Ethical Issues In Marketing
Marketing ethics is a set of moral conduct which deals with operation and regulation of marketing activities. It is all about your personal behavior when you are dealing with people around you. People around you mean your customers, suppliers, partners, employees, competitors, share holders and society as a whole.
Company ethics are involved in each and every department, but marketing department is the most prominent one. Companies sell their products by using different marketing tactics and sometimes involve unethical aspects in order to expand their business.
Marketing is chiefly comprised of four P’s i-e product, price, place and promotion. Here I will discuss each of them with respect to ethical issues in marketing.
Product is a tangible item which a company manufactures and sells to its target market. In some way or the other, they tend to perform unethical acts to gain customers attraction and loyalty.
> Companies copy others product which misleads the customers. And eventually they forget the original version, which is ethically wrong.
> Manufacturers use low quality materials for product design, which can harm customers.
> Fake companies slightly change the products’ brand name or packaging so that customers do not classify the difference and buy it at cheap prices.
From the perspectives’’ of ethical issues in marketing, price is the most important factor to consider. Companies increase their revenues by selling unjustifiably. There are some ethical issues with respect to price, which are given below:
> Supplier sells identical goods and services at different prices to different customers, it is called price discrimination. It may be the result of excessive product demand, high material cost or customers’ affordability factor.
> Pricing strategy in which marketers initially charge quite high prices for their products then lower down prices over the time is called price skimming. The goal is to recover the cost and reap the benefits before competitors enter with their low- priced products.
> When a manufacturer of one country exports its product to another country at a lower price than its production cost or the price which he charges in its home market is called price dumping. The purpose of this act is to attract customers towards the products thus, making them habitual of using your product.
Advertising and promotion is a vast field of marketing, there are lots of thing which can be taken unethical but are called marketing tactics. Some of the issues that are truly immoral are given below:
> Comparative advertising is unethical; when one a company compares their products with competitors in order to capture their market. They compare prices, quality, quantity, features and benefits to show that they are superior to others.
> Some advertisements exaggerate products benefits and features while in actual, they are not like that. This is an unethical as well as an illegal act.
> Celebrity endorsement in advertising is another ethical issue, when they play with the emotions of public to sell their products and services.
> Multinational companies sell their products with different prices at different countries in order to make large money.
> Climates differ according to geographical area, so one product that suits citizen of one country may not go well with other citizens. It is unethical to be less concerned with respective to geographic region.
Ethical behavior is a prominent factor for any business conduct. It is your right and just behavior that brings in more customers, help you expand your business and reap long term benefits.
This is the role of marketer to make sure that everything goes with high ethical standards and moral values. And these principles are being taught in professional studies. You should make yourself ethically strong in marketing perspectives because this is extremely demanding in today’s competitive environment.
I would suggest you to acquire an online marketing degree. And you will be acquainted with ethical side of marketing. It will be a fruitful decision for you, in terms of time, money and efforts.
There are lots of accredited institutions which are providing online marketing degree; you can select any appropriate one, to acquire degree in a most flexible way!