dustbins and not to thrown anywhere else Boons et al. (2013). They should also mention that plastics should not be burned.

The marketers are expected not to restrict to sustainable consumption, they can practice sustainable production as well. They should reduce the use of plastics and instead promote the use other products that put very less impact on the environment. Not all plastics can be recycled so its use in production should be reduced. According to Charter (2017), Marketers need to be innovative not just for product development but also for sustainable consumption and production. They need to play constructive role in the sustainable consumption and contributing to resolve this problem. The automobile industry also needs innovation and innovative ideas to reduce the carbon emission through the vehicles by manufacturing car that reduces the carbon emission. Marketers are directly contributing towards environmental problems (Charter 2017). Most of them are not taking any initiative towards solving this problem. A simple awareness for sustainable consumption is all that is required.

Not all the marketers completely overlook the sustainability aspect and environmental concerns. Here is the example of some of the automobile companies that organize campaigns to create awareness about the serious issues like climate change. Daimler Chrysler runs a campaign named Fresh air. Honda’s campaign is safe and Environmental. Toyota campaigns for clean air. Volkswagen encourages public and their customers to save fuel. The name of the campaign run by Kia is “Think before you Drive”. Similarly, petroleum companies are preserving the nature for future generations. Pepsico and Coca-Cola direct their consumers to crush and dispose the PET bottles (Mont, Neuvonen and Lähteenoja 2014). According to Charter  and Tischner (2017)  Levi Strauss Co the famous clothing brand is is working to change the behavior of its customers. The company has given instructions to its supply chain for sustainability. The clothing brand encourages practices like reducing the water consumption during manufacturing of the textiles and interweaving of recycled glass and plastic into denim fabric (Charter and Tischner 2017). On the other hand, there are companies that use misleading advertisement to represent themselves as environmentally responsible just to create a false image in the eyes of their target customers and in reality, they are contributing to pollution and raising serious environmental issues.

Conclusion:

It can be concluded from the following discussion that marketers have a very important part to play in guiding the target customers for sustainable consumption. They are required to create awareness amongst the customers. Just like the company Levi Strauss Co. changes the behavior of its customers. Sustainability is the need of hour and so is sustainable consumption. Sustainable consumption is not just the responsibility of consumers but also the marketers. Customers might not have the knowledge regarding any particular product that can affect the environment but marketers do have the idea. They are hence required to act responsibly and share this important information with their target market so to guide them to take steps to reduce and use the non-renewable resources wisely. They should put aside their selfish desires and think about the interests of all. Rather than focusing on short term gains they should focus on sustainability.

References:

Armstrong, G., Adam, S., Denize, S. and Kotler, P., 2014. Principles of marketing. Pearson Australia.

Boons, F., Montalvo, C., Quist, J. and Wagner, M., 2013. Sustainable innovation, business models and economic performance: an overview. Journal of Cleaner Production, 45, pp.1-8.

Charter, M. and Tischner, U. eds., 2017. Sustainable solutions: developing products and services for the future. Routledge.

Charter, M. ed., 2017. Greener marketing: A responsible approach to business. Routledge.

Hamari, J., Sjöklint, M. and Ukkonen, A., 2016. The sharing economy: Why people participate in collaborative consumption. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67(9), pp.2047-2059.

Kang, J., Liu, C. and Kim, S.H., 2013. Environmentally sustainable textile and apparel consumption: the role of consumer knowledge, perceived consumer effectiveness and perceived personal relevance. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 37(4), pp.442-452.

Mont, O., Neuvonen, A. and Lähteenoja, S., 2014. Sustainable lifestyles 2050: stakeholder visions, emerging practices and future research. Journal of Cleaner Production, 63, pp.24-32.

Lacoste, S., 2016. Sustainable value co-creation in business networks. Industrial Marketing Management, 52, pp.151-162.

Oates, C., Alevizou, P. and McDonald, S., 2016. Challenges for marketers in sustainable production and consumption.

Sahakian, M. and Wilhite, H., 2014. Making practice theory practicable: Towards more sustainable forms of consumption. Journal of Consumer Culture, 14(1), pp.25-44.

Vergragt, P., Akenji, L. and Dewick, P., 2014. Sustainable production, consumption, and livelihoods: global and regional research perspectives. Journal of Cleaner Production, 63, pp.1-12.

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[Accessed 25 February 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'The Role Of Marketers In Guiding Consumers Towards Sustainable Consumption' (My Assignment Help, 2021) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/marketng1001-introduction-to-marketing/awareness-for-sustainable-consumption.html> accessed 25 February 2024.

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