As you begin your marketing career, there are several factors pertaining to the way in which you market and the effect if has on your audience that you have to take into consideration. The American Marketing Association (AMA) views marketing professionals as stewards of society in creating, facilitating and executing the transactions that are part of the greater economy. (AMA.Org). In this role we hold a high level of responsibility in what we promote externally to the general public as well as the information we give internally to company stakeholders. Maintaining strict professionalism and holding on to values expressing strong norms and ethics are crucial in your new role as a marketer and as a member of the AMA you will find that these issues are highly focused areas of concern as marketers and the marketing industry serve to build a company’s brand through trust among other things. Once the trust is broken with your audience, it is extremely difficult to gain back, if not impossible.
The AMA focuses on 3 Ethical Norms; Do Not Harm, Foster Trust in the Marketing System, and Embrace Ethical Values. All three center around the committed act of high ethical standards to not harm through false information or omissions, acting in good faith with the removal of deceptive tactics in marketing strategy, and building relationships and consumer confidence with your audience.
Honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, transparency, and citizenship are the major categorical areas of Ethical Values that the AMA strives to maintain with all marketing agents. As you find yourself starting your new careers and you being to work on Integrated Marketing Campaigns you will need to keep these standards at the forefront of your marketing decisions. Deceptive strategies do not work. While you may find initial success, over time you will find that the lack of honesty and transparency will eventually be found out and depending on the depth of the deception, the brands can lose all trust and consumer loyalty in the marketplace.
It is your responsibility to market a product or idea in a way that represents the true features and performance and to honor any commitments made. You will learn to value and respect the needs of your customers and to listen to what they want in a product, and the prices they are willing to pay. As you take on new products you can expect to meet with company stakeholders to discuss your IMC and as you do so, understand that your decisions will need to be owned, whether they fail or succeed. -Know that manipulation of material fact does not work long term and if found out, your word will hold little value to those you work with.
Know that not everything you choose to do will succeed, learn to accept criticism from others (including customers) and build off of that information. Remain transparent in what you do and keep the lines of communication open. Encourage fair pricing while maintaining a profit ( avoid price gauging) and build relationships with suppliers in a way that allows for affordability.
Should you decide to deviate from proper conduct, there will be consequences awaiting you. Conflicts of interest policies exist with the AMA and federal law also prohibits this type of conduct. There are also several other laws in place that serve to protect the consumer. Any intentional act or any act resulting in gross negligence is punishable by law and you and the company could face fines, while specific members found guilty of illegal offenses could also receive jail time.
As you continue on in your career you will find that your character will employ others to trust you, or to distrust you. There is a balance between honoring the customer through proper deliverance of standout products, and honoring your company with successful IMC and net sales. You can achieve this, and you can enjoy doing so as long as you maintain the desire to stand by the ethical values promoted by the AMA.