Legal And Ethical Considerations In Marketing

Marketing is the communication of the value of a service or product by a seller to their buyer. Both the buyer and the seller have certain expectations in regard to their business relationship and the transaction from each other. For example the buyer expects fair treatment and a reasonable price from the seller. Legal and ethical consideration is suiting the needs of buyers, suppliers and generally all the parties in the market with compliance to the law. The legal and ethical aspects in marketing have a thin line that differentiates them. Ethics are all about what is right or wrong whereas legal is all about what is lawful or unlawful for example honesty and transparency in marketing. Before crafting advertisements, the advertiser should know the likely ethical issues so that he can craft responsible messages that do not violate ethical standards.

Potential areas of consideration

There are several aspects in marketing where law and ethics matter. Market research should be conducted in such a way that it respects the privacy of the customers and gives them time and knowledge to make informed decisions on purchase of products.

Market research should be conducted responsibly to avoid stereotyping which affects the clients, public, respondents and researchers. Marketing strategies should take into consideration the market audience. There should be no selective marketing which is made to discourage undesirable market sectors from buying certain products as it excludes other potential customers.

Children and the elderly should not be unfairly targeted in marketing. Targeting these groups unethically ends up exploiting them financially since they are not able to resist or understand the marketing tactics. Prices should not be fixed to favour any party in the market or exploit the customers.

Importance of these considerations in marketing

Ethical marketing that also meets the requirements of the law benefits largely the individual, the company and employees. It satisfies a basic human need which takes the form of being fair and honest. Being ethical has long term gains and profitability to a company. Companies that are driven by moral values are respected far and wide in the society and this creates credibility for it.

Established moral values in an organization make decision making easier since they are guided by the same values. Customers’ expectations are rising and they demand new products everyday therefore ethics are vital in guiding companies to come up with products which are fair to the customers.

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