The choice: Marketing as a force for good – or not!

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

Promoting over-consumption and over-spending are accusations often levelled at marketing. Are we in denial or becoming a force for good?

A recent study by American academics, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Macromarketing, questions marketing’s growth mantra and its impact on climate change, urging more focus on ‘marketing for good’ among marketing educators. 


Lead author Sabrina Helm, an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, and her co-authors surveyed marketing educators from 42 countries to understand if, and how, they are integrating climate change into their curricula. 


They found that just over one-third of respondents actively integrate sustainability and climate change into their classrooms. About half recognise the need for change, but feel stuck teaching ‘business-as-usual’ marketing curricula. 


The remaining respondents value the standard marketing curricula. Members of this group don’t deny climate change. Rather, they believe marketing education is not the place to address the issue. 


The African perspective 


But what’s the viewpoint of the African marketing community? Are these developed-world concerns with limited relevance on our continent? ‘First World problems’, to quote an oft-used phrase?


The feeling seems to be ‘no’ – we’re all in this together, whether we’re marketers in Lagos or London, Accra or Amsterdam, Beijing or Brazzaville. 

Image by Rilson S. Avelar from Pixabay


Helen McIntee, President of the African Marketing Confederation and a former academic and marketing lecturer, believes there’s a clear need for African universities, and marketing bodies in general, to educate on climate change and marketing’s place within it. 


“It is very important, especially with the increasing pressures that consumerism is placing on the environment, particularly in Africa,” she says. 


Sean Mwawi Longwe, Head of Marketing, Business Development and Communications at Ritz Attorneys at Law in the Malawian city of Blantyre, likes to talk of “marketing with a conscience”, which he defines as “where organisations conduct marketing strategies in a socially responsible and ethical manner, with a focus on promoting positive social impact and sustainability”. 


He emphasises that, in today’s increasingly aware and enlightened consumer environment, marketing professionals must align their strategies with principles of integrity, responsibility, respect and trust. 


You will find this story, and much more, in Issue 1 2024 of Strategic Marketing for Africa – the voice of African marketing and the official publication of the African Marketing Confederation (AMC). 


Read it online or download it here. A print edition of the magazine is also available. 

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.