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  1. 1. October 28th, 2016 Sustainable Marketing Mark 440: Mother Earth’s EssentialsMarketing Strategy Alexis Jean Troup ABSTRACT This paper is written on the topic of sustainable marketing. It’s aim is to analyze information that relates to this topic and to make recommendation so that me and my team can suggest to Carrie, the owner of Mother Earth’s Essentials, a quantifiable marketing strategy. The paper highlights what sustainable marketing is, factors that are included in this new trend, as well as its growth and impact within the business realm.
  2. 2. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 2 Introduction This paper is written on the topic of sustainable marketing. Considering the products and story behind Mother Earth’s Essential, I believe sustainable marketing has huge potential as a marketing strategy for this business. My papers aim is to analyze information that relates to this topic and to make recommendation that my team and I can suggest to Carrie, the owner of Mother Earth’s Essentials (M.E.E). The paper highlights what sustainable marketing is, factors that are included in this new trend, as well as its growth and impact. Research was pulled from the MacEwan Library Database as well as books in the MacEwan Library. Some key terms were: sustainable marketing, sustainable marketing challenges/opportunities, and politics and marketing. Sources not included in my research were ones that touched solely on marketing as a topic. My team and I hope to synthesize our Marketing research and bring our findings together. In turn, we will provide the Carrie with an organized and tangible resource that will outline how she can improve her current marketing strategy. The subject of sustainability is on the rise, and Mother Earth’s Essentials is the perfect business model to implementing this kind of marketing strategy. What is Sustainability Marketing? Sustainable marketing is a form of marketing that is different from conventional business marketing. Sustainable marketing, in contrast to typical marketing, has its own unique values, objectives, and strategies. In essence, “sustainable marketing is the process of creating, communicating, and delivering value to
  3. 3. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 3 customers in such a way that both natural and human capital are preserved or enhanced throughout” (McDonagh & Prothero, 2014). VALUES An organization’s values play a key role in successfully implementing a sustainable marketing plan. In order obtain maximum benefits of sustainable marketing strategy, sustainability initiatives need to be adopted at the core of Mother Earth’s Essentials operating model. To start this shift, employees and stakeholders should be involved in making sustainability goals; this helps internalize new values and norms and, when everyone is involved in decision- making the new initiatives are more achievable (Schroeder, 2015). Appendix B- Figure 7 outlines a step-by-step guide on how to effectively create and execute a transformation initiative. It talks specifically about making a brand more sustainable enabling a sustainable marketing plan to succeed. This step-by-step guide was crafted by Harold Scroder, the author of Sustainability Branding: Reducing the Risks through Organizational Transformation. Mother Earth Essentials, when ready, should use this 8-step guide Carrie, employees and stakeholders to decide what their sustainable values and goals will be and how they will achieve them. These values should reflect ecological sustainability rather than economic efficiency and the intrinsic value of nature (Kilbourne, 1998). Some limitations of this could be if staff and stakeholders do not envision the same things or are difficult to get on-board with this change initiative. Staff, specifically, pose to be a major hurdle in creating new initiatives; therefore,
  4. 4. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 4 having the right team is of the utmost importance and may require some staff rearrangements. OBJECTIVE As stated in the definition of what sustainable marketing is, the objective is to, as a business, operate and communicate in a sustainable manner so that future generations are not compromised by the choices and actions a business takes. To fulfill this effectively, whilst still running at a profit, Mother Earths Essential’s objectives should specifically look to equate the same amount of importance to economics, society and the environment (Praude & Bormane, 2013). Carrie should not emphasize the importance of one or two of the above topics, but realize the importance of each and delegate time and resources equally in order to get the most out of her sustainable marketing strategy. Reflect to figure 1 & 2 in Appendix B for a visual representation. A limitation to this is that sustainable marketing has a long-term view and by making everything of equal importance may have slow momentum, leading there to be little or no evidence that the organization change has been effective, initially. COMPETITIVEMARKETING STRATEGIES In Duralia Oana’s (2014) article she had vividly laid out how to initiate the creation of your marketing strategy: - Identify marketing opportunities; - Select target market and market positioning; - Plan and implement a marketing eco-cross;
  5. 5. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 5 - Monitor, adapt and replicate the strategy, if necessary. When M.E.E begins their marketing strategy plan, this should be the first step in its development. Additionally, my interview with Angela Higgins (2016) would contend that the last step (monitor, adapt and replicate the strategy) is one of the most important. Reason being is that, one of the biggest struggles in marketing is competition. Competition is fierce, constantly evaluating their own product, price, promotion, marketing strategy etc. making the market very dynamic; therefor, after completing and implementing the strategy, Carrie should constantly review her company as well as competition in order to maintain competitiveness. It is important for Carrie to note that competition extends further than her immediate business segment (Higgins, 2016) and she does not have control over what they do (Cateora, 2011). For Carrie, she does not just compete for consumer dollars in personal care products but potentially with spas, which provide the a hygienic service, or even basic materials for D.I.Y (Do It Yourself) projects that are becoming increasingly popular. So, apart from developing strategy, Carrie needs to see how she can maintain competitiveness in the market. Below, Duralia (2014) outlined a criteria Carrie can use to determine how competitive her sustainable marketing strategy will be: - It is based on at least one environmentally friendly sustainable advantage; - It is focused on ecological customers and is attractive tothem; - It is able to counteract competitive eco-friendly pressures;
  6. 6. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 6 - It improves the company’s position as an environmental factor on the market. If Carries goals do not relate well to the above criteria, some readjustment will be required. Some limitations of this could be that the re-evaluation and changes could lead the company to veer away from the original reason M.E.E was created, detaching itself from the organizations founding story. In Appendix B Figure 6 there is a graph, created by Tascioglu (2016), exhibiting how sustainable Carrie can choose to be and how differentiable that would make her company within the market. Lean green offers cost reducing and increasing efficiencies rather than marketing green initiatives i.e product development, design and manufacturing, but does not make her differentiable; defensive green focuses on product and extends into promoting the product to the green market segment; shaded green includes product as well promotion, but promoting the environmental benefits is secondary and initiatives also extend into pricing the product at a typical green product price, this is the beginning of being differentiable; lastly, extreme green focuses on the entire marketing mix, where being green is the driving force behind the company, they differentiate themselves on being green and integrating environmental issues into the business process. M.E.E, I believe, could really optimize sales if they focused on being a shaded green company. What M.E.E can do specifically is integrate more bio plastics and other recyclable packaging, use more organic construction materials as she maintains her business locations, change and adjust supply chain to reduce emissions or choose less polluting companies, re-evaluate her
  7. 7. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 7 manufactures, especially if they fall out of sustainability scope, promote her business and products sustainable attributes tothe green segment and continue to use raw organic materials for her personal care products. New Trend Consumer concerns and political involvement have largely focused on talking about global warming. Apart from conversation on the topic, there has been a strong trend and push for more sustainable practices. This section evaluates what the new trend has for opportunities, challenges, and outlines the characteristic of target consumers, denoted as green consumerism. OPPORTUNTIES By following the implementation of sustainable marketing there are so many benefits M.E.E could see. There is huge potential that by introducing environmentally sound products and manufacturing process’ Carrie could increase her market share and enhance her corporate and brand image, whilst also doing the right thing (Ottman, 1993). McHonagh & Prothero (2014) also say that this is a way to create more value for your consumers and gives marketing a raison d’etre. Duralia (2o14) notes how there is a change in demand by various manufacturing, retail, and end users who was safer more sustainable products; there is potential for reduced costs, diversifying in raw materials that causes a reduction in cost, which increases competitiveness in the long run. Ottman (1993) also support the idea that sustainable marketing can increase market share, namely because it’s an opportunity to become more innovative. I think if
  8. 8. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 8 Carrie were toengage in sustainable marketing, she could see huge potential in growing her market share and further enhance her brand image. An issue with this may be that Carrie does not have the financial resources to fully execute this strategy. CHALLENGES Kilbourne (2013) and Carrigan et al (2013) support the idea that consumers purchasing habits are influenced by a set of locked in social norms and values. In addition, Royne et al (2016) notes how there is an inconsistency, or gap, between what consumers’ strong environmental concerns are and their weak engagement in sustainable behaviors. In Appendix B Figure 8, there is a gaps model that would be useful for Carrie to evaluate how she could potentially close that gap (Zeithaml et al, 2013) Carrigan et al (2013) describe that these sets of behaviors need to be ‘unfrozen’. M.E.E will have to find a way to ‘unfreeze’ consumer habits and make new, more ethical consumption behaviors, a common practice. My research showed that there were many ways todo this, many were institutional or governmental, but what Carrie can do is increase the availability of her products to consumers. Specifically, she could place her product in areas with fewer organic retailers or fair-trade outlets, because increased access to better options is a way of unfreezing societal norms (Carrigan et al, 2010). For instance, she could choose to license her products in large chain companies. Althought, it is important to note that M.E.E’s brand image, if Carrie chooses to license her products to third-parties, will be affected by the locations she agrees to sell her product therefor, she should make sure the store has some kind of sustainable
  9. 9. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 9 policy or practice. This is important because she would not want her brand image to weaken due product placement decisions. In conclusion, a limitation for this is that by being selective in licensing her products, and increasing consumer access points, Carrie may miss out on huge profit potentials a place like London Drugs or Shoppers may have to offer. GREEN CONSUMERISM Tohave a basic understanding of who green consumerism are, they are consumers whose actions are aimed “toward the protection of the ecosystem or environment” (Royne et al, 2016). Therefor, the segment Carrie should aim for is those whose daily activities and purchasing patterns reflects protecting the ecosystem and environment. Royne (2016) notes that it’s important to analyze green consumers based on their green buying intentions. In turn, intentions show whom true loyalists are and can be a very profitable niche market. Carrie should not concern herself with those outside of the loyalty niche. Royne’s research (2016) also found that women engaged in more food and recycling behaviors while males concerned themselves with energy-related behaviors; therefore, Carrie should strongly focus on women as opposed to men and promote the fact that her products are a way consumers can reduce there waste. Royne (2016), again, can support that marketing the waste reduction is the best method for Carrie to attract consumers because research showed that that waste-reduction resonates the strongest with a high-volume of consumers Growth and Impact
  10. 10. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 10 It’s important to know that after creating and implementing a sustainable marketing strategy M.E.E will actually see a long-term benefit. Factors such as the impact of sustainable marketing and if this trend will continue to see growth are important in evaluating the viability of the initiative. So, in the following, there will be an analysis of what consumer trends are, how politics plays a role in marketing and how the global economy influences sustainable business. CONSUMER TRENDS With technology and communication methods advancing everyday at an exponential rate, consumers are more than ever aware of the products they buy and the companies they buy from. Industry trends show a strong consumer interest in wholesome, natural and sustainable products and market data shows that apart from consumer concerns about what is in a product, consumers also scrutinize labels and avoid products with unnatural ingredients or additives. People are enjoying ‘older’ products such as ancient grains like chia, amaranth, flax and more (Altafer, 2013). Duralia (2014) also points out how there are growing consumer concerns about the products they buy. These concerns encompass how unsafe or toxic products a product is, the risks of working with dangerous substances, the costs of intermediaries and how they are impacted when storing and handling and being exposed to toxicity as well as the cost for the environment and all the toxic waste resulting from industrial products. Many consumers now chose to boycott companies based on what they do or do not do as well as on business operations and product-lines and ingredient lists. As a result, businesses are re-evaluating their entire operating system. For M.E.E,
  11. 11. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 11 growing consumer knowledge and concerns emphasizes the potential a sustainable marketing strategy holds for her business and the market share potential. On another note, “price, value, quality, brand familiarity, and convenience play key roles in green and ethical purchasing consideration” (Carrigan et al, 2010). Carrie should keep mindful of these things as she evaluates her value proposition. POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS Efficient policies and regulations set by the government can influence the success SME’s find when promoting the sustainability of their brand (Tascioglu, 2016). Public authorities need to, not only develop legislation and normative acts in regards to sustainability, but, grant proper tax relieves in order to increase the successfulness of a sustainable marketing plan (Praude & Bormane, 2013). With the few last elections, Alberta has seen a dramatic shift in our political climate. It has gone from being run on conservative values to now having a Liberal prime minister as well as an NDP premier representative for Alberta. For Carrie, this offers a huge potential for impact and growth when choosing a sustainable marketing strategy. Not only does this political paradigmatic shift support the profitability of sustainable marketing efforts, but also the idea that ‘sustainability’ and ‘green products’ is not a fade, but a legitimate shift in consumer preferences. Lastly, with governmental initiatives that are similar to Carries marketing strategy, it supports the longevity of the sustainable business model and could allow Carrie to get ahead of current competition as well as potential emerging businesses.
  12. 12. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 12 Conclusion In conclusion, Carrie should gather employees and stakeholders to set goals that support the preservation of the ecosystem. There are many different ways Carrie can chose to implement changes at M.E.E; however, I suggest following the Shaded Green model with potential in pursuing Extreme Green initiatives. Consumers are looking for natural and safe options, in regards to work practices, business practices, and product ingredients. Carrie currently has the perfect business model to optimize on this trend. There are also many cost saving and employee satisfaction variables that Carrie could tap into with this initiative. There will be the issue of ‘unfreezing’ consumer habits; however, by making her product more available, consumers will be able to make better choices more frequently. M.E.E’s target market will most-likely be those who are loyal to their environmental concerns and purchasing behaviors. As well, women care more than men about health related sustainability, making women the better target market. And lastly, to attract all segments, and emphasize on how Carries products reduce waste is the best marketing tactic to attract consumers to buy her product. Making this big change would be sub-optimal if there was not going to be any longevity to it. Luckly, consumers are demanding more pure and safe products. With Albertas governmental support, these kinds of products not only have their support but, with the supplementary advertising on emission reduction and pollution control, consumers will be searching for eco-friendly products.
  13. 13. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 13 ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Altafer, P. (2013). In natural products, everything old is new again. Functional Ingredients, (127), 14. This is a scholarly article. It talks about old in the new new, For instance, the usage of ancient grains is becoming popular again. The article did not choose to bring about an abundance of information. What was presented was short and on point; therefore, much of the information I believe was credible. It was useful for me to use this source because it supports the shift in consumer trends and their desire for safer products. Consumers care about what is in their products and choose/prefer making purchases that are less likely to be harmful than alternatives may not reduce. Limitations of the source could be that there was not a lot of information, nor was there a lot of supporting evidence. Additionally, it was very short in length. Belz, F. & Peattie, K. (2009). Sustainability marketing (pp. 129, 133-139, 154, 164). Chichester: Wiley. This is a source from a textbook. The textbook focused on sustainable marketing and dives into every relatable topic in marketing and related it back to sustainability. It introduces government, politics, policies, customer pre-
  14. 14. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 14 purchase behaviors, examples sustainable products and services, pricing methods and much more. A useful figure was Influences on the consumption process: A sustainability perspective as well as Sustainable consumption behavior change opportunities. This source is very credible, namely because it is a textbook. There are many references through-out and the layout of the book is very professional. This is probably one of the most useful sources in regards to how to structure a sustainable marketing strategy, how government and policy plays a role, and how to attract and find the right kind of consumers. I don’t think that there are limitations to this resource except for the fact that it is not a specific reflection to Albertan consumption. Even then, I still find it is a very useful resource in analyzing the Edmonton market. Carrigan, M., Moraes, C., & Leek, S. (2011). Fostering Responsible Communities: A Community Social Marketing Approach to Sustainable Living. Journal of Business Ethics, (3). 515. This is a scholarly article. It exemplifies how, while some companies chose to leave a punitive legacy, companies can choose to foster a more curative change. The article says that this curative change can occur by small firms, not just larger corporations. Some ideas to create this change could include influencing individuals and their behaviors, facilitating a change in social norms as well as the relationship between the organization and consumers.
  15. 15. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 15 The article identified some key factors such as; what items will influence ethical purchasing behavior, where informational should be inputed because habits are vulnerable to change, upstream intervention to target social norms, where the barriers to change lie, habits and their relationship with situational cues, how the community social marketing approach can help encourage environment-friendly and sustainable behaviors. The article has references numerous other pieces to support the ideas that they present. In addition, the authors are very credible. Marilyn Carrigan is a professor of Marketing and her main research interests are consumer ethics, social marketing and corporate social responsibility. She has published over 100 journal articles and conference papers in peer review publications. Caroline Moraes focuses on marketing and consumer ethics, consumer activism, power issues in consumer culture, and ethical issues in consumer research. She has worked within the advertising filed, conducted numerous research projects and has created a number of research papers. Lastly, Sheena Leek bring in more expertise on the subjects of marketing, business relationships, the role of social capital in initiating relationships and branding. In addition, something I think is very unique is, she has an interest in consumer confusion in high tech areas. This article is very useful in identifying very practical problems a SME can concentrate on when trying to marketing sustainability and how consumers can actually reciprocate this information. The article says that people are influenced by price, value, quality, brand familiarity, and convenience and that green products should be more accessible. In addition, to influence people to be more
  16. 16. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 16 sustainable, marketing should give consumers information when they are most vulnerable. For instance, the benefit of washing clothes in cold water could be exemplified when they are shopping for laundry detergent. In addition, behavior change is more attainable when people live in an area that with an abundance of sustainable choices, increasing consumer outlets for sustainable retailing, shops and/or activities. Habits are also influences by social norms. Tochange this, the habit must be unfrozen by proper institutional structure and incentives, which should support pro-environmental choices, grass-root initiatives, and supporting practices and policies. Although there is many references throughout the text, it does pull from data that may now be irrelevant. For instance, support was received from an article written in 1995 while other supporting documents had been written in 2010. In addition, there does not seem to be many articles, if any that were created between 2011 to 2016. Cateora, P. (2011). International marketing. (pp. 14) [Whitby, ON]: McGraw-Hill Ryerson. This is a textbook source. I draw upon a figure that demonstrated what is within control of an organization as well as what is outside of the organizations control. The figure was called international marketing tasks. The information came from a textbook, making the information that I drew upon very credible.
  17. 17. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 17 It was useful because it exemplified what is within the business’ control. Additionally, it solidified and outlined what factors are out of an organizations control and what they should control because on economics, politics and competition. It was useful in reinforcing certain points made through out my research. The section of how politics was especially useful because regulations set by governments are out of a business’ command, but it was good to be pointed out because sustainability, especially in business, is highly responsive to newer regulations coming out locally and globally. Some limitations may be that this graph was pulled from an international marketing text book. This business is very local; however, I do believe the information to still be very relevant tothe Edmonton company. DURALIA, O. (2014). APPLYING SUSTAINABLE MARKETINGSTRATEGIES - THE KEY TO OBTAINING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES ON THE INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS MARKET.Studies In Business & Economics, 9(3), 21- 28. This is an industry publication article and it talks about sustainability in regards to production and consumption. The article exemplifies what a sustainable society entails, what sustainable production and consumption en-compasses (namely in Europe), and it also outlines how to create and implement a sustainable marketing strategy and how to ensure that this strategy makes. A useful term from this publication was sustainable society. Useful outlines include; sustainable marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy,
  18. 18. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 18 rethinking traditional manufacturing processes, orientating producers towards eco-friendly industrial products, applying the principles of sustainable marketing. Lastly, the new market opportunities for organic industrial products were great insight, specifically in the personal care products. The publication of Business and Economics has been a published since 2007, giving the source profound credibility. In addition, Duralia has been very involved in research involving marketing, digital marketing, consumer behavior as well as marketing research. What was most useful to my research was the sustainable marketing strategy that the publication had outlined. It showcased the proper steps in developing strategy as well as how that strategy can help maintain competitiveness via marketing. The publication also outlined how producers/suppliers could be influenced to become more eco-friendly to better align with the sustainable initiatives that your marketing strategy may wish to exemplify. Lastly, considering that this research will help withhold suggestions in the report, the article was useful in outlining how organic personal care product are seeing a rapid growth in demand, which is very inline with the reports topic. This publication is also fairly relevant as it was published in 2014. A major limitation of this publication in regards to my research was that it focused on the European market as opposed to the Canadian or even American market. This makes the validity of my research somewhat skewed as this geographic region is of little relevance to me.
  19. 19. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 19 Higgins, A. (2016). Sustainable Marketing. Grant Macewan University. This was a interview with an industry professional. Angela has had many years in industry. She has spent a number of years working for Coca Cola in a number of different sectors. Our conversation revolved around marketing in general as well as sustainable marketing. Some key facts mentioned was that competition makes the market competitive and difficult to stay static and that a market strategy should be focused on a solid target market. Considering Angela’s years of experience with such a high-end industrial champion such as Coke, Angela has great credibility. In addition, she has forgone a number of leadership and skills training session, giving her the insight and skills to make relevant comments to questions asked. This conversation was very useful in realizing the importance of sustainable marketing as well as some key aspects important to marketing. Angela had mentioned psychographics being an important aspect when realizing your target market and that often life stages is also very useful tool too to ensure you are meeting the needs of your consumer and able to sell a viable amount of your product. The time that was able to devote to this interview was a limitation. Also, the fact that we trailed off in conversation and topic also limited the depth of information Angela was able to give me.
  20. 20. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 20 Kilbourne, W. E. (1998). Green Marketing: A Theoretical Perspective. Journal Of Marketing Management, 14(6), 641-655. This is an academic journal source. In essence, this article is very theoretical. Much of what is talks about isn’t what green marketing is and how you can optimize your operations, it is more about where we are as a society, namely politically, technological and socially, and how these are disconnected from green marketing and how we essentially need a paradigm shift in those three topics in order to actually make some kind of conversion. A concept presented is that, in the industrial era, sustainable green marketing is necessary as well as difficult. In addition, it says that socio-economic play a role in how a societies paradigm is positioned. For instance, it will be impossible to make a shift if people do not realize the intrinsic value of nature and if people continue to focus on economic efficiency as opposed to ecological sustainability. I also believe that the quote ‘the problems we have created cannot be solved with the same thinking that created them’ is a great quote from Einstein that helps my thinking patterns shift when looking to find solutions to these issues or when looking to market these ideas an concepts to potential consumers. Unfortunately, this article was written in 1998, making the information outdated. Considering how quick technology, business, and society shifts in this modern age it is hard to decide how relevant the information is. That said, this is a very conceptual based paper, making claims about current state potentially irrelevant to my research, but the point about paradigm shifts and how things need to change in regards to intrinsic motivations and ecological importance still, today,
  21. 21. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 21 maintain high relevancy. In addition, many of the references used are from political and economic sources, which is what the paper chiefly talks about, giving strong support to the political arguments. There are also a number of progress and enlightenment references, supporting the social arguments; however, these seems to be substantially fewer references that touch on technology, making that topic somewhat less credible than the other two topics. The source also said that a marketer’s function is not to create preferences, but to satisfy them, which is a very enlightening concept. This source was very useful in understanding where society, and the spheres of business-politics-society, sit in a more theoretical point of view. This source was very different from other sources; it was almost the devil’s advocate in comparison. For instance, it does not put green marketing in the line-light, instead, it analyzes some very important topics and there state, how they need to shift, and what would be needed in order to make that shift. Some limitations of the source was that, considering its theoretical base, it is difficult to consider some things as concrete facts. The ideas are only as relevant as the arguments made to support them. In addition, the language was very vague and there were few claims or concrete descriptions of ideas that could be taken away from the text. McDonagh, P., & Prothero, A. (2014). Sustainability marketing research: past, present and future. Journal Of Marketing Management, 30(11-12), 1186- 1219.doi:10.1080/0267257X.2014.943263
  22. 22. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 22 This is a scholarly article. This article synthesis’ new research as well as past research in an effort to critically evaluate marketing’s relationship with the natural environment. It covers different topics in regards to sustainability as well as the future of this topic. It also tries to evaluate how future market research could be use to evaluate sustainability in regards to marketing. This article explains what sustainable marketing should do as well as what it should emphasize on. It also raises a lot of great questions, which would be helpful in assessing the whole topic of ‘sustainable marketing’. This article has huge credibility because of all of its references. There are over 30 different articles referenced in this paper. In addition, Pierre McDoangh has a PhD in supervision and supervises student as they do research, sustainability is one of his areas of interest. Also, he has done many other research papers on numerous topics, again, sustainability as well as marketing being some of his major focuses. The other researcher, Andre Prothero, enhances the journals credibility. His major focuses include consumer behavior, business ethics, marketing, advertising and green marketing. In addition, he has conducted many other academic works. The article was useful in the sense that it makes you think of game theory. There are many questions posed that the article does not answer because they are contingent on the future. This article was useful in identifying what makes sustainability marketing important and that it is a process of creating,
  23. 23. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 23 communicating, and delivering value to customer in such as way that both natural and human capital are preserved or enhanced throughout. This article has limited flaws; however, there is a lot of reflection of the past as opposed to actionable items. Morrissey, J. (2016). Sustainable Marketing. 10370 82 Avenue NW Edmonton, AB T6E 1Z8. This was an interview with a marketing practitioner. Unfortunately, there were no useful models or concepts that I was able to pull from the conversation just useful information as well as exchanges of opinion and profiling James in his answers that were outliers from most of my research as well as the other interview conducted. James is an award-winning marketing professional with 15 years of experience leading marketing and advertising initiatives for many large business’ and institutions. He has accredations in educational and recruitment marketing and is a graduate of the Communications and Advertising Accredited Professional program. He is also a past board member of the Advertising Club of Edmonton. Considering his past work experience, education, and volunteer time, I would say James’ insight is quite credible. However, there is potential that his views are skewed towards the oil industry considering where he works and age may play a factor in his responses.
  24. 24. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 24 A useful fact that James had presented is that sometimes entrepreneurs are told to go to market when there is still some market research tobe done. Often, entrepreneurs don’t fully understand their potential customers pains and that where much of the research should be done. He had also mentioned that when a business understands what consumer’s pains are, they should communicate clearly how they can help alleviate that pain. He used the example of how insurance companies give peace of mind and give people the freedom to live their lives worry free. Another useful thing James mentioned is that companies like The Body Shop who operate on promoting their sustainable operations Some limitations of this interview was the interviewees comprehension of sustainable marketing. Some responses touched the baseline of the questions; however, conversation trailed off into different, unrelated, topics, reducing how much relevant information I was able to pull from the conversation. In addition, time constraints reduced how long conversation was able to go. Ottman, J. (1993). Green marketing. (pp. 10) Lincolnwood: NTC business books. This source is a trade book. The book highlights many interesting topics within sustainable marketing, and there is much that this book has to contribute. Some key concepts introduced were the opportunities that await green marketing, what opportunities the environmental consumer has to offer, it outlines the challenges of marketing green or sustainable products as well as how you can make your product or service more green to appeal to the green consumer and how to communicate this information to consumers in a credible impactful way.
  25. 25. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 25 This book is highly credible as it has expert praise. In addition, Fortune magazine speculated it as being ‘the business issue of the decade’ (Ottoman, Jaquelin, pg. xiii). Also, many companies such as Coca-cola, Franklin Associates, McGrath/Power, U.S EPA, Natural Resource Defense Council, and many more contributed their time in reviewing and supporting the creating of this manuscript. These sources also provided valuable information as well as case studies, which lead to the creation of the book. This book looks at some very key marketing concepts and relates them very well to green marketing. Useful to know that this is not a fad but a long-term paradigm that consumers will forever support. There are many step-by-step articulations of different process’, how to get consumers to respond and how to instill proper procedures and process’ that will up-hold your sustainable image. This book, as insightful as it was, did have some limitations. The book is slightly outdated, 1992. In addition, many of the resources and business’ that aided in creating the information are located in the United States, lessening how impactful the information is in marketing in Canada or to Edmontonians. PRAUDE, V., & BORMANE, S. (2013). SUSTAINABLE MARKETING - PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES UNDER PRESENT ECONOMY. Regional Formation & Development Studies, (11), 165-176. This is a scholarly article. This article is very marketing focused and draws to major components that are exemplified in university institutions, namely marketing strategy. It alsodelves into consumer motivations as well as the
  26. 26. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 26 challenges that come along with marketing in such a way. There were five very informative models; main criteria of sustainability, main conditions for sustainable marketing, and concept of sustainable marketing. The article makes use of qualitative and quantitative research. For their qualitative research, the authors conducted polls, comparisons, and groupings. The researchers were also the ones who performed the market assessment, market research, comparative analyses and arranged the results. Also, many of the people who were questioned, which is what created the data presented, are experts in the field of marketing. Many of the secondary sources are also fairly modern, making the information relevant to 2016. In appendix B, the article draws on five useful graphs that exemplify sustainability. The first graph demonstrates how a company should incorporate the topic, what business-level it falls under, as well as how to analyze the topic within the marketing realm. The second outlines exemplifies what ‘sustainable making’ means to consumers and what ideas they draw. The third table shows how companies should focus on the marketing mix and the fourth table rates the importance of each element displayed. Lastly, the fifth model is one of the most useful, it connects the criteria of the marketing strategy with a certain level of importance. In conclusion, this information will be very useful in deciding what aspects will be most successful when branding and marking a ‘sustainable’ product.
  27. 27. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 27 The research was not conducted in Canada, making the information slightly less relevant tomy research. Royne, M. B., Thieme, J., Levy, M., Oakley, J., & Alderson, L. (2016). From thinking green to buying green: consumer motivation makes the difference. Journal Of Business Strategy, 37(3), 37. doi:10.1108/JBS-12-2014- 0151 This is a scholarly article. The article namely assesses the fact that, although consumer support green consumerism they do not always follow through with their purchases. Therefore, the research conducted evaluates demographic criteria’s, motivating consumers to make these ethical purchases as well as identifying the gap between intentions and actions. A key term within the article was sustainable behavior, which are those actions taken to preserve or protect the ecosystem or environment. Another useful term identified was green marketing, which is the strategic focus of the organizations in creating environmentally friendly products and services. Credibility The supporting documents integrated into the article are, for the majority, recent. This helps uphold the ideas presented and increases the relevancy of the information presented. A couple of the authors also have background in Marketing; Dr Marla B. Royne and Dr Jeff Thieme. In addition, Dr Jared Oakley and Ms Laura L. Anderson are well versed in Management and Dr Marian Levy
  28. 28. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 28 has been involved in different management journal publications and has been involved in numerous health promotion initiatives. The authors have an overlapping array of expertise, which helps encompass a cumbersome of intelligible facets, which is always important in marketing. Usefulness The findings within the research were very useful. One finding was that those who felt that waste, popular issues and environmental technology were important aspects of environmental concern were more likely to engage in sustainable behaviors in general. Another finding was that the more health was perceived as an important environmental concern, the less likely an individual engaged in recycling activities. In addition, males engaged in more energy0related behaviors and females more food-related and recycling behaviors. Asians engaged in the most energy related, water-reduction and other eco-friendly behaviors of all groups. As people aged, they are more likely to engage in food-related, water- reduction, recycling and other eco-friendly behaviors and education was not related to sustainable behaviors. Those who ranked health as more important engaged in significantly fewer recycling behaviors. Green marketing must clearly present the value based on different ethnic groups that comprise the company’s customer base. Younger individuals may not be aware of poor consumer choices; therefore, it’s necessary toinform younger consumers. Concern for waste if the most significant driver of sustainable behaviors. Limitation
  29. 29. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 29 The research was not able to take into account all consumer habits. Those who fell between the two extremes are not included in the research findings. Schroeder, H. (2015). Sustainability Branding: Reducing the Risks through Organizational Transformation. Sustainability: The Journal Of Record, 8(1), 18- 20. doi:10.1089/SUS.2015.0011 This is an industry publication This article is mostly a general over-view of the trend of sustainability. In addition, it reflects on how customers are reacting to sustainable and non-sustainable business behaviors as well as how organizations can transform, effectively, to be a more sustainable business and, in turn, brand themselves as such. A key concept from the text was that a sustainable approach to business needs to be holistic, and most be adopted at the core of the business’ values. This is a very recent document; therefore, information drawn highly pertains to modern times. That said, the author of this article has little searchable background, putting the information provided into question. In addition, the industry publication is difficult to find, which increases the issue of credibility. However, many of the points and recommendations, essentially, were supported by secondary sources. This publication is very useful in regards to how a company can develop itself in regards to sustainability. There is a 8-step model that explains how to transform your organization into a more sustainable business. In turn, transforming your business via these steps will helps make the brand more sustainable as well, a
  30. 30. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 30 positive benefit considering the changing consumer trends. The article also touches on how more organizations can fail in this transformation. It was also useful to know that consumers often boycott companies for their non- sustainability. Some limitations within the article was it’s length. The points presented in the text were very informative; however, there was little explanation as to why these are steps in transforming or other supporting evidence and specific information as to why consumers are boycotting. Much of the information provided could be viewed differently based on interpretation bias. There was also a very limited number of secondary sources that the source referenced. Smith, T. (1998). The myth of green marketing. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. This is a trade book. In summary, the trade book outlines how there are many different points of view regarding environmental crisis and reflects on people numerous interpretations and brings these together into a credible understanding so the information can be more perceived as common sense. There are not any explicit universal key facts; however, there is a lot of useful information. This source has drawn upon a number of resources, all of which encompass myths of green consumption and consumers, our economic future in relation to ethics and the environment as well as the marketing and green industry. The
  31. 31. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 31 source is very well structured, and it takes into account many points of view. Considering this, this is a very credible source. This trade book is very useful. The simply structure and what each section elaborates on is very relevant tomy research. Specific topics such as signification of ‘consume’, consumption-centered economics, and social leveling are some of the most useful topics in regards to my research. In addition, there is a section, Analysis of Examples, that helps to understand applying the concepts that the journal has presented. TAŞÇIOĞLU, M. (2015). USING CASE METHODS IN THE STUDY OF GREEN MARKETING STRATEGIES OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (SMEs): A PROSPECTIVE CASE STUDY DESIGN FOR SMEs IN A NEWLY INDUSTRIALIZEDCOUNTRY, TURKEY. Journal Of International Social Research, 8(41), 1303-1307. This is a scholarly article. This article was a research paper and explored green marketing strategies of SMEs. It had a very relevant diagram as to the levels of green or sustainability a company can incorporate into its business model, this is figure 6 green marketing strategy mix. It was interesting to see that depending on the sustainability of the business in relation to the marketing mix can influence how differentiable the company, product, or service can be from others. This article and the topics presented are not very common. When searching in Google the four different kinds of green product strategies and how differentiable that would make your company, there was nothing. Additionally, the idea of cost
  32. 32. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 32 reduction and promotion was sound, information on how to price things was unclear. In addition, there were few references. This article’s main points should be under review and should not be taken as fact unless supporting evidence is found The information on the green marketing strategy mix was directly developed on the premise that SME’s would be implementing its strategies. This makes the diagram very useful to my research. It was useful to see that a lean marketing mix focuses on product, a defensive mix focuses on product and promotion, shaded green focuses on product price and promotion and extreme green focuses on all four; product, price, place, promotion. A limitation of this article was that the study conducted was meant for Turkey companies, not for Canadian companies, let alone an Edmonton SME. In addition, the information was very general and there were no concrete details on what segments did specifically in relation to the marketing mix. Zeithaml, V., Bitner, M., & Gremler, D. (2013). Services marketing. (pp. 33-48) New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. This is a text book source. The section I have drawn upon is called the service provider gap models. It has many relevant figures that outline what consumers are receiving as opposed to what consumers would want or what would make the service the best possible service. Although it is about service, it is very applicable to products as well because it focuses on closing any gaps a consumer may feel towards the business and the product/service they are receiving. The gaps that were displayed included; the listening
  33. 33. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 33 gap, the service design and standards gap, the service performance gap, and the communication gap. This is a text book, therefor it is safe to say that it is a very credible source. All the gaps are a useful tool in determining how to be the best business for your consumers. I think for my research it is useful to to hear and understand what consumers want and then execute. Considering my research is aimed in providing our client a new form of marketing that is almost unique, I think these tools will be useful when trying to later evaluate strategies put in place. The gap models provided are great in displaying where short-falls can be seen and it demonstrates clearly how a business can correct there short-comings. A limitation of this source is that it does not focus on products. Additionally, it does not focus on sustainable marketing practices.
  34. 34. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 34 Appendix A - References Altafer, P. (2013). In natural products, everything old is new again. Functional Ingredients, (127), 14. Belz, F. & Peattie, K. (2009). Sustainability marketing (pp. 129, 133-139, 154, 164). Chichester: Wiley. Carrigan, M., Moraes, C., & Leek, S. (2011). Fostering Responsible Communities: A Community Social Marketing Approach to Sustainable Living. Journal of Business Ethics, (3). 515. Cateora, P. (2011). International marketing. (pp. 14) [Whitby, ON]: McGraw-Hill Ryerson. DURALIA, O. (2014). APPLYING SUSTAINABLE MARKETINGSTRATEGIES - THE KEY TOOBTAINING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES ON THE INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS MARKET.Studies In Business & Economics, 9(3), 21- 28. Higgins, A. (2016). Sustainable Marketing. Grant Macewan University. Kilbourne, W. E. (1998). Green Marketing: A Theoretical Perspective. Journal Of Marketing Management, 14(6), 641-655. McDonagh, P., & Prothero, A. (2014). Sustainability marketing research: past, present and future. Journal Of Marketing Management, 30(11-12), 1186- 1219.doi:10.1080/0267257X.2014.943263
  35. 35. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 35 Morrissey, J. (2016). Sustainable Marketing. 10370 82 Avenue NW Edmonton, AB T6E 1Z8. Ottman, J. (1993). Green marketing. (pp. 10) Lincolnwood: NTC business books. PRAUDE, V., & BORMANE, S. (2013). SUSTAINABLE MARKETING -- PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES UNDER PRESENT ECONOMY. Regional Formation & Development Studies, (11), 165-176. Royne, M. B., Thieme, J., Levy, M., Oakley, J., & Alderson, L. (2016). From thinking green to buying green: consumer motivation makes the difference. Journal Of Business Strategy, 37(3), 37. doi:10.1108/JBS-12-2014- 0151 Schroeder, H. (2015). Sustainability Branding: Reducing the Risks through Organizational Transformation. Sustainability: The Journal Of Record, 8(1), 18- 20. doi:10.1089/SUS.2015.0011 Smith, T. (1998). The myth of green marketing. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Zeithaml, V., Bitner, M., & Gremler, D. (2013). Services marketing. (pp. 33-48) New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
  36. 36. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 36 Appendix B Figure 1: Main criteria for sustainability Figure 2:Main conditions for sustainable marketing
  37. 37. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 37 Figure 3: Concept of sustainable marketing Figure 4: Importance of observation of internal environmental criteria at Latvian companies according to experts, in percentages Figure 5: Criteria for marketing strategy of Latvian companies by importance according to experts, in percentage
  38. 38. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 38 Figure 6: Green Marketing Strategy Matrix Figure 7: The Art and Science of Transformation Initiative The Art and Science of Transformation Initiative 1. Ensure that sustainability goals are clearly defined and that proposed branding is well aligned with these goals 2. Identify potential cultural barriers, such as an emphasis on cost reduction or on short-term financial results 3. Reviewing organizational and processes to identify other likely barriers to change, such as lack of adequate mechanisms for communicating with suppliers, or an absence of sustainability goals in individual-level performance plans 4. Ensuring the organization has the right combination of art and science skills and expertise to undergo successful transformation for sustainability, and addressing gaps or weaknesses through training, development, and recruitment initiatives. 5. Developing and implementing strategies for communicating with and involving employees and other stakeholders in the development of the strategic sustainability initiative and in setting goals for their own areas of work 6. Modify or redesign performance systems, compensation and rewards, etc., to remove barriers to sustainability and to promote the values and behaviors necessary to achieve it 7. Monitoring and evaluating the impact of the changes on the achievement of sustainability goals and making further modifications as necessary 8. Refining sustainability branding messages and content to reflect real performance and achievements
  39. 39. Marketing Strategy – Bob Graves 39 Figure 8: The provider gaps