In the 21st century, it is increasingly argued that true marketing - a new type of moral marketing - must replace the existing way of carrying out marketing?
a) Why is there now an urgent need for renaissance(rebirth) in marketing?
b) What is the content of such moral marketing?
c) Explain a viewpoint with respect to the nine steps of the true marketing ladder?
Starting from second half of the twentieth century, there has been increasing focus on the ethical and morality issues in business. As a matter of fact, development of marketing concepts have has made a deep impact on the need provide value and service to the customer rather than just make them part with their money.
The pressure of ethical business and marketing has developed because of several reasons. Among others it includes the following:
- The growing power and capability of companies because of their growing size, use of mass-communication mediums, better insight into human mind provided by behavior scientists. There have been allegations that such power is often used by businesses to manipulate mind and behavior of people in imperceptible ways, than actually causes more harm than good.
- Growing awareness of the harmful effect of changes in lifestyles and habits brought about by aggressive marketing. For example, obesity and other health problems caused by junk food.
- Growing adverse impact of business and industry on environment.
- Growing awareness of people about the possible risks posed by big irresponsible behavior of big businesses, and their growing activism to ensure better future for themselves and the posterity.
I have not come across the idea of nine steps of true marketing ladder. Different writers on marketing have classified the stages of development of marketing in different ways. One such scheme is given by Kotler in his very popular book Marketing management coauthored with Keller. Kotler identifies the following five stages of development of modern marketing concept:
- Production Concept
- Product Concept
- Selling Concept
- Marketing concept.
- Holistic marketing concept.
The holistic concepts, which represents the the latest and best practices in marketing, and which explicitly pays deliberate attention to moral and ethical aspects of business, incorporates four broad themes.
- Relationship marketing
- Integrated marketing
- Internal marketing
- Social responsibility marketing.
All these four themes of holistic marketing are totally in line with the best moral and ethical behavior. However the social responsibility marketing pays special attention to these issues. It requires close attention to ethical, environmental, legal and social implication of business. Businesses are expected to deliver high value to their customers and safeguard the interests of all the stakeholders. In addition. they are also required to play a positive role in general social welfare.
Kotler P. and Keller K.L. (2006), Marketing Management, Twelfth Edition, Pearson education, Delhi.