Ethical Marketing Fundamentals
To encourage ethical behavior within your marketing group, you have developed a set of guidelines for the managing of your company’s distribution network and product pricing.
Ethical marketing can be defined as ‘a process through which companies generate customer interest in products/services, build strong customer interest/relationships, and create value for all stakeholders by incorporating social and environmental considerations in products and promotions.’ In fact, ethical marketing relates to a chain reaction of ethical principles that holistically flows into all aspects of a company’s marketing processes, from market research to the final customer sale. Although this task is worthwhile, it is not easy.
Patrick Murphy, Gene Laczniak, Norman Bowie, and Thomas Klein, authors of Ethical Marketing, maintain the difficulty of crafting ethical guidelines for organizations. In today’s scandal environment, greater emphasis has been placed on both business and government to enact laws, regulations, and oversights to protect the stakeholders. In demonstrating how ethical marketing works. I will pretend to be a marketing manager developing standards for ethical behavior in my own organization. Given this scenario, I have developed a set of guidelines for the managing of the company’s distribution network and product pricing. Below is the ethical set of guidelines for staff:
- Employees are expected to treat each other, customers, business alliances, and other stakeholders with dignity and respect.
- All employees and supply chain members must obey applicable laws and regulations.
- The organization is responsible for providing a safe and healthy work environment for employees. However, everyone is accountable for their own personal welfare and protecting the environment.
- All ethical conduct will be handled with due process and in an honorable fashion. However, retaliation for bringing up ethical issues will not be tolerated, with the consequence of immediate termination of employment.
- All employees are required to avoid conflicts of interest between their company obligations and their personal affairs.
However, it is not enough to force guidelines on employees. While doing the whole ethical standard development, employees should be a part of the process if you truly want employee buy-in. In fact, stakeholder interaction is also an important element of ethical behavior for the organization. Employees need to understand the importance of building good relationships with all stakeholders, not just customers. Murphy, Laczniak, Bowie, and Klein further note that if ethical decisions are to occur within marketing organizations, managers must shape a corporate culture hospitable to such outcomes. Understanding and acknowledging stakeholder involvement, such as customers and employees, in ethical standard development will assist organizations in more sustainable success in the future. I look forward to your feedback on these ethical guidelines.
© 2013 by Daryl D. Green
Murphy, P., Laczniak, G., Bowie, N., and Klein, T. (2005). Ethical Marketing. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Hall.