Discussion – Week 5COLLAPSE
The Ethics of Marketing
Today’s marketplace is teeming with businesses offering a wide range of products and services. The challenge for a small business is to market itself in such a way that it can carve out a niche in this crowded business arena, thereby attracting sufficient customers and profit to remain in business. Because competition can be fierce and the financial resources for marketing are limited at best, small business owners may face the choice between acting ethically and attracting business. If profits begin to diminish, it becomes easier to consider or even justify unethical practices, such as providing misleading descriptions of product capabilities, falsely representing savings on specials, or even pirating other work or products.
Imagine seeing an advertisement for a dish soap that promises to be so effective that “dirty dishes will clean themselves!” You are excited to try this new product and are even willing to pay an extra dollar for it. However, you quickly discover that this new dish soap is no better than your old dish soap at cleaning dishes; in fact, it has an unappealing fragrance and leaves your glassware looking dull and filmy. You are very disappointed with the new product, and you feel cheated out of your money.
Your negative feelings after buying the product will deter you from being a repeat customer. But if the business can continue to attract new, albeit one-time customers, the money received will allow it to remain profitable. The line between ethical and unethical marketing is not always so apparent; there may be some situations in which the distinction between persuasion and manipulation is blurred.
In this Discussion, you will explore unethical marketing practices, you will consider the line between ethical and unethical marketing, and, finally, you will identify criteria to help small businesses determine what is ethical and what is not.
To prepare for this Discussion, identify an example of a marketing practice that you consider to be unethical. This can be something you see on television, hear on the radio, read in print, or find on the Internet.
By Day 3
Post a cohesive and scholarly response based on your readings and research this week that addresses the following:
By Day 5
Respond to two or more of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you learned and the insights you gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.
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