The Role Of Marketing Ethics In Business Organization (A Study Of First Bank Nig. Plc)
In today’s business world, in addition to general decisions, managers must also make judgments concerning what is ethical to do. This is not an easy task especially for marketing professionals as marketing is the visible interface with not only customers, but with all other stakeholders, it is important for marketers to take into consideration the marketing ethics. Marketing ethics should be examined from an individual, organizational, and societal perspective. This paper focuses on marketing ethics in business organizations as veritable strategies for sustainable corporate growth and profitability. Ethical marketing is about making marketing decisions that are morally right. The morality of the marketing decision can encompass any part of marketing including sourcing of raw materials, staff employment and product advertising and pricing. Each person’s view of morality is different; it is based on personal values and experiences. Ethics is the responsibility of individuals and organizations to do what is morality right for the common good of all stakeholders in a business activity. This paper examines and highlights the various ethical problems in marketing and the steps for improving standards of marketing ethics by firms. This paper outlines the various derivable benefits for endorsing and adopting marketing ethics in business organizations. The overall recommendation is that, Marketers should do no harm. This means doing work for which they are appropriately trained or experienced so that they can actively add value to their organizations and customers. It also means adhering to all applicable laws and regulations and embodying high ethical standards in the choices they make.
1.1 Background of the Study
Marketing can be seen as an organizational function and a number of processes for creating, communication and value delivery to the clients and the relationship with them in advantage of the organization and its shareholders”. From this definition apparent role in society of those involved in marketing activities is: to be responsible for carrying out actions to persuade consumers in different markets segments, that, for a price, to benefit from products and services that meet their needs and fulfill their expectations and desires.
The Marketing ethics should be considered from an individual and organizational perspective. From the individual perspective personal values and moral philosophies are the key to ethical decisions in marketing. Honesty, fairness, responsibility, and citizenship are assumed to be values that can guide complex marketing decisions in the context of an organization. From an organizational perspective, organizational value, codes, and training is necessary to provide consistent and shared approaches to making ethical decisions (Ferrell and Ferrell, 2012). Accordingly, in marketing exchanges the relationship between a customer and an organization exists because of mutual expectations built on trust, good faith, and fair dealing in their interaction (Ferrell, 2010). However, marketing ethics also requires avoiding the unintended consequences of marketing activities by taking to consideration the stakeholders and their relevant interests and the society (Fry and Polonsky, 2009). Marketers today face big challenges as they try to make their marketing messages heard. Practitioner estimates suggest that consumers are exposed daily to thousands of marketing communications. This proliferation of marketing communications not only has created unprecedented levels of perceived disorder, it also has led to heightened contempt for corporations by many consumers who actively seek to avoid marketing communications from any source.
Ethical marketing is about making marketing decisions that are morally right. Ethical issues in marketing and in society as a whole have increased in recent years. This reflects the increasing wealth and education of society. In future, goods and services will be sold less on a needs basis and more as part of a value judgment. A company that responds to ethical concerns is likely to enjoy a stronger reputation, greater market share and add more value to its products than a less ethically aware rival.
This research therefore, examines and highlights the various ethical problems in marketing and the steps for improving standards of marketing ethics by firms.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Every business relies on marketing to attract customers and to sell products or services. The problem is that marketing can sometimes promote products or services in unethical ways. What can businesses do to follow ethical standards in their marketing strategies?
Market research is the collection and analysis of information about consumers, competitors and the effectiveness of marketing programs. With market research, businesses can make decisions based on how the responses of the market, leading to a better understanding of how the business has to adapt to the changing market. It is used to establish which portion of the population will or does purchase a product, based on age, gender, location, income level, and many other variables. This research allows companies to learn more about past, current, and potential customers, including their specific likes and dislikes.
There are different group of bodies that are affected by unethical market research, they are the public, respondents, client and researcher
Approaches to privacy can, broadly, be divided into two categories: free market, and consumer protection. In a free market approach, commercial entities are largely allowed to do what they wish, with the expectation that consumers will choose to do business with corporations that respect their privacy to a desired degree. If some companies are not sufficiently respectful of privacy, they will lose market share. In a consumer protection approach, in contrast, it is claimed that individuals may not have the time or knowledge to make informed choices, or may not have reasonable alternatives available. Stereotyping occurs because any analysis of real populations needs to make approximations and place individuals into groups.
1.3 Objective of the Study
- To investigate the role of marketing ethics in business organization
- To examine the relationship between marketing ethics and organizational productivity
- The research tries to investigate issues involves when addressing marketing ethics.
- To research whether the organization under study adopted the best marketing ethics among her competitors
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the roles of marketing ethics in business organization?
- Are there significant relationships between marketing ethics and organizational productivity?
- What are the issues involves when addressing marketing ethics?
- Has the organization under study adopted the best marketing ethics among her competitors?
1.5 Hypothesis of the Study
- Ho: There are no significant roles of marketing ethics in business organization
- Hi: There are significant roles of marketing ethics in business organization HYPOTHESIS II
- Ho: There is not significant relationship between marketing ethic and organizational objective.
- Hi: There is a significant relationship between marketing ethic and organizational objective.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work is limited to the issues of marketing ethics in business organization using First Bank Nig. Plc as a case study. This means that the area in which data where collected for the study is limited to First Bank Nig. Plc. Also covering such areas as whether the organization under study adopted the best marketing ethics among her competitors.
1.7 Significance of the Study
Due to the economic necessities, the complex of modern business activities, the dynamic and ever changing nature of market environment, the high rate of inflation, its has become imperative to adopt marketing ethics in order to control the trend in the complex and competitive economy.
Another significance of the study is that, the competitive nature of business activities demands that companies and business organizations should apply marketing ethics measures that will increase marketing shares (sales).
1.8 Limitation of the Study
During the conduct of the study, some factors posed challenges to the researcher. These include:
Financial constraint: This is the major factor that limits the extent to which the research work was conducted. Traveling expenses were incurred in getting materials and typing of questionnaire and the distribution of the questionnaires.
Time is another factor that posed hindrance in carrying out this research work.
Management restriction often does not allow access to information that is considered very confidential like details information of the organization profile. As a result of this restriction, the researcher was not able to get full information that was considered vital.
The attitude of the respondent in giving out information was another limitation. The researcher mainly used the information that was given.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Marketing can be defined as an organizational function and a number of processes for creating, communication and value delivery to the clients and the relationship with them in advantage of the organization and its shareholders.
Marketing ethics is an area of applied ethics which deals with the moral principles behind the operation and regulation of marketing.
Strategy is a means of operationalizing policy and for achieving some predetermined objectives.
Planning is an intellectual, the conscious determination of course of action the basic of decision on purpose, fact and considered estimate. To plan is to forecast into the future that is using related facts and assumptions.
The marketing mix is that particular blend of controllable marketing variables that a marketer uses to achieve his objective in a particular market segment. The four basic elements in the marketing mix are the product, price place or distribution and promotion. These four elements are popularly known as the 4ps.
This is defined as the systematic management process of introducing the identification and assessment of marketing problem, opportunity and organization capacity, the selection of target markets and formulation of marketing objectives.
Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation
5.1 Summary of Findings
The study as shown that most banks especially the bank under study has a well structured marketing ethics.
Through the process of hypothesis testing it has also been discovered that there is a significant relationship between marketing ethics and organizational objectives.
Marketing professionals with a backbone reap great rewards, including a solid career with the potential for advancement. But the high road is not always the easiest path to take.
Ethical problems in marketing stem from conflicts and disagreements. Each party in a marketing transaction brings a set of expectations regarding how the business relationship will exist and how transactions should be conducted.
The study also revealed that some ethical problems in market research are the invasion of privacy and stereotyping. The latter occurs because any analysis of real populations needs to make approximations and place individuals into groups. However, if conducted irresponsibly, stereotyping can lead to a variety of ethically undesirable results.
Ethics is all about responsibility of individuals and organizations doing what are morally right, in the best interest of all stakeholders, in a business activity. In recent times, ensuring compliance to ethical practices entail promising customers and all business partners/ stakeholders, not to sacrifice quality and fairness for selfish profit. Essentially, by doing good as good corporate citizens, organizations are expected to realize their overall corporate objectives, in terms of increased customer market coverage and profitability.
Ethical marketing is about making marketing decisions that are morally right. The morality of the marketing decision can encompass any part of marketing including sourcing of raw materials, staff employment and product advertising and pricing. Each person’s view of morality is different, it is based on personal values and experiences. This creates a challenge for companies who want to pursue ethical marketing in a manner that will appeal to customers.
Ethics can form one element of a firm’s marketing strategy or the whole strategy can be based around ethical marketing. It all depends on what the business is trying to achieve and what they feel is expected by the public, customers, legislation, shareholders and the target market. Ethical marketing can increase business costs or create a competitive edge.
- Marketers should do no harm. This means doing work for which they are appropriately trained or experienced so that they can actively add value to their organizations and customers. It also means adhering to all applicable laws and regulations and embodying high ethical standards in the choices they make.
- Marketers should foster trust in the marketing system. This means that products are appropriate for their intended and promoted uses. It requires that marketing communications about goods and services are not intentionally deceptive or misleading. It suggests building relationships that provide for the equitable adjustment and/or redress of customer grievances. It implies striving for good faith and fair dealing so as to contribute toward the efficacy of the exchange process.
- Marketers should embrace, communicate, and practice the fundamental ethical values that will improve consumer confidence in the integrity of the marketing exchange system. These basic values are intentionally inspirational and include honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, openness and citizenship.
- This research on marketing ethics provides a brief synopsis of the major works in the field and the researcher recommends that readers should draw their own insights from these substantial works.
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