Marketing Ethics

We are living in the age where everyone including the customers, media, suppliers and other stakeholders has become less forgiving and even minor issues are being exaggerated. If any questionable marketing activity is being observed by any of the stake holders then not only that activity but overall prestige of organization suffers. Marketing practitioners are facing various ethical dilemmas in this era. Even the executives of world's leading brands have faced this impasse. Now there is an ever-increasing need of satisfying interests instead of satisfying customers only. Corporate Social Responsibility is also becoming increasingly important these days.

Various market followers have started to imitate products. These marketers use various strategies to duplicate a company's product such as counterfeiting, imitating, cloning and adapting. By using these strategies, marketers sometimes duplicate the original product and market it with their own name. Various other illegal marketing activities involve presenting a product with a blurred product image in order to confuse customer between an original brand and the duplicate one.

An increase in ethical concerns faced by various national and multinational organizations has provoked marketers to think about applying ethics in marketing. There are certain standards which must be followed in marketing to avoid ethical predicaments. Social marketers should remain truthful, protect privacy and should be fair.

The globalization of markets has created an ever-increasing need of dealing with business ethics for making ethical international decisions. The reasons of this ever-increasing need in cross cultural business scenario are various changes in norms and values. Culture is among the most dominant forces shaping ethical decisions. What we may entitle an ethical marketing effort in one country might prove itself an inappropriate one in another country. Marketers are therefore required to modify their marketing activities according to different countries.

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Advertising is among those elements of marketing which are being regulated by law. Despite of this fact, advertising strategies have raised numerous controversies. Gone are the days when ads were intended for target customers only, now marketer should consider the impact of various forms of ads on the whole society.

Keeping in mind the importance of ethics in marketing, we can tag ethics as the 'E' in marketing just like 4Ps of marketing mix. Ethical marketing nowadays has become important because in the eyes of people, marketing esteem has been lowered. Ethical marketing activities can therefore contribute in regaining confidence of customers and society as a whole.

Source by Aliya Jabeen

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