Academic Master

Business and Finance

Is It Ethical to Target Uninformed Customers?

Corporations try to acquire new and loyal customers to accomplish their sales targets by hooks or by crooks for the future of their business. To achieve the boost of the sale in an industry or a business for a long time, ethics is of significant importance. The essential steps a company requires to identify the target market are effective market research and analysis. To acquire prospective consumers accurately, industries use marketing and adverts as an ethical procedure to target uninformed customers. However, some companies apply inappropriate means and manipulative strategies to attract new customers in order to sell their goods. (Smith & Martin, 1997) The unfortunate thing is that consumers rely on businesses and brands to consider their interests. This essay effectively evaluates the argument of whether it is unethical or manipulative action to target uninformed customers and its consequences for the business.

The targeting practice is usually for the prospective future of the business. Targeting uninformed consumers affects the image of the business if it fails to advertise the true objective of the brand in the market in front of new customers. The competition in the current market has soared in the 21st century which has skyrocketed the more potential choices for the new customers. Deontological ethics as experts say is a marketing activity under the umbrella of marketing principles that should be analyzed to test whether the action is wrong or right regardless of the consequences. Therefore, companies have strict sole principles for the sale managers and staff responsible for brands’ sales and advertising to achieve accurately in order to raise companies’ sales to earn more profits. (Ferrell, 2019) In this case, targeting and dealing with uninformed consumers can lead to negative perceptions about a business that is making its way to thriving in the market. On the other hand, a sales manager can exploit the opportunity to attract less aware consumers to produce the best results in sales. (Ferrell, 2019) Choosing a wrong or unethical way to accomplish a company’s objectives may earn a timely profit from the uninformed consumers but it finally results in harming the image and sales objectives of the corporations. Whereas, opting for research and analysis about the predisposed means to attract a potential consumer to buy a company’s product is the right strategy. Such research includes a variety of personal preferences as well as cultural norms of the consumers to which a company is targeted. (Graeff, 2003)

Target marketing to the uninformed customers is beneficial to the business as well as the consumer community in one way as a business is more likely to gain in this regard. The strategy of targeting less aware consumers is the best technique to win more prospective consumers if a new company wants to introduce its new brand in the market. This technique not only wins consumers’ hearts but also educates the targeted audience about the product as more people will be educated about the brand, more consumers can be attracted. Introducing a new product in the market through uninformed targeted consumers can increase the competition against rival brands or industries. (Malkoc, 2011) This would also lead the already established businesses to improve their products’ quality and lower the prices as the business community realizes the influence of the less aware consumer audience. Moreover, the uninformed group leads the company in influencing, asking, informing, and advertising the product more than the informed group of consumers.

Contrary to the benefits, the action of targeting uninformed individuals poses, there are also some significant disadvantages companies can counter if the action is not conducted with caution. Marketing technique to launch a new brand in an already established business ideally takes time for every target group whether it is uninformed or informed. However, it becomes evil when the target prospects receive the same marketing message with zero updates and creativity. This can be overcome by developing a marketing schedule for regular communication which requires a company some appropriate resources to make a creative marketing narrative. This marketing narrative would support uninformed consumers in building understanding, satisfaction as well as loyalty with the brand. Targeting uninformed individuals would minimize the complaints risk for the thriving brand as consumers of the brand will be more aware of the use of the product through useful marketing content and hands-on practices. (Smith & Martin, 1997) Once groups of effective targeted consumers are acquired, they lead companies to sell their products appropriately through proper advertising and marketing strategies. It enables the corporations to manage the competitor brands, thrive in the respective market, creates their value, and foster strong relationships as well as profit rates with their target consumers. Therefore, companies are in dire need of potential marketers who can create a positive and lasting image of a brand in the market through advertising the product to uninformed customers. (Malkoc, 2011)

Another disadvantage a new company may face while advertising the brand to uninformed customers is the narrow-mindedness of the individuals. Not all consumers and not all brands abide by the ethics to accomplish their set objectives. Sadly, many corporations deliberately exploit the right marketing information regarding what an individual might be consuming in the name of a brand in order to cut an operating cost while targeting uninformed individuals. The intentional excluding of the information results in a false perception of the product because of the little or no information provided by the brand. Sometimes, a consumer due to lack of information about what a product does and how a certain brand will affect the lifestyle gets manipulated into supporting a potentially harmful business. (Smith & Martin, 1997) For instance, the recent example of GMO labeling in which a food company genetically modifies the food products if not advertises its real intention that the food is not natural but is given the attributes could result in adding more protein to a food product which upon consumption could be lethal for insects as well as humans. Therefore, avoiding the GMO labeling on the product just to save operational costs would only be a company’s deception to reach its consumers. However, the acquisition of goals through the wrong means does not earn long-lasting benefits. (Li and Basu, 2019)

In the nutshell, targeting uninformed consumers is a distinctive yet effective promotional method to increase a new brand’s scope among already established businesses. Thus, in my opinion, targeting uninformed consumers is an ethical measure and a right of a brand marketer if conducted with caution to present new brands in the market and make sensible profits quarterly or monthly.

Works Cited

Graeff, Timothy R. “Exploring consumers’ answers to survey questions: Are uninformed responses truly uninformed?.” Psychology & Marketing 20.7 (2003): 643-667.

Li, Rong, and Amiya K. Basu. “Pricing Strategy for GM Food: Impact of Consumer Attitude Heterogeneity and GMO Food Labelling.” Annals of Operations Research, 2 Feb. 2019, 10.1007/s10479-019-03154-w.

Malkoc, Selin, Ayelet Gneezy, and Simona Botti. “When Thinking Positive Gets the Better of Us: the Role of Optimism in Uninformed Consumer Choice.” ACR North American Advances (2011).

Smith, N. Craig, and Elizabeth Cooper-Martin. “Ethics and target marketing: The role of product harm and consumer vulnerability.” Journal of Marketing 61.3 (1997): 1-20.

Ferrell, O. C., et al. “A new direction for sales ethics research: The sales ethics subculture.” Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 27.3 (2019): 282-297.



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