The paper "Importance of Ethical Marketing " is a good example of marketing coursework. In recent years, social responsibility and business ethics have gained great significance in marketing practices, particularly in societal marketing. Unethical marketing and manipulated consumer choices can affect consumer purchasing behavior. In the contemporary business environment, firms focus on communication practices to ensure that consumers get accurate marketing message. Some companies may attempt unethical ways such as unfair pricing, deceptive packaging or misleading advertising to win competitive advantage and influence the purchasing behavior of consumers besides getting a bigger piece of the market share.
A growing number of consumers are recognizing the ethical implications of the products they buy and are adapting their purchasing behavior accordingly. The morality of marketing decisions can include any component of marketing including branding, communication, source of raw materials, product pricing and advertising and staff employment. Drawing from American Express and Coca Cola companies, this paper contends that ethical marketing is effective compared to unethical marketing. When a firm makes an effort to market its products or services more ethically, it mirrors positively on every sphere of its business thereby winning a positive reputation and competitive advantage. Ethics is necessary for light of stakeholder demands and many aspects of ethics can become legal issues.
For instance, deceptive sales practices and advertising have legal implications. Ethics entails the philosophy and study of human conduct with an emphasis on the determination of wrong or right. For marketers, ethics refers to rules directing the conduct of organizational members and upshots of marketing decisions. Marketing ethics entails the fundamental values and principles that direct the business activities of those involved in promoting services or products to customers.
Constructive marketing ethics result in consumer satisfaction, customer loyalty and development of customer interests. According to Fernando (2009), marketing ethics entails a standard by which marketing activity may be judged wrong or right. Right marketing activity is anticipated to contribute to the overall societal benefit in the long and short run. Parilti, Demirgunes and Ozsacmaci (2014, p. 278) define ethical marketing as “ practices that emphasize trustworthily, transparency and responsible organizational and personal marketing actions and policies that display fairness and integrity to consumers and other stakeholders” .
Ethical marketing is a procedure through which firms formulate consumer interest in services or products; develop powerful consumer relationship and establish value for all stakeholders through integrating environmental and social considerations in promotions of products. According to Hill and Langan (2014), a definition of ethical marketing holds difficult-to-operationalize terms entailing the temperament of fairness, transparency, integrity and trust. As a result, marketing ethics entails the standards and principles that define acceptable behavior in marketing as determined by different stakeholders including private-interest groups, government regulators, public and the firm itself.
While social responsibility is attained by balancing the interests of all stakeholders in a firm, ethics relates to approved standards of conduct in making group and individual decisions. Marketing ethics surpass legal responsibility with ethical marketing decisions promoting mutual trust in marketing relationships. Unethical marketing destroys customer relationship and trust that is essential for success. For instance, the Coca-Cola Company faced customer outrage when consumers realized that its Dasani bottled water was nothing more than usual tap water despite being advertised otherwise. Following careful analysis, it emerged that what the firm defined as its highly sophisticated purification procedure was reverse osmosis utilized in scores of modest units of water purification (Lawrence 2004).
This revelation affected the firm’ s sales of the bottled watered thereby demonstrating the ineffectiveness of unethical marketing. The issue also destroyed the trust that consumers had on the Coca-Cola Company. Ethical issues in marketing include failing to disclose dangers linked to a product, failing to disclose information about a products value, use or function and failure to disclose information regarding shifts in the quality, size and nature of a product.
Ethical issues linked to distribution include manipulating product accessibility and using force to compel other intermediaries to behave in a given manner. Issues linked to promotion include misleading or false advertising, use of deceptive and manipulative sales promotions and offering or accepting bribes. Issues linked to pricing include price-fixing, predatory pricing and failing to disclose the full purchase pricing (Pride & Ferrell 2008).
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