Societal marketing: integration of European experiences into business practices in Belarus

Andrianova, Olga and Yeletskikh, Taisiya (2012). Societal marketing: integration of European experiences into business practices in Belarus. International Journal of Emerging Markets, 7(2) pp. 107–131.



Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse whether the concept of societal marketing being practised in developed countries can be directly applied to countries in transition, such as Belarus, and what adjustments would be beneficial to achieve this. The paper takes a comprehensive view of the complex linkages between the implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles by examining elements of societal marketing in the European Union (EU) countries and in Belarus.

Design/methodology/approach – Data are provided by the web sites of European best practice companies and data from the Global Compact that identifies socially-responsible companies in the EU and Belarus. The results for Belarus are combined with the insights from capacity building activities on societal marketing organised by the Local Network Global Compact (LNGC) Belarus, for private and public enterprises.

Findings – The research presents two groups of companies in Belarus: Start-up companies see their CSR activities as philanthropic actions; and On-the-way companies integrate elements of societal marketing such as vision and stakeholder management into their practices. The European societal marketing experience can act as a mechanism for further integrating CSR principles into business practices in Belarus. This depends on the aptitude of the companies for social innovation, the level of stakeholder involvement and the governmental support for CSR policy creation.

Research limitations/implications – The scope of the research should be broadened out to other industries and tested with a larger sample, including small-and medium-sized firms. It is also necessary to analyse other key drivers of the CSR in Belarus, which can impact on further use of societal marketing components.

Practical implications – This research has implications for practitioners, specifically the groups of stakeholders involved in CSR programmes in Belarus. The results suggest how stakeholders can apply societal marketing and differentiate themselves from competitors in the EU and in Belarus.

Originality/value – The paper proposes a framework on societal marketing that considers the factors that influence CSR development and provides recommendations for businesses operating in Belarus on how to achieve a competitive advantage in a country in transition.

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