Economic and social aspects of marketing
Sometimes criticized for its impact on personal economic and social well-being, marketing has been said to affect not only individual consumers but also society as a whole. This section briefly examines some of the criticisms raised and how governments, individuals, and marketers have addressed them. Marketing and individual welfare
Criticisms have been leveled against marketers, claiming that some of their practices may damage individual welfare. While this may be true in certain circumstances, it is important to recognize that, if a business damages individual welfare, it cannot hope to continue in the marketplace for long. As a consequence, most unfavourable views of marketing are criticisms of poor marketing, not of strategically sound marketing practices. Others have raised concerns about marketing by saying that it increases prices by encouraging excessive markups. Marketers recognize that consumers may be willing to pay more for a product—such as a necklace from Tiffany & Co.—simply because of the associated prestige. This not only results in greater costs for promotion and distribution, but it allows marketers to earn profit margins that may be significantly higher than industry norms. Marketers counter these concerns by pointing out that products provide not only functional benefits but symbolic ones as well. By creating a symbol of prestige and luxury, Tiffany offers a symbolic benefit that, according to some consumers, justifies the price. In addition, brands may symbolize not only prestige but also quality and functionality, which gives consumers greater confidence when they purchase a branded product. Finally, advertising and promotions are often very cost-effective methods of informing the general public about items and services that are available in the marketplace. A few marketers have been accused of using deceptive practices, such as misleading promotional activities or high-pressure selling. These...
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