The Impact of Marketing in the Society – Can We Really Make a Difference?

Definitions

Marketing is generally thought of as the process of promoting goods and services to the end user. We can think of this as McDonald’s advertising its Big Mac in such a way that we feel that we really need one for lunch. This demonstrates the advertising piece of the marketing mix, and is the element that most people identify with marketing.

Society is generally defined as the condition in which members of a community live together for their mutual benefit. Societies are more than just the individual members that make up the group, but the sum of the collective. We are all members of a society, and interact with the other members in that community. So what is the impact of marketing in the society?

Negative Connotations of Marketing – They Made Me Do It

Ever since society passed from a Subsistence economy (I grow my own food, make my own clothes, and don’t need anyone else to help me) to a Trade economy (I’ll grow some food to sell to you, if you will make some clothes to sell to me) we have had the challenge of marketing our products and services to others (Uh-oh, now that there are two people making clothes in my town I’d better let people know why they should buy mine). And ever since that first sales pitch there have been criticisms of marketing; like deceptive practices, high prices, unsafe products, and high-pressure sales – to name a few.

But many critics go further and claim that marketing has created false wants, promoted materialism, produced cultural pollution, and allowed big companies to gain significant political power. And there is an element of truth to all of these claims. Companies that have not performed ethically have had a damaging effect in society that the ethical businesses must now work through.

And the Good?

But it is hard to deny the positives that marketing has brought upon society as well. The wealth of technology at our fingertips today is directly related to the sales of these items and the continued downward pricing caused by the promotion of computers, cell phones, GPS navigation systems, digital cameras, MP3 players, etc. Dozens and dozens of these types of products are commonplace today, but seemed like luxuries for the rich just a few years ago. In fact, most of the people below the poverty line in the US today live better than royalty did 200 years ago — with cars, heating and air conditioning, microwave ovens, cell phones, televisions, and other amenities now considered necessities.

More importantly, most medium to large companies now have significant charitable giving and service programs that donate large sums of money and time to needy organizations that make a difference in the lives of millions of people every year. Whether companies do this out of a pure heart or a need for positive publicity, the result is the same — and many of the neediest in society are better for it.

Doing the Right Thing

As the public grows more knowledgeable and educated, they hold businesses to a higher standard than was once the case. The abuses of workers that were common a century ago are not tolerated by society today. Now corporate ethics policies drive decisions in the boardroom and the marketing department so that the end user (that’s us) benefits in many ways. Doing the right thing is a good policy because people want to do business with someone they trust and respect. And the companies that are exposed as cheaters, liars, or abusers are generally shunned in the marketplace (Enron, anyone?).

The bottom line is that though there is a negative impact of marketing in the society, there is a positive to balance it out; and it is our job as society to reward the good guys with our purchases and punish the unethical companies by neglecting them in the marketplace. As we continue to do this over and over, we make Big Business aware that they will make money only if they honor their ethics policies and do the right thing on a consistent basis. In this way we can make a difference in the marketing tactics employed to sway our decisions. And that is a positive that we as a society can live with.


The Importance Of Cell Phones In Modern Society

Cell phones have become a necessity for many people throughout the world. The ability to keep in touch with family, business associates, and access to email are only a few of the reasons for the increasing importance of cell phones. Today’s technically advanced cell phones are capable of not only receiving and placing phone calls, but storing data, taking pictures, and can even be used as walkie talkies, to name just a few of the available options.

When cell phones were first introduced to the public, they were bulky, expensive, and some even required a base unit that had to be transported along with the phone. Good reception was a major problem and in general, early cell phones could only be used in certain locations were the signal was particularly strong. As cell phone technology advanced, the difficult in using them became less of a problem. Today, cell phone reception has improved greatly due to the use of satellites and wireless services. As cell phones improved and became simple to use, the importance of cell phones increased accordingly.

Cell phones are the perfect way to stay connected with others and provide the user with a sense of security. In the event of emergency, having a cell phone can allow help to reach you quickly and could possibly save lives. However, the importance of cell phones goes way beyond personal safety. Modern cell phones are capable of internet access, sending and receiving photos and files, and some cell phones are equipped with GPS technology, allowing for use in most locations around the world and allowing the cell phone to be found or the user located in the event of loss or emergency.

Cell phone reception has become reliable and of high quality due to advances in wireless technology. Wireless service providers offer excellent packages and promotions for cell phone users. Finding a dependable service provider is no longer an issue for cell phone users. The expansion of the wireless service provider industry gives cell phone users a choice and the increased competition has caused a drop in prices of wireless cell phone service. The importance of cell phones goes way beyond the ability to make or receive phone calls. Cell phone users can instantly send data to the home or office, check for important email, use their cell phone as a PDA or calendar, and store photos which can be easily transferred to a PC or laptop computer.

Cell phone manufacturers have produced a wide range of cell phones, which sell for prices that range from very inexpensive to over one thousand dollars. The available options give users the choice of purchasing a basic cell phone to use simply for making calls, or choosing a complex, technologically advanced cell phone that can perform as many or even more tasks that a home computer. Over the past decade, the increasing importance of cell phones has made them almost a necessity for most people. Even remote and underdeveloped countries have some access to cell phone technology and wireless services.

The importance of cell phones has increased the competition in the wireless service provider industry, making cell phones very affordable and very easy to use. Cell phones have become almost a status symbol in addition to the convenience and security that comes from owning them.