Impact Of Green Marketing On Customer Satisfaction And Environmental Protection
Green marketing is a business practice that makes efforts towards marketing products and services on the basis of environmental factors. Customers satisfaction is the measurement of the extent to which demands and expectations of the customers have been met. Green marketing has impact on customer satisfaction and environmental protection. The present dissertation intended to find out the impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection in UK. The concept of green marketing was explored in the project. It also described the impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction. Further, ways in which green marketing leads to protection of environment have also been described.
The findings of the dissertation suggest that UK faces environmental issues related to increased emissions, air and water pollution. Customers are aware of the environmental concerns. They expect the organizations to adopt green marketing practices. The findings of the thesis are that green marketing has positive impact on customer satisfaction. When companies adopt green marketing, it enhances customer satisfaction. Similarly, undertaking of these practices by organizations of UK helps in environmental protection. It was found that customer expectations have changed and drifted towards protecting the environment. As green marketing helps in doing so, it leads to customer satisfaction. However, prices of green products are high and restrains the customers from buying them.
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Overview of Marketing
Marketing is a tool which is used by companies for communicating to the customers about its products and services. This is done with the purpose of selling and creating awareness about the products of the company (Layton, 2011). In this way, marketing helps in developing relationships with the customers which benefits it in several ways. There are various ways which are adopted by organizations to promote their products. This is important for staying ahead of the competitors. Also, various forms are employed by the companies for communicating their products. These include TV, print ads, radio, billboards etc. Among the various strategies of promoting products and services, green marketing is the most rapidly growing. It is important to consider that customers as well as organizations are becoming increasingly conscious about environment. Also, customer satisfaction is an important aspect for organizations (Vargo and Lusch, 2004). All their efforts are directed towards it. As customers grow environmental conscious, the companies are directed towards adopting green marketing.
Green marketing is a business practice that pays attention towards the concerns of the customers regarding preservation and conservation of natural environment. It comprises marketing services on the basis of environmental factors and awareness (Chan, 2013). Green marketing makes a company take decisions regarding all its activities associated with products such as processing, packaging and distributing. This highlights those characteristics of the products and services of a company which are related to protection of environment. These include characteristics such as waste reduction, enhancing energy efficiency of products, using fewer chemicals in farming, reducing the emission of toxic substances. Green marketing entails all the ways in which marketers respond to the demands of the consumers related to environment friendly products.
Customer satisfaction is the measurement of the extent and the ways in which products and services manufactured by a company meet their expectations and demands (Beard, 2014). In recent times, impact of organizational activities on environment has become a growing concern. Customers have been more aware of the ways in which organizations affect the natural environment through their activities. Green marketing is all about directing the efforts of a firm towards engaging in activities that preserve the environment. It thus has significant impact on customer satisfaction. When a company markets itself as promoting environmental ethics and environmental advantages of its products, it meets the expectations of its consumers. By working to preserve the integrity of the environment thereby providing high quality goods, the demands of the customers are efficiently met by the organization both in terms of environment protection and products (Grant, 2008). Thus, green marketing impacts customer satisfaction to a great extent.
Environmental protection refers to the practice of preserving natural environment. This can be at the level of individual, organization and government. Green marketing aims at reducing the harmful impact of business activities on environment. It fosters optimum use of natural resources and reduced wastage (Hartmann and et.al., 2005). Moreover, through green marketing, the business organizations aim at reducing the emission of toxic substances. In this way, harm to the environment is checked through this marketing strategy adopted by firms. It stresses on using fewer chemicals in farming. By increasing the energy efficiency of product, green marketing helps using it to maximum. Thus, it helps in conserving and using natural resources in a sustainable manner. Green marketing makes the organizations adopt practices that could decrease the release of pollutants in products. In this way, it has significant impact on environmental protection.
In the present study, the researcher will make an attempt to explore the impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection taking the case of UK. There are a number of organizations in UK that operate in various sectors including retail, telecommunications, processing, oil and gas etc. In this dissertation, focus will be laid on the organizations that adopt green marketing for communicating their products. In this way, the study will analyze the marketing mix of green marketing strategy. Green initiatives of different companies will be explored. Most importantly, impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection will be assessed. Lastly, recommendations will be provided for the ways in which green marketing can be adopted for obtaining customer satisfaction and providing value to the business. Information will be obtained on green marketing and its components. Analysis of the ways in which these met the consumer needs and expectations will be done. It will also be linked to environmental protection. With this, efforts will be made to develop a clear understanding regarding the viewpoints of various authors. This will provide assistance in identifying the areas for improvement.
Focus and Purpose
The main purpose of conducting this research study will be to analyze the impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection in UK. Various studies explored the concept of green marketing and its relevance. Studies have also been done on concepts such as customer satisfaction and environmental protection (Mourad and Ahmed, 2012). However, the link between green marketing and customer satisfaction as well as environmental protection has not been explored. As such, this research will be carried out with the purpose of identifying and filling the gap that has been left by previous researches. It will make attempt to analyze the impact that green marketing has on customer satisfaction and environmental protection.
It is important to explore this relationship. Customers have grown environmental conscious. This has introduced a change in their demands and expectations. In order to respond to the increased expectations of the customers, organizations in UK have become attentive of their impact on environment. This has made them adopt various practices that help in conserving and protecting environment. Green marketing is one such practice that has been adopted by firms. However, along with adopting this practice, it is important to determine what impact it has on customer satisfaction and environmental protection (Grant, 2009). This is because customer satisfaction is an important goal that every company aims to achieve. In this regard, the purpose of present dissertation will be to explore the relationship between green marketing and customer satisfaction. It will also analyze the impact of green marketing on environmental protection.
The context of the present research reflects discussion of the concept of green marketing as defined by prior studies (Juwaheer, Pudaruth and Noyaux, 2012). Though, abundant of literature is available on the topic of green marketing, it does not present a clear idea of its association with customer satisfaction and environmental protection. In addition to this, there are a few researchers that have laid emphasis on this area of research in green marketing. In this way, limited data on impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection is the main problem in the present research. Hence, this study will make an attempt to fill the existing gap in the literature. It will also uncover areas that are of critical importance to organizations. Customer satisfaction is a vital objective of every firm. However, as customers have many choices available, it is difficult to attract and satisfy them. At the same time, there is increasing pressure on the firm from customers as well as government to reduce their impact on environment. In this regard, it is important for them to analyze the impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction..
Aims and objectives
Aim: To examine the impact of Green Marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection
The following objectives have been framed in accordance with the aim of the research:
- To critically analyze the marketing mix of green marketing
- To analyze the green initiatives of different companies in the area of green marketing
- To assess the impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection
- To recommend ways in which green marketing can be adopted to obtain customer satisfaction and environmental protection
- Potential significance of the present study can be considered with respect to the growing concern among the people regarding environment degradation by industrial activities. This dissertation will help in investigating green marketing and its impact on customer satisfaction and environmental protection. Both these are great concerns for the organizations. As such, this dissertation will prove to be potentially significant for the following:
- Organizations in all industries will consider this research as important. This is because it will help various companies to understand the ways in which green marketing will impact customer satisfaction. Further, it will also inform the organizations about the effectiveness of adopted green marketing strategies in providing protection to the environment. Thus it will encourage the companies and make them confident of adopting green marketing strategies.
- The research will be of assistance to the environmental experts who will learn about green aspect of marketing strategies (Krishnaswamy, Sivakumar and Mathirajan, 2009). They will obtain information on ways in which marketing strategies could provide protection to the environment.
- It will be importance to the academicians who are pursuing Ph. D and aim to develop a deep understanding regarding the role of green marketing strategy.
- Analysts will be benefited by this research. It will help them to prepare an overview of the concept of green marketing and its role in providing satisfaction to customers and protection to environment.
- Lastly, the men and women, who are working in the field of literature, will also be significantly benefited by this research (Whiteley and Whiteley, 2006). It will be important for them as it will help them to gain information on creative approaches related to literature.
Framework and analysis
This is one of the most important steps while carrying out the research. Decisions regarding proper framework, that is to be followed for the research, need to be made. This is required for arriving at reliable and appropriate conclusions and for providing realistic recommendations. The framework and analysis consists of the following steps.
Design of research – For the present dissertation, there will be use of descriptive research design. It will facilitate collection of information without changing the environment. With this, characteristics of a phenomenon, green marketing, can be effectively studied.
Research approach – The present study on green marketing will make use of inductive approach. Following this approach the research will move from specific to general. By observing the characteristics of green marketing and specific situations, its impact on customer satisfaction and environmental protection will be studied.
Research philosophy – A combination of positivism and interpretivism philosophy will be used in the present research to find out the impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection.
Techniques of research – The present research will make use of both qualitative and quantitative techniques of research.
Method for data collection – For the present study, data will be collected by using both primary and secondary methods of data collection. Primary data will be collected with the help of questionnaire survey method. A survey of customers will be conducted. For collection of secondary data, there will be use of sources such as journals, books, online articles, blogs; government reports etc. literature works done by other authors will form the basis of collecting secondary data.
Sampling technique – In this study, technique for selecting sample will of probabilistic nature. Simple random sampling will be used for selecting 50 customers who will be the respondents for study. This technique will provide equal chance to every unit in the population to be included in the study. Viewpoints of respondents regarding the impact of green marketing will be obtained through a questionnaire.
Analysis of data – Data will be analysed by using both qualitative and quantitative techniques.
Concept of green marketing
As per the views of Ottman, (2011), green marketing is a strategy that organizations adopt for controlling their harmful impacts on environment. As a form of promotion, green marketing enables a company to bring forward the green aspects of its products (Ottman, 2011). However, Richey and et.al., (2014) assert that green marketing encompasses the activities such as producing, packaging and distributing, in a manner that these do not harm the environment. The authors suggest that green marketing implies that various functions related to packaging, labelling, distributing and manufacturing products need to be modified by the organizations (Richey and et.al., 2014).
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The business practice of adopting green marketing provides a highlight of the environmental protection characteristics of the products and services of an organization. Dahlstrom (2010) explored that the demands of consumers have grown for products that are environment friendly (Dahlstrom, 2010). It can be analysed that environmental friendly products act as a component of green marketing. This has made the companies promote environmental attributes of their products. However, Chen (2010) argues that life of a product and its various parts determine the “green” aspect of the product (Chen, 2010). The process which is used in creation of a product makes it green. But, it can be critically evaluated that businesses engage in green marketing with the sole purpose of earning profit. Then green marketing would not be concentrated at reducing harmful impact of organizational activities on environment.
Evolution of marketing into green marketing
Luo and Bhattacharya (2006) are of view that in response to the demands of the consumers there has been introduction of new products. These specialize in attributes such as energy efficiency, climate control, sustainability and reduction of waste. The authors found that products are being redesigned by companies with an eye to attract and satisfy consumers who want to care for the environment (Luo and Bhattacharya, 2006). It can be analysed that this can be taken as the reason behind the evolution of marketing into green marketing. In this way, organizations also promote environmental advantages of their products. But, Levinson and Horowitz, (2010) argue that growing public awareness about environmental degradation is the principal factor that has driven companies to adopt green marketing strategies (Levinson and Horowitz, 2010). This has led to the evolution of green marketing. However, it can be critically analysed that this was the need of the hour considering the growing population, industrialization and consumption of natural resources. Grundey and Zaharia, (2008) argue that green marketing emerged owing to the awareness of businesses, firms and customers regarding need to protect environment (Grundey and Zaharia, 2008).
But, there are other reasons which led marketing to evolve into green marketing. Yazdanifard and Mercy (2011) explored the changes in the buying decisions of consumers over time. The authors found that owing to the increased concern over environmental issues, the buying pattern of consumers changed (Yazdanifard and Mercy, 2011). Consumers have drifted towards purchasing products and services that they perceive as more environment friendly. It can be analysed that considering the growth in green consumerism, businesses devise new marketing strategies that respond to the demands of consumers. This has made the companies adopt strategies and tactics that come under greeen marketing. Eventually marketing transformed into green marketing.
Marketing mix of green marketing
All organizations essentially consider the aspect of marketing mix. This is important for making the product reach the right consumers at the right place through appropriate channels. Ottman, Stafford and Hartman, (2006) found that when organizations consider the perspective of green marketing, they modify their marketing mix as per the requirements (Ottman, Stafford and Hartman, 2006). Green marketing is all about bringing changes in all the elements that are related to a product. It can be critically analyzed that adding a green label to the product does not make a company as practicing green marketing. Alterations have to be brought in the four elements of marketing mix. As such, product, price, place and promotion have to be changed. It can be analyzed that the elements of marketing mix have to be modified to suit green marketing strategy of company. But, it can be critically evaluated that green marketing would arise the need of developing a thorough understanding of the market.
Robinot and Giannelloni, (2010) suggest changing the product element of marketing mix while pursuing a green marketing strategy. It can be analyzed that raw materials and ingredients that are used for producing the product need to be sourced in an environmental friendly way (Robinot and Giannelloni, 2010). This implies use of those manufacturing and distribution methods with the help of which the companies can reduce their carbon footprint. It requires sourcing raw materials that are natural and organic. Also, fewer chemicals are to be used in farming. All these practices make the product element of marketing mix in accordance with green marketing strategy. However, it can be critically evaluated that there are certain limitations that are faced by organizations while doing so. Manaktola and Jauhari, (2007) claim that the biggest issue is that of prices. Practices that are adopted for production under green marketing make products expensive which acts a barrier in their acceptance by consumers. The authors found that for manufacturing organic food, natural fertilizers are used (Manaktola and Jauhari, 2007). This makes it more expensive as compared to other products. It can be critically analyzed that a prices create a gap between green products and other products. Daub and Ergenzinger, (2005) also support the presence of green pricing gap. In their study, authors found that consumers do not willingly accept green product and purchase it because price act as a barrier.
D'Souza and et.al. (2006) explored marketing mix of green marketing strategy (). It was found that place element, in green marketing strategy, consists of adoption of sustainable practices in distribution channels (D'Souza and et.al., 2006). It can be analyzed that organizations modify place element of marketing mix for incorporating the green aspect in their operations. Sustainable practices such as solar energy panels and energy efficient lights in stores are adopted by various organizations. Montoro-Rios, Luque-Martinez and Rodriguez-Molina (2008) explored promotion element of marketing mix in relation to green marketing strategy. The authors found that in order to promote the environmental protection characteristics of their products, organizations use environmental friendly communication tools and tactics (Montoro-Rios, Luque-Martinez and Rodriguez-Molina, 2008). These promotion tools are those that assist the people and communities to grow in a healthy way. However, it can be critically analyzed that green marketing in itself entails promoting the environmental friendly characteristics of a product. It comprises of using terms such as recyclable, degradable and environmentally friendly.
Customer satisfaction is the measure of the extent to which products of a company meet the expectations of consumers. Chen (2010) assert that customer satisfaction determines repurchase intentions and loyalty of customers (Chen, 2010). It can be analyzed that if customers are satisfied, they repurchase the products and services of a company. Jain, Roopshikha and Bandhu, (2014) found in their study that consistency is the key to making customers satisfied (Jain, Roopshikha and Bandhu, 2014). With consistent efforts that a company makes, customers develop faith and trust in it. This makes them satisfied and motivates them to be loyal to the firm. Ottman, Stafford and Hartman, (2006) assert that customer satisfaction is an abstract concept and consists of various factors (Ottman, Stafford and Hartman, 2006). These include quality of product or service, atmosphere of location of the product, price of product etc. Sivesan, Achchuthan and Umanakenan, (2013) consider customer satisfaction as the center of marketing. It can be analysed that all the aspects of marketing are decided taking into account the concept of customer satisfaction (Sivesan, Achchuthan and Umanakenan, 2013).
Impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction
Horne (2009) studied the role of green marketing in achieving various organizational objectives. The authors found that customer satisfaction is an important objective that is achieved with the help of green marketing (Horne, 2009). However, it can be critically analyzed that environmental protection is also an objective of the firms which they fulfill with the help of green marketing. Grundey and Zaharia (2008), claim that customer satisfaction is a measure of the extent to which products and services meet or surpass the expectations of customers (Grundey and Zaharia, 2008). The authors considered it as an outcome or process which results from the consumption experience of a product. However, it can be critically evaluated that it is the intention with which consumers purchase a product. Customers intend to purchase a product if they feel contented by using it.
Boztepe (2012) in their study found out that an organization is able to obtain satisfaction of its customers if it carries out activities that are favored by them (Boztepe, 2012). Great concern is showed by the customers regarding environment. Chen and Chang (2013), support that customers have increasingly become conscious about the impact that organizational activities have on the environment (Chen and Chang, 2013) It can be evaluated that as green marketing is focused in enhancing the effectiveness of organization in the area of environmental protection, it can likely satisfy customers. For example, Tesco claims to reduce its carbon emissions of all the stores by the year 2020. This is a serious initiative that the company has taken towards protecting the environment (Reducing our impact on the environment, 2015).
Green and et.al., (2012) assert that green marketing makes the firm capable of fulfilling the demands and expectations of the customers in the area of environment conservation. In this way, they are able to meet the contentment level of the consumers (Green and et.al., 2012). This makes the firms achieve customer satisfaction. While adopting green marketing strategy, firm highlight the environmental advantages of their products and services. By using these products, the customers feel that they have contributed towards protection of environment. Jain and Kaur, (2004) have views that customers are satisfied when they feel that they are a part of organization which cares for environment (Jain and Kaur, 2004). Green marketing projects the image of an organization as one that keeps the interests of natural environment forward while carrying out all its activities. It can be analyzed that by being a part of such an organization, customers feel satisfied.
According to Jain, Roopshikha and Bandhu, (2014) customers have become environmental conscious and want to make efforts towards providing protection to the natural environment (Jain, Roopshikha and Bandhu, 2014). It can be analyzed that they favor using products that have been manufactured in a way that least harm has been caused to the environment. For example, Sainsbury manufactures products by using environmental friendly practices. It works closely with the suppliers to source raw materials in ways that protect the natural surroundings. The store also uses 100 per cent recycled crate (Responsibility, 2015). It has also made improvements in its Lorries so as to reduce impact of its large scale distribution network on environment.
Polonsky (2011) suggests that customer satisfaction can be obtained when companies continuously work to provide them with service of superior quality. Having clear polices, supporting mechanisms and rules are the key to customer satisfaction in today’s time (Polonsky, 2011). However, it can be critically analyzed that customer satisfaction can result when companies are able to meet the basic needs of the customers. In these days, customers want to care for the environment. They have become informed about the hazards that human activities have caused to it. Moreover, activities which support the environment are favored by consumers. Thus it can be analyzed that green marketing can make the customers satisfied. By undertaking activities that promote the well being of natural resources and surroundings, organizations are able to gain trust of customers. Simula and Salo, (2009) support that customer satisfaction is based on the trust that they keep in organization and its activities. Reduction in wastages and optimal use of resources ensure the customers that firm cares for environment over its interests (Simula and Salo, 2009). Feeling proud in being a part of such an organization makes the customers purchase its products thus leading to their satisfaction. However, companies like ASDA have failed to retain that trust as its green marketing activities were found to be misleading and inaccurate (Brownsell, 2009). It can be critically analyzed that false and misleading activities undertaken by the organization, for the sake of green promotion break the trust of customers. This has negative impact on their satisfaction.
However, Sivesan, Achchuthan and Umanakenan, (2013) argue that green marketed products are over - priced which demotivates the customers and restrains them from purchasing. It has been fund that as green products are manufactured with ethical practices and uses of environmental friendly methods, these require high quality processing and manufacturing (Sivesan, Achchuthan and Umanakenan, 2013). Also, components that go into making these products have been sourced ethically keeping the interests of protecting environment before organizational motives. As such, these factors raise the prices of products for which green marketing is done. It can be critically evaluated that considering the prices of products and services in UK, customers are not satisfied with green marketing. However, Slevitch and et.al., (2013) have different views. In their study, authors found that green marketing is only related to packaging and promotion of the product. These are external aspects and are considered only for the purpose of promotion of environmental protection features of products (Slevitch and et.al., 2013). Hence, these may develop the trust and confidence of the customers and may satisfy them.
Customers increasingly expect the organizations to undertake activities for the betterment of environment. When the firms succeed to do so, it grants satisfaction to the consumers. Green marketing implies that the firm is resducing its impact on the environment. This suggests that an organization is using fewer chemicals, discharging fewer emissions into the environment and using environmentally friendly processes for manufacturing the products. This fulfills the expectations of the customers thus leading to their satisfaction.
Impact of green marketing on environmental protection
Rahbar and Wahid (2011) found in their study that environmental protection is concerned with safeguarding the components of environment for present as well as future generations (Rahbar and Wahid, 2011). It can be analysed that environment is protected when the needs of the present generation are met in a way that the ability of future generations to meet their needs is not compromised. The end product of green marketing is preserving the environment for the present and future generations. Richey and et.al., (2014) found that while adopting green marketing strategy, firms engage in development of energy efficient operations. They also adopt better pollution controls and biodegradable and recyclable packaging (Richey and et.al., 2014). In this way, green marketing strategy has significant positive impact on environmental protection in UK. For example, British Airways has set the goal of producing sustainable jet fuel. This is a low carbon jet fuel which will help the company provide its services thereby reducing its impact on the environment (GreenSky London Biofuel Plant Preparing for Lift-off, 2012).
Liu, Kasturiratne and Moizer (2012) claim that green marketing begins with green designing. For example, hospitality organizations of UK like Hilton hotel and Ritz Carlton hotel use processes and products that are environmentally friendly while providing its services Liu, Kasturiratne and Moizer, 2012). Energy saving detergents is used by the hotels for washing and cleaning purposes. Efficient utilization of space is another initiative that is taken by these hotels with the perspective of green marketing. These reduce the harms that organizational activities can cause to the environment. It can be analysed that green marketing assists in protection of the environment. Sharma and Iyer, (2012) add that green distribution of product is an initiative that is undertaken by many firms in UK. For example, retailers like Sainsbury distribute their products to the customers by use of energy efficient fuels. This helps in reducing emissions of toxic pollutants in the air (Sharma and Iyer, 2012). As such, the air quality is maintained with green marketing practices. This protects air, which is an important component of environment, from getting polluted.
Chan(2013) assert that environment safety is about following the laws that have been made regarding areas such as management of hazardous material, Harmful pollution etc. while engaging in green marketing, companies practice regulatory compliance throughout their supply chain (Chan, 2013). This implies complying with the laws that govern the areas of environmental safety. It can be evaluated that green marketing helps in protecting the environment. This is because it makes the organization work as per the standards that are built for safeguarding the natural surroundings. However, Juwaheer, Pudaruth and Noyaux,(2012) argue that implementing processes and operations for environmental protection is not an easy task to be done (Juwaheer, Pudaruth and Noyaux,2012). It can be critically analysed that organizations may adopt green marketing only to show the customers that the products are prepared by caring for the environment. Thus, the companies might actually not adopt green practices but only promote the environmental protection features of their products. In such cases, there may be negative impact of business activities on natural surroundings thus endangering environment and its various components.
Link between existing literature and present research
Existing literature explores the concept of customer satisfaction in relation to other aspects. Studies have been done by various authors that highlight the evolution of marketing into green marketing. There are other researches that were done on green marketing and its importance. However, none of the researches done earlier focused on impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction as well as environmental protection. In this regard, the present research explores the link between green marketing and customer satisfaction. In this way, it incorporates the existing literature on green marketing and customer satisfaction.
There are two types of research paradigms. These are known as positivism and interpretivism. interpretivism philosophy assumes that it is only through social constructions that access to reality can be gained (Marshall and Rossman, 2010). This type of philosophy focuses on obtaining the meaning. This philosophy consists of the data of experience. It affirms that knowledge about matters of fact is obtained on the basis of positive data experience. It assumes that only authentic knowledge is the scientific knowledge. It also considers that this knowledge can be obtained only from positive affirmation of theories by using strict scientific methods (Introduction, 2008).
The present dissertation uses a combination of interpretivism and positivism philosophy. Interpretivism philosophy was used because it enabled the researcher to give importance to his beliefs. Moreover, which carrying out the present research on green marketing, the researcher could study the phenomenon in its natural environment. Social and natural reality is considered different by this approach. Thus, it focuses on using different types of methods. As sch, this philosophy was suitable as it helped the researcher to accurately interpret the elements of the study. Moreover, with this philosophy, significant assistance was provided in gaining information about the thoughts of customers as well as their actions. Positivism philosophy was also used by the researcher. In the present research, this philosophy was used because it helped in applying relevant techniques for investigating the phenomenon of green marketing. It assisted in collecting evidence that was measurable, empirical and measurable.
There are two types of research approaches known as inductive and deductive. Inductive approach focuses on observing the elements that are related to the research problem (Neuman and Robson, 2004). As such, this approach makes use of a new theory for resolving the problem. Deductive approach, on the other hand, is concerned with development of hypothesis on the basis on an existing theory. Following this, research strategy is designed to test the hypothesis. This approach moves from general to more specific. In the present dissertation on green marketing, there has been use of inductive approach. Inductive approach was used in the present study because it helped in referring to the entire findings of the literature review. Additionally, with this approach, the researcher was also able to address research objectives appropriately. A flexible structure was provided by this approach. Moreover, inductive approach moves from specific to general. As such, with its use, the researcher could make specific observations regarding behavior of customers. He could also observe the impacts on environmental protection. By making these specific observations, researcher could develop broad generalizations regarding impact of green marketing. This helped in finding out the impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection.
There are various types of research designs such as descriptive, exploratory, explanatory etc. Descriptive design is used for providing descriptions of a population or phenomenon (Smith, 2007). The queries related to how, why and when are not answered by this design. It focuses on addressing “what” question. In contrast to this, exploratory research is the initial research which is conducted into a hypothetical or theoretical idea. This lays the initial groundwork for future studies to be conducted. It is done either to explore a new topic or a new angle to the topic. The purpose of explanatory research is to connect ideas for understanding cause and effect. This is undertaken to understand how things come together and interact with each other.
The present dissertation on impact of green marketing employs descriptive research design. The rationale behind using this design for the present research is given as follows. It helped the researcher in determining the impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection. In the present study, the researcher wanted to describe the specific behaviour of customers and their satisfaction level, as it occurs in the natural setting. Description design helped in the same. Moreover, there are three types of categories in descriptive design. These are observation, case studies and surveys. As such, with this design, views of the customers regarding green marketing could be obtained by the researcher with the help of survey (Kirk, 2007). Questionnaire could be filled by them which were then used for analysing the data and reaching to the conclusion.
There are three types of research strategies known as experiment, survey and case study. In experimental strategy, there is introduction of a treatment. This adheres to a scientific method. Experiment strategy helps in identification of a cause and effect relationship. Case studies lay emphasis on individual or small group. By comparing cases, a comprehensive analysis could be conducted. Survey strategy, on the other hand, is used for gathering large amounts of information by asking questions to the respondents. In the present research, survey strategy has been used because the researcher was required to obtain views of the customers regarding impact of green marketing. This could best be done with the help of survey.
Population is the collection of all the items or people which have the characteristic that researcher wants to understand. For the present dissertation, population comprises of customers of UK. The technique which is utilized for studying a few units of a population is known as sampling. This selection of unit is known as a sample. When a survey is to be conducted, it is not feasible for the researcher to collect information from the entire population. This is the reason behind applying sampling technique (FitzGerald and et.al., 2008). Sampling can be categorized into probabilistic and non probabilistic sampling. In probabilistic sampling, every unit of the population has an equal chance of being included in the study. In contrast to this, non probabilistic sampling is any type of sampling where there is no chance of selection of some elements.
For the present dissertation on green marketing, probabilistic sampling technique has been utilized. The researcher selected the sample by utilizing simple random sampling technique. This is because in this method, all the units of the population have equal chance of being included in the sample. In the present study, the population consisted of customers of UK. As such, simple random sampling technique was most suitable as it provided equal chance to every customer to be included in the research. This was the rationale behind its use. it reduced baisness in the study. With simple random sampling generalizations can be made from the sample to the entire population (Dwyer and Buckle, 2009). In sampling methods, another important concept is that of sample size. The total number of units of a population, that will take part in the study constitute the sample size. As such, sample size is the total number of respondents who provide data for the study. The sample size for the present study was 50. using the technique of simple random sampling, a sample of 50 customers was selected.
Data Collection methods
Data collection methods assume a significant place in the study. It is important for the researcher to use relevant data collection methods so that objectives of the research could be attained. There are basically two methods of data collection. They are known as primary and secondary methods. For the present research on green marketing, both primary and secondary methods were used by the researcher. Primary method consists of those techniques using which a researcher collects data for the first time specifically for a particular research (Bryman, 2006). This is also known as first hand information. Primary data is collected by using various methods such as interviews, focus groups, observations, surveys, questionnaire etc. In the present dissertation on green marketing, the researcher has collected primary data by using questionnaire survey method. Through this, views of customers regarding ways in which green marketing impacts them, have been obtained. Although these methods are time consuming and involve high cost, but this gave the researcher a higher level of control on data.
Secondary data comprises of that information that has already been published before. This data was collected by other researchers for conduction their study. It is for this reason that it is also known as second hand information (Stein and Mankowski, 2004). In the present research on analyzing the impact of green marketing, secondary methods of data collection were also use by the researcher. There was use of previous studies done by different authors. These helped in gaining information on the subject matter and reaching to the results of the study. For this purpose, the researcher obtained secondary data from journals, books, online articles, blogs, research papers, government reports of UK etc. though secondary data is characterized by high level of inappropriateness, but it provided the advantage of accessibility and helped in saving time.
Validity and Reliability
There are two important concepts of validity and reliability that need to be considered by a researcher while carrying out the study. The reason behind this is that it is important for the researcher to use relevant tools and techniques for carrying out the research (Ihantola and Kihn, 2011.). All the methods and instruments that are used should successfully serve the purpose of research. In this regard, validity is the quality of a study to be sound in factual and logical manner. It tells that a study should assess what it aims to. In the present research, the concept of validity has been addressed by the researcher. Valid primary and secondary data collection tools have been used. These helped in assessing the impact of green marketing, which was also the aim of the study. Using these tools, views of customers could be obtained regarding green marketing. As such, they effectively served the purpose of determining the impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection.
Another important concept that the researcher addressed was that of reliability. This is the ability of a tool to produce consistent results (Harrison and Reilly, 2011). Thus, the concept of reliability helped in testing whether similar results can be produced by a study if it is conducted again. For the present dissertation, which was aimed as determining the impact of green marketing in UK, the researcher collected information by using authenticated sources. In this way, the researcher has maintained reliability of the present research.
While carrying out a study, the researcher may face various ethical issues. As such, it is important to consider research ethics. These act as guidelines for conducting the study in a responsible manner. For the present research on green marketing, the researcher has followed the below mentioned ethical considerations:
Prior approval – Taking prior permission from the participants of a research is critical. This is because, not all respondents agree to take part in the study (Grafton, Lillis and Mahama, 2011). As per the principle of voluntary participation, the respondents should not be coerced to participate. In present study, researcher obtained prior permission from all the customers after providing them information about nature and purpose of research.
Confidentiality – The researcher ensured the participants that confidentiality of their information will be maintained. They were also told that unauthorized access to their identifying information will be checked. The researcher also practised principles of anonymity (McGrath and O'Toole, 2012.). As such, the participants were assured that privacy of their data will be maintained.
Restricted access – The researcher needed to collect secondary information for carrying out the present research on green marketing. The relevant studies and journal articles were available on website. But, all of them did not have access to use. For this, permission was obtained by the researcher for accessing those sites.
Proper citation of work- The present thesis involved using research works of various authors. As such, the researcher cited the works of various authors properly. He also ensured that content is not cited and pasted from their work (Modell and Humphrey, 2008). Rather, it was properly rephrased.
A number of activities are involved in carrying out a research. It is not an easy task to accomplish the entire research. This is because, various challenges and problems are faced by the researcher at each step (Whiteley and Whiteley, 2006). In the present study aimed a determining the impact of green marketing on customer satisfaction and environmental protection in UK, the researcher faced the following limitations:
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Prolonged process- The process of carrying out a research is a prolonged one. There are a number of activities which have to be undertaken in sequence (Vaivio, 2008). As such, it consumes a lot of time. Moreover, time is also required while referring to the secondary data such as journals, books, online articles etc. however, there is limited time available with the researcher doe completing the thesis. As such, it may limit the information that the researcher refers to. This is because, with limited time, all the aspects could not be studied by the researcher in detail.
Insufficient secondary information- The researcher needs to refer to large amounts of secondary information so as to gain knowledge abou the subject matter (Kirk, 2007). However, limitation were faced by the researcher while doing so. All the secondary information was not available easily as some of the sites did not have access to use. As such, it is possible that some important information was missed by the researcher.
Ways of adopting green marketing
Customers were asked to provide their views in detail regarding the ways in which organizations should adopt green marketing. It was found that customers feel that organizations should focus on improving and aligning their supply chain as well for marketing its green efforts. Some of them felt that products should be made of components that do not harm the environment. Respondents felt that environmental friendly ingredients and parts should be put into products.
From the responses, it can be analyzed that customers feel that green marketing should not be taken as merely for promotion. From the recommendations of customers, it can be interpreted that they will be satisfied when organizations adopt green marketing in its original form. Organizations in UK can satisfy customers with green marketing only if they align their supply chains accordingly. This indicates that the various processes and activities that form a part of the supply chain have to be undertaken in an environmentally friendly manner. Moreover, satisfaction of customers will result if products are made with materials that do not harm the environment. It is only then that protection of environment will take place. Moreover, customers suggested that companies can pursue green marketing strategy by adopting manufacturing processes that cause less environmental pollution.
Conclusion And Recommendations
After the data has been collected and findings evaluated, the next step is to draw out conclusion from the analysis. This requires performing assessment and analysis of the data that has been collected through primary and secondary sources. The present dissertation focused on exploring the concept of green marketing and its impact on customer satisfaction and environmental protection. Primary data was collected from customers through questionnaire. From the analysis of the collected data, it can be concluded that green marketing has significant positive impact on customer satisfaction and environmental protection. It enhances customer satisfaction and leads to protection of the environment.
It was found that customers are aware about the damage that is caused to the environment due to industrial activities. They have knowledge about environmental pollution and concerns that UK is experiencing due to it. Moreover, customers are also aware of the concept of green marketing. This is because organizations increasingly undertake these activities. It can be concluded that customers feel that there is a need to adopt green marketing practices. They are aware of the environmental issues being faced by UK and hence feel the need for green marketing. However, the consumers feel that the major limitation of green marketing is that it is used by companies merely for promotion. The organizations do not actually care for environment and their efforts are not aligned towards protection of the same. It can also be inferred that green marketing does not signify real protection environment. Customers even feel that this practice does not truly denote environmental friendly efforts of the organizations. The prices of green products are comparatively high. As such this restrains them from purchasing these products.
The customers are concerned about environment and want to use green products in their daily lives. However, high prices restrain them from doing so. It can be concluded that customers are not satisfied with the process of green products. From the analysis of primary data, it can be inferred that customers expect the organizations to adopt green marketing practices. As such, doing so would lead to their satisfaction. Proud is felt by the consumers when they use products of a company which undertakes this approach. In this way, organizations are able to not only meet but also exceed the expectations of consumers. The first step in satisfying customers is to make efforts towards meeting their needs and expectations. Green marketing enables the leading brands of UK to convey that they care for the expectations of customers. This makes the customers satisfied. This is because they have perception that green marketing helps the organizations to operate in a responsible manner. While adopting this practice, companies care for the impact of their activities on environment prior to taking any step. As such, they are able to take the responsibility towards betterment of environment. In this way, green marketing has positive impact on environmental protection. These practices help the companies to comply with the standards for environmental protection that are set by UK government.
The data collected from secondary sources also suggests that green marketing leads to protection of the environment (Boztepe, 2012). With this, firms adopt environmental friendly processes for carrying out all the activities related to production, transportation and marketing of goods. In this way, it checks the harmful impact of industrial activities on natural surroundings. Thus, from the analysis of primary and secondary data, it can be concluded that green marketing has positive impact on customer satisfaction ad environmental protection.
Though organizations in UK are adopting green marketing strategies, yet, certain recommendations can be given based on the conclusion. This is because there is a need to improve green marketing so that it satisfies customers and provide protection to the environment. In this regard, the following are the recommendations:
Be transparent- In order to earn the satisfaction and trust of customers, the organizations in UK should be transparent throughout all their processes and activities. Details of the products should be provided by them to the customers. There is also need of providing access to the details of corporate practices. They can also actively report on the progress of their green marketing efforts.
Promote responsible consumption throughout life cycle- Along with designing greener products, organizations should make efforts on minimizing the life cycle impact of those products. This requires their responsible use and disposal. As such, information related to use and disposal of a product in an environmental friendly way should be provided on it. Moreover, attempt should be made by firms to design responsible consumption into their products. These should be made with attributes such as recyclable, organic or energy efficient.
Consider pricing- From the data analysis it was found that high prices restrain customers from purchasing green products. As such, it is recommended to the organizations to invent ways through which prices of green products could be made reasonable.
Green packing- Organizations in UK are recommended to adopt that packaging which is biodegradable. Eco-friendly packaging should be used by the companies. Biodegradable packaging will provide the customers with a visible symbol of green efforts being undertaken by the organization.
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