Publication Details

Pomering, A. & Johnson, L. W. (2018). Building Sustainability into Services Marketing: Expanding decision-making from a mix to a matrix. Sustainability, 10 (9), 2992-1-2992-12.


The purpose of this study is to develop a framework that will provide the services marketing manager a systematic, holistic and transparent means of enhancing sustainability performance through the marketing function. We review the literature dealing with the confluence of services marketing and sustainability, identify gaps in current sustainability-services marketing literature and inductively develop a conceptual framework for Sustainability Services Marketing (SSM).We describe services marketing practice examples in order to uncover the implications of a sustainability focus for services marketing and illustrate how to operationalise the framework. The resulting framework, (i) ensures that sustainability is incorporated into the strategic services marketing planning process, (ii) adapts and expands the traditional concept of the services marketing mix, by adding Partnerships to the traditional mix elements, and (iii) cross-references services marketing mix decision-making with the triple bottom line to describe the marketing task in terms of a matrix rather than a mix. This permits sustainability benchmarking and planning across the triple bottom line, and across the range of activities the services marketing manager might be expected to manage in order to enhance sustainability performance. We shift services marketing management attention to a broader and more sustainability-responsible whole-of-business approach. This research provides timely and effective guidance for the services marketing manager seeking to enhance his or her business's sustainability performance in a systematic, holistic, and transparent way.



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