Wrestling with Ethics Essay (Critical Writing)
Nowadays marketers play a significant role in the development of people society, since these are marketers who “search for unmet needs, encourage the development of products and services addressing these needs”, and due to their efforts we now have so comfortable, helpful, beautiful and delicious goods (Kotler, 2004, p.35).
But sometimes people in their chase for comfort or pleasure want things that can be extremely harmful for others and even themselves, so here a dilemma for marketers emerges: should they or they should not develop and promote goods, which can constitute a threat for consumers or the society on the whole.
To my mind, it is highly important to make goods work for people, but not make harm to them. It is clear that the major aim of the companies is gaining profit and one of the main ways to reach this goal is to satisfy consumers’ needs, and at present even to foresee these needs and provide consumers with what they want even before they want it (Gorchels, 2006, p. 5).
But, I believe, that successful firms can and should choose among customers’ need and develop only those goods and services which are really needed for society development and can never be harmful. And big companies already understand that and try to develop new safe goods. For instance, PepsiCo has made a decision “to shift its flagship brand to Diet Pepsi, rather than regular Pepsi” (Gorchels, 2006, p.17).
This became a result of growing problem of obesity and “aging Baby Boomers” which “have impacted sales” (Gorchels, 2006, p.17). Of course, this only reduces negative impact of Pepsi, and makes it a bit healthier, but it is not enough. In my opinion, they should continue researching to find the way to maintain the taste, for this is what consumers like, and replace the harmful ingredients with healthy ones or, ideally, with useful ingredients which will contribute into human body development.
Moreover, our technology can make all this come true. But more immediate results can bring the method of “increasing “sin” taxes” (Kotler, 2004, p.33). And this can be very effective, since, first of all, people will have to pay more for their doubtful pleasure, so they will think more whether they need to harm their health (and social programs make people aware of all that harm) and pay even more, and, finally they can come to a conclusion to get involved into sports and healthy hobbies.
The second outcome of this method is that the government gets more money that can be used for social programs to prevent people from using such harmful goods, or for development of medicine and promotion of healthy way of life. But I’d like to add that, though Kotler mentions charity donations of big companies, for example McDonalds, (2004, p. 32), it is obvious that it is not the way out.
It is impossible and really cynic to believe that such big company’s mischief will vanish after its giving some money to a hospital or orphanage. But instead Kotler (2004) gives the possible way out even for McDonalds suggesting them to provide more healthy food and very its menu, enriching it with different salads, etc. (p. 32).
Thus, it is necessary to promote social responsibilities within big or even international enterprises with the help of government and consumers’ education. But, to my mind, it is necessary to pay more attention to education even from the kindergarten to grow responsible people who will understand the importance of providing necessary and socially friendly goods.
Gorchels, L. (2006). The Product manager’s handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional.
Kotler, Philip. (2004). Marketers Wrestle With Ethical Questions: Is Marketing Ethics an Oxymoron?. Marketing Management. 13(6), 30-35.
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