This paper attempts to define Ethical marketing and how it benefits the consumers. It can be inferred as an honest and factual representation of product delivered to customer. The paper will also attempt to identify some ethical marketing practices and dwell on how these will also benefit the companies. It will focus on the relevance of social obligation in marketing practices and briefly discuss the emerging trends where companies are more inclined to adopt ethical marketing practices. It will also focus on marketing tools such advertisement and discuss why companies need to give correct information when advertising their products.
Ethical Marketing refers to an honest and factual representation of a product or service to the consumers. It focuses on the benefits of the consumer by giving him or her a correct idea about the product and its utilities. It encompasses the concept of social responsibility and enshrines the principles of safeguard consumers’ interests. Companies, influenced by ethical marketing, become interested in selling their products without compromising the doctrine of social responsibility. This has created an impact and generated a trend where companies are giving significance to fair trade, where consumer pays a guaranteed commodity price.
Ethical marketing helps winning customer loyalty by enforcing the value of brand and creating a strong citizen brand. Ethical marketing will work when the company and marketers recognize the importance of improvement for humankind. Also, by following ethics in marketing, companies avoid unethical marketing practices and it results in the benefit of consumers.
Ethics in marketing research
The ethical issue in marketing had fostered several emerging trends. First, the development of broadened concept has expanded the domain of marketing research to incorporate areas like education and family planning. Further, the researcher had increased concern with explanation as well as prediction of market trends, which had encouraged experimentation as a research tool.
Ethical marketing for competitive advantage on the Internet
The development of internet opens a large number of opportunities for marketers. Marketing research can be carried out by archiving the procedures on the web i.e. web tracking software. The technological opportunities are highly appealing for marketers to explore and use it extensively. Researchers are also capable of retrieving a lot of information from the web which help them to conduct research in a faster and cheaper manner.
Ethics and marketing
Ethics means the study of the evolution of human conduct and to judge what is good for the common interest. There are three types of ethics:
- Descriptive approach ethics.
- Meta ethics.
- Normative ethics.
Rules for Ethical marketing
According to American Marketing Association, marketing behavior is guided by the following factors:
Responsibility of the marketer
Marketers are required to accept the responsibility for the consequences of their activity and ensure that decision, recommendation, and identifying the action serve and satisfy the customer, organization and the society as a whole.
Honesty and fairness
Marketer must uphold and advance the integrity, honor and dignity of the marketing profession and should not indulge in unfair practices that are designed to mislead consumers.
Rights and duties in the marketing exchange process
Participants must be able to expect that product and services are safe and fit for the exact use for which those are purported to be.
Marketer needs to be aware of how to influence the behavior of others in the organizational relationship. This cannot be done by demand, encouraging, or applying coercion in the relationship with others.
In order to market effectively, advertising becomes necessary. When providing an outline for advertising, the marketer must make sure that it gives the consumers a correct idea about the product, its use and effects. “According to Boone and Kurtz, 1999, advertising is guided by these five major promotional objectives (in both personal and non-personal selling): accentuate product value, provide information, stabilize sales, stimulate demand and differentiate product.” (Lizabeth England).
It is difficult to balance the promotional objective. For those who are interested, the information will help to address ethical marketing in professional and business setting.
How to follow ethics in marketing
Ethics is collection of principle of right conduct that will shape the people’s decision.
“Practicing ethics in marketing means deliberately applying standards of fairness, or moral rights and wrongs, to marketing decision making, behavior, and practice in the organization.” (Ethics in marketing, 2008).
Challenges in ethical marketing
Marketers want to be aware of ethical standards and acceptable behavior. The awareness means marketer must recognize the key players, i.e., the company, industry, and the society. The three groups have different needs and wants when ethical conflict arises. Such conflicts can be in two contexts: first, when there exists any difference between the needs of the groups; and second, when one’s personal values conflict with the organization. Standards for ethical marketing will guide business to do things correctly. The standards have four functions, i.e., to identify acceptable practices, fostering internal control, avoiding confusion and facilitating a basis for discussion.
Lizabeth, England. Marketing with a conscience: sales and ethics1, Chapter 10. Web.
Ethics in marketing. (2008). enotes.com. Web.