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Has marketing come full circle? Demarketing for sustainability

Kamaljit Sodhi (Associate Professor based at Galgotias Business School, Greater Noida, India)

Business Strategy Series

ISSN: 1751-5637

Article publication date: 5 July 2011




The increasing emphasis on sustainable practices requires innovative strategies and responses from the marketer. The fundamental purpose of marketing is re‐viewed in the light of growing demands for quality of life and the sustainability of resource use, and responsibility to society for the actions and effects of firms.


The discipline of marketing assumes its importance from establishing an interface with the consumer and the society at large. The idea of growth and increasing demand is implicit in marketing. The growing recognition of a fundamentally resource‐constrained environment requires a much guarded response from the marketer. Faced with the current situation of depleting resources, an ambience of increasing sensitivity to environmental issues and increasing demand of the consumer for a safer planet, how will the marketer justify pushing the product through the pipeline and on to the consumer? In the future it is reasonable to expect marketing processes to create or maintain demand and marketing to ration or reduce demand. The present study is an attempt to understand how demarketing may be used to further the sustainability agenda. It is an in‐depth review of literature has been undertaken to establish linkages between demarketing and sustainability.


The possibility of using demarketing as a marketer's response to sustainability concerns is clearly established and areas of further research are highlighted.


The paper opens up the debate on a subject that is clearly going to be high on the agenda for years to come.



Sodhi, K. (2011), "Has marketing come full circle? Demarketing for sustainability", Business Strategy Series, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 177-185.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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