Why this is important
• Commodity prices rising (up 150%
between 2002 and 20102) and volatile
• Huge potential cost saving...
of 1

The role of marketing in sustainability-led innovation

To help organizations understand how their marketing functions can work with their internal and external stakeholders to successfully implement sustainability-led innovation.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: Education      

Transcripts - The role of marketing in sustainability-led innovation

  • 1. Why this is important • Commodity prices rising (up 150% between 2002 and 20102) and volatile • Huge potential cost savings ($380- $630bn pa EU manufacturing alone3) and market opportunities for business • More people consuming limited resources at developed country levels (150m people entering middle class each year4) • Consumer intent not translating into action (<5% share eco-labelled food5) • Difficult and complex changes to make requiring co-ordination across business, individuals and policymakers  Need to understand how businesses, through engagement with their stakeholders play a role in delivering sustainability-led innovation Findings from literature6 • Sustainability marketing: Marketing functions need to manage internal and external stakeholder relationships to enable sustainability • Sustainability-led innovation: Innovations are complex due to wide range of stakeholders, with potentially conflicting demands • Stakeholder marketing / value co- creation: Limited research on stakeholders as applied to the marketing function. Value co-creation as a mechanism through which firms and their stakeholders can collectively change what is valued and expected or desired by customers  More research needed on how marketing practices (or marketing skills and capabilities) can be applied to a broader set of stakeholders in the context of sustainability-led innovation Findings from exploratory practitioner interviews7 • Semi-structured interviews with 5 CSR and marketing professionals, three from specialist CSR consultancies, two from large UK corporations Indicative findings: • Engagement between CSR / sustainability teams and marketing1 teams (e.g. product development, innovation) is critical and needs improvement. • Sharing stakeholder insights and approaches internally is also important and potentially difficult • Relationships with B2B customers (e.g. large retailers) are driving significant change • Relationships with some external stakeholders groups, e.g. NGOs are subject to significant culture clash which reduces their effectiveness • There are sustainability issues which can not be addresses by single organizations alone; however collaboration is hindered by the need to retain competitive advantage • There is recognition of co-creation with users as a means to increase mutual value, but limited examples of this in practice in the context of sustainability- led innovation Planned research PhD Year 2: How firms interact with their stakeholders • In-depth case studies of organizations delivering sustainability-led innovation • Either one case study organization across multiple stakeholders, or multiple organizations, each demonstrating an exemplary approach with particular stakeholders • Potential organizations include: • Unilever • BT • Home Retail Group (Argos/ Homebase) PhD Year 3: Focus on co-creation • Experimental research to assess the impact and effectiveness of co- creation processes with selected stakeholder group(s) e.g. users, employees The role of marketing in sustainability- led innovation PhD, SoM 2013-2017 Rosina Watson Supervisor: Prof. Hugh Wilson (Strategic Marketing and Sales) Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, United Kingdom T: +44 (0)7715 747 511 E: rosina.watson@cranfield.ac.uk http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/about/cranfield/themes/environment/ References and notes 1: Marketing is defined as the groups of individuals in an organization who carry out the organization’s defined activities and processes relating to creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings in the market 2,4: World Economic Forum 2014 available at: http://www.weforum.org/issues/sustainable-consumption 3: Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2012. Towards the Circular Economy Vol.1. Available at: http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/books-and-reports 5: Rex, E. and Baumann, H., 2007. Beyond ecolabels: what green marketing can learn from conventional marketing. Journal of Cleaner Production, 15(6), pp.567–576. 6: Literature review performed in support of 1st year Positioning Study 7: Interviews conducted for 1st year Qualitative Assessment 8: http://www.designingourtomorrow.com/ Aim • To help organizations understand how their marketing functions1 can work with their internal and external stakeholders to successfully implement sustainability-led innovation Research Questions • How do interactions between marketing1 and internal and external stakeholders enable sustainability-led innovation? • Which stakeholders are critical? • What is the required nature of the relationship with these stakeholders (style of interaction; engagement process; resolution of culture clashes)? • What is the role for marketing in these relationships (from communication to proposition development)? Who the research will benefit • Researchers: Develop a conversation about the role of marketing in sustainability-led innovation, from the perspectives of stakeholder theory and value co-creation. Also the potential to look at culture clashes between stakeholder group and organizations from an institutional logics perspective. • Practitioners: Provision of accessible case studies on organizations who are engaging with their stakeholders in a new and effective ways to deliver sustainability-led innovation. Research output should include best practice examples, toolkits (c.f. BT’s Designing our Tomorrow8) and success criteria that can be applied in practice to sustainability-led innovation projects. • Policymakers: Contribution to selected deliverables of a broader EU funded research project entitled “EU-InnovatE: Sustainable Lifestyles 2.0: End User Integration, Innovation and Entrepreneurship” which is investigating the active role of end users in shaping sustainable lifestyles and the transition to a green economy in Europe. Source: World Bank; Ellen MacArthur circular economy team