Industries desperately try to acquire new customers. Some of companies are likely to apply inappropriate means of gaining their attention. One of the methods is target marketing. This is where corporations use adverts and marketing as a means of attracting consumers and targeting their customers accurately to sell their goods. However, not all industries use ethical procedures in getting customers. This raises the question as to whether it is ethical for businesses to target uninformed consumers.
It is unfortunate that some businesses use deceptive and manipulative strategies to attain the sales objectives. It is more unfortunate that most people trust companies in that they consider their interests. However, the use of marketing means and targeting uninformed customers is not an unethical or manipulative means. One of the reasons is that most companies and businesses research and analyze their consumers determining the predisposed means that might make a person to buy a product (Graeff 643-667). These include a variety of factors such as cultural norms, personal preferences as well as regular orders among others.
In targeting the uninformed consumers, the company introduces its brand to new markets. This not only acts as a way of winning new customers but also as an education platform in that people are informed of the new product (Buehler and Schuett). While the community gets educated, the company can attract more consumers. Also, target marketing is beneficial to a community. Can you imagine introducing a new product to the consumers? This would increase competition against the rival and already established products leading to improved qualities and lowered prices. Through target marketing, a company is likely to gain. This is realized since the company has the upper hand in influencing the uninformed group through asking, informing, and persuasion as well as advertising (Fishman 23-25).
However, it may seem unethical to target an informed consumer group. This is because it may intrude on their cultural beliefs and social norms. The products may not best fit the group and introducing them to the people may be wrong.
Buehler, Benno, and Florian Schuett. “Certification And Minimum Quality Standards When Some Consumers Are Uninformed.” SSRN Electronic Journal (2012): n. pag. Web.
Fishman, Arthur. “Dynamics Sales Discriminate Against Uninformed Consumers In A Competitive Market.” Economics Letters 27.1 (1988): 23-25. Web.
Graeff, Timothy R. “Exploring Consumers’ Answers To Survey Questions: Are Uninformed Responses Truly Uninformed?.” Psychology and Marketing 20.7 (2003): 643-667. Web.
One of the primary objectives of any company is to expand its customer base. While some companies achieve this by their efficient marketing strategies, a few utilize different inappropriate means to gain the attention of customers. In this regard, target marketing is one of the widely used techniques to target new consumers and sell products that usually involve many unethical procedures.
However, if we think from a broader perspective, it would be highly difficult for any company to introduce its products to a new market without target marketing. But first, we need to differentiate the target marketing from other manipulative or deceptive means which misuse the beliefs and cultural norms of the people to pursue them to buy the company’s goods. On the other hand, in target marketing, companies deploy different tools and means to understand the needs of the community and then address them through their advertisement programs. In this way, they can successfully enter a new market and make their customers educated about the new products that can effectively satisfy their needs (Buehler & Schuett, 2014).
Targeting uninformed customers is also beneficial for the whole community. As when companies introduce their products in a new market, it creates competition among all the market players to improve their products to stay competitive that will ultimately lead to improved quality and low prices (Fishman, 1988).
On the other hand, in some circumstances, target marketing can be perceived as unethical as well, especially when it involves products that are against the cultural and social norms of the people. Similarly, if the company is selling food products, targeting uninformed customers can lead to several health problems in the community. Therefore, it highly depends on the company’s strategy and its primary products to determine that whether its target marketing approach is ethical or unethical.
Buehler, B., & Schuett, F. (2014). Certification and minimum quality standards when some consumers are uninformed. European Economic Review, 70, 493–511. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2014.06.007
Fishman, A. (1988). Dynamics sales discriminate against uninformed consumers in a competitive market. Economics Letters, 27(1), 23–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/0165-1765(88)90213-3
Marketing is an essential component of any business’s strategy that needs to sustain its growth in the highly competitive environment of the 21st century. Therefore, many companies are using different ways to effectively market their customers in different regions of the world based on their local preferences and needs. However, on the same hand, some companies which are offering some novel services or products target their potential customers based on their needs and not entirely based on their preferences. In this regard, they are mostly uninformed about these new products and are often prone to develop some fake preferences inspired by the marketing content of the companies which can consequently lead to different kind of health issues. Therefore, the issue of whether targeting uninformed customers is ethical or not, need to be addressed in a much bigger perspective from not only the business’s success and growth point of view but also the viewpoint of its effects on the consumers’ eating and consumption habits as well.
From a business’s point of view, targeting uninformed customers is not only the useful strategy to introduce their products to a new audience but also an essential strategy because it is the only way the companies can approach different people living in different parts of the world (Buehler). So, target marketing becomes ethical in this case if the companies’ intentions are good as in this way, they can educate the customers as well (Fishman). However, this is not always true. Some companies utilize very deceptive ways of marketing which often involves influencing the psychological behavior of the consumers to establish false beliefs among them with regards to the effectiveness of their products. And definitely, this leads to many health issues in society. So, from this frame of reference target marketing is not only unethical but should also be discouraged.
Buehler, Benno, and Florian Schuett. “Certification and minimum quality standards when some consumers are uninformed.” European Economic Review 70 (2014): 493-511.
Fishman, Arthur. “Dynamics sales discriminate against uninformed consumers in a competitive market.” Economics Letters 27.1 (1988): 23-25.