Marketing and advertising has always been a prime mover of economic activity. Social marketing differs in that instead of being used to sell products to consumers, social marketing is focused on selling ideas, attitudes and behaviors. Social marketing seeks to influence social behaviors not to benefit a companies bottom line, but to benefit the target audience and the general society.
Green Marketing increasingly become a go to strategy for environmental companies, causes, and movements. Green Marketing focuses on building movements that change the environmental practices of people and companies. For instance, an Inconvenient Truth, a Robert Moore documentary, aimed to raise awareness of climate change and rally the masses to demand change at the policy level and also on the individual level. Another example is a global movement called HelloElectric.org a movement that aims to decrease petroleum dependency by increasing global demand for electric vehicles. It does not sell electric vehicles directly but rather markets the benefits and attempts to build a community and a culture around electric vehicles - one that has policy implications and is global in scope.
As the urgency for environmental sustainability increases, resources, organizations and citizens are relying on Green Marketing to create a shift in consumer purchasing behavior and attitudes about the environment. However many large companies have latched on to green marketing trend as a tactic to increase customer base and to sell more products. This phenomenon, called “greenwashing”, is usually a PR stunt where corporate practices dont back up claims to environmental sustainability. Greenwashing threatens the credibility of authentic green marking campaigns, and increases apathy in consumers.