What it Means to Be an Ethical Marketing Strategist
An Introduction: Philosophy and Ethics in Business
Ethics are at the center of any business career; every job, from accounting to investment banking involves some knowledge and application of this moral/professional code. At the center of our economy is a simple transaction between a buyer and a seller. One side offers products or services in exchange for cash or considerations; however, before this exchange can occur, an intricate, delicate process must take place to link supply and demand. In the field of business, this process of attracting consumers is known as marketing.
Linking the ancient Aristotelian appeals of logic, emotion, and ethics, (logos, pathos, and ethos) with modern technology and statistics, marketing strategists work tirelessly to maximize brand exposure while maintaining optimal company image (Kemerling, “Aristotle: Ethics and the Virtues”).
Marketing strategists must stringently follow basic principles of ethics. In fact, in most cases, these guiding philosophies should come before sales, margins, or profits. At the core, marketing ethics exist to indorse a sense of trust, evenhandedness, and accountability in publicized material. The complexity of ethics in general has challenged marketing strategists and directors for years. Companies may find themselves asking, “Are we misleading consumers? Are our products safe? Are we offering the quality of product that we claim to provide?” There is no single answer for the questions behind marketing ethics; the code of morality behind products differs across brands, firms, countries, cultures, and religions. To put matters into perspective, tremendous variation in principles can potentially exist within the same company! Therefore, it is absolutely essential for marketing strategists to be aware of their environments, and to tailor their campaigns to best fit the ethics of the areas around them.
In an ideal universe, all...