Ethical marketing methods have many positive outcomes for businesses and the public. The most significant advantages are improved corporate image and trust. People will trust a firm that markets itself in a way that meets public expectations and ethical standards.
Companies that conduct their marketing in line with public expectations and ethical standards gain public trust by increasing customer experience or commitment. They reassure buyers that the goods they receive match the description given in the ad. This makes the consumer happy and encourages brand loyalty, increasing the company’s customer base.
Ethical marketing strategies often provide better long-term results for sales growth. Unethical actions are quickly uncovered and, at most, if they are not quickly revealed, have a temporary impact. It won’t be easy to regain public trust if they find out that the company marketed the product unethically.
People purchase goods on the assumption that they are safe to use. Many consumers lack the technical expertise to adequately evaluate these complex items, making it the marketer’s duty to guarantee their safety. Companies need to test products like toys, drugs, pesticides and other products to ensure they are safe and do not harm the environment. Also, the false idea that accidents caused by misuse of a product release the company from responsibility should be thrown out.
Many buyers assume that a higher price indicates a higher quality product, and many sellers use price hikes to demonstrate that their wares are superior. If the product is excellent, the pricing may reflect that. To further illustrate my point, some businesses engage in price fixing, an unethical marketing method. It’s when two or more companies agree on the price they’ll charge for a product or service or when they compete to provide the lowest bid for a contract. “Predatory pricing” is the practice of selling something for less than it costs to make it to drive out competitors.
The burden of providing complete and correct information by packaging and labeling rests squarely on the shoulders of the marketer. Many businesses, for instance, use buzzwords like “organic,” “bio-degradable,” “recyclable,” “environmentally safe,” “ayurvedic,” etc. without offering any proof to support them. Another example of deception is that tall and thin cereal boxes provide the illusion of more cereal inside. Because of the deceptive box sizes and misleading terms like “big,” “extra-large” and “economy size,” shoppers would need a calculator to determine the actual cost of various options.
As part of exclusive deals, manufacturers require distributors not to offer any items made by rivals. In tying arrangements, distributors and dealers must buy low-demand items in exchange for access to more popular brands. For example, cosmetics are usually bundled: several shades of eye shadow, a couple of shades of blush and lipsticks, mascara, eyebrow pencils and several brushes to apply the various items. What if the customer only needs one shade of lipstick, eyeshadow and blush? Because of this packaging, they may be compelled to buy everything available regardless of whether or not they want it, and they usually end up paying more for all these items.
In the long run, trickery won’t work as customers can easily check the marketers’ statements with their own experiences. People have a favorable impression of a firm when it sells decent goods at reasonable rates, backs them up with helpful customer service and contributes to the public good by meeting legal and tax obligations. Many businesses with strong ethical standards have outperformed their competition, meeting the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.
The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. She can be reached at [email protected].
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty and its administrators.