Marketing department is, usually, faced with the dilemma of whether to concentrate on the profit margin of the company or provide social responsibility. Moreover, it is always difficult to satisfy the whole segments of the market. This is because the department has to concentrate on a certain segment/area of the market that is viable for the business. At the same time ignoring others that are not considered profitable to the firm although they are essential to human needs. Additionally the marketing department is faced with a tough choice of whether to promote social responsibility. (On the contrary the social responsibility doesn’t bring any monetary value to the firm). Where else the department can concentrate its efforts on advertising and promotion of firm's products in trying to convince the consumers to buy the product/services of the firm. On the hand, the marketing department may face the challenge of promoting controversial products such contraceptive, sugary food or alcohol. Although, it may be unethical to some part of the society, it’s ethically correct to the quotas of the society who use the product. Essential, the managers are often put on the center stage on making ethical decision that will affect the performance of the controversial products or services in the market. Hence, the manager has to make a decision on whether to encourage the consumers to use the produce. But at the same time caution them about its effects or to advertise the product, but not to mention the negative side effects of the product. Although it is the right thing to tell the consumers about the side effects, this decision could ruin the business since the consumers may stop buying the product.
Marketing ethics is guidelines and moral standards which have been formulated by a company to help the marketing department at a certain company make decisions that are valuable to the firm. Hence, the company has a liberty to form its ethics code based on its value and industry which it operate. Therefore, there is no proper mechanism to determine what is wrong or right in the market since everyone judges a product base on their own believes and value. Thus, this poses some difficulties and a big challenge to the marketing department which tries to sell a product to market that is divergent on opinion. Additionally, base on this divergent, the marketing department is also challenged on whether to promote products that meet consumers’ needs, but are not profitable to the firm. Furthermore, the department is also faced with the hard decision of promoting a product that pollutes the environment they are living in or discourage its use. Nevertheless, as much as the department is faced with the challenges of meeting the societal needs, the department must follow the codes ethics which have been set up by the company. As such, the company exists to make profits and meets its consumer’s needs. Hence, these should be the building blocks which the department should base its actions and decisions.
Social responsibility can be seen as the firm ethical responsibility for the society. Hence, some view it as the obligation a firm has over the community in which it is located by giving back what it has taken from the society in the form of profits. However, the company may see it as an opportunity or way of creating a brand for itself and improving its image. As a result of this conflicting view, social responsibility often does not have a major impact on the society. As such, the company will always want to maintain its profits. Therefore, when a social responsibility does not bring in profits to the firm as expected. It’s likely that the firm will stop funding the social responsibility activities to safeguard its profits. On the other hand, the social responsibility which firm chooses to implement, some part of the society may reject it claiming it’s a substandard or does not meet their needs. This is conflicting reaction is what is called micro-macro dilemma, and it make a firm make loses. For example, a firm may decide to build a school for the community. However, the members of the community who do not have children may criticize the move, arguing a hospital would be much better than a school. Additionally, the section that is rejecting the school may incite the whole society to reject the initiate of the firm hence bring loss to the firm. Therefore, managers are always at crossroads on which part of the society to support. The decision that a manager makes may damage or create a good image of the company.
Companies at times especially the international firms feel obligated to reduce the price of their products as a form of social responsibility so that the poor in the society can afford and enjoy the benefits of the product. However, this move on the long run may not be profitable to the firm hence bring loss. Therefore, the manager of the international company must evaluate the situation and make ethical consideration of both sides i.e. company’s and consumers’ welfare.
Ethical consideration is evaluating the right action to take on divergent opinion of the issue at hand. Therefore, the company’s manager before making a decision, he must check the divergent views or opinions on the issue. The manager needs to evaluate and make a decision that is balanced and appropriate for the firm. Hence, the areas which need ethical consideration are consumers’ safety, impact of the product on the environment, information about the product features, social responsibility, the impression created by the company advertisement on consumer, culture values and the consumers’ status (rich or poor). Thus, these are areas where managers need to be careful before making a decision since they can create a name for the company or destroy the company as a result of the decision made.