Marketing Ethics and Regulation Every marketing decision is just not about being able to reflect a message about a certain brand or product and making a sale. The primary purpose of marketing is to be able to help consumers to be able to provide for their needs in the highest possible manner. Thus, once this is achieved, it is called a successful marketing. However, there are a lot of things people need to know and consider to be able to make this possible. One of the most important guidelines in doing so would come from the code of ethics.
Code of ethics is a list of guidelines and regulations that would direct any marketer to make the right decisions when it comes to any marketing move they are about to relay to their customers. The code of ethics is one which would really help marketers make the correct choices in many aspects of running a business from determining the price, the promotional materials one makes available to public, accuracy in the representation of the product, support claims made about the product, to the kind of message those advertisements would effect to, and a lot more (Marketing Code of Ethics, n.d.). Aside from these internal factors needed to be considered, a marketer would also have to think about giving the best and what is best to not only their customers but at the same time their employees which is more known as Corporate Social Responsibility. With all these responsibilities that one would be facing as a marketer, the code of ethics would be of utmost help.
What is the basic idea of being able to align your business to what is ethical? Well, it is said that the simplest basis of doing so would be making sure you act according to the law. The code of ethics is this law plus all the other specifications that a marketer could possibly encounter that the law would no longer be able to provide for. It reminds any marketer to be responsible for anything they do especially in those situations where there is a grey area wherein it is so easy to succumb to a deceptive marketing. One example of which would be perhaps undergoing cost cutting by choosing a more harmful packaging which is cheaper but could harm your consumers while you justify the act that it is for the common good as you would not have to fire any employee and at the same time cutting cost for your consumers. Indeed, the code of ethics really come into play in pushing a marketer to make the right decision not just according to one point of view but in looking at all the angles of a certain decision (Marketing Tutorials, News, How-to and More, n.d). With all these said, it is important for any company, big or small to have an Ethics Officer that would help align all the decisions of the company, tricky or not, towards sound ethical actions. The role of this Ethics Officer would be to clarify all the grey areas of what is ethical and what is not in each situation where most ethical issues that a company would face are considered a grey area and that without any Ethical Officer to dig deep in the decision making, one would easily fall for unethical moves.
To be able to start pushing for ethics in doing a business, it is important to start by educating yourself and your employees as well by setting a comprehensive ethics program in your company that will encompass all language, culture, and personal interests that may arise. Some of the building blocks of a good ethics program would be one that is centered on values such as honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, transparency and citizenship which are the basic ethical values that would direct you to ethical acts. Aside from that, commitment to practice of such would be one of the most significant building blocks to achieve successful and ethical marketing (Code of Ethics in Marketing, n.d.).
Today, one of the most talked about issue on the marketing code of ethics would be the use of the web to promote products and brand as it is one of the most powerful and fastest medium to disseminate information. One of the issues arising is the breaching of privacy of those who are online as there are some advertisements that just pop out without their consent. Some of which have highly sexual topics or pictures while some would constantly flood emails which cause distress to customers. Aside from which, there are cases when personal information about a certain people is spread all over the web without consent after one has had any transaction done online (Online Privacy Fears are Real, n.d).
Indeed, marketing is one of the most powerful act that could affect how people think, feel, and act. That is why, marketers should be responsible for shaping the right marketing decisions to be able to give an advantage to consumers and not a disadvantage. This could be done by closely looking at the marketing code of ethics.
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