Societal marketing is the theory that businesses should act in such as way as to meet the needs and wants of the customer, whilst considering also what would benefit society as a whole. The idea dictates that companies should make marketing decisions based on this information for optimal levels of success in the long run. However, there are many contradictions to this theory. The main criticism of societal marketing is that businesses have neither the right nor with knowledge to decide what the customer wants - only market forces can dictate this. Instead, businesses should focus on supplying the market with the goods and services that sell best, and allow legislation along with abnormal profit making to dictate future company actions. Below are three examples that show the concept of societal marketing may not be the most effective business approach.
- The 'do-gooder' company