5 years ago

Social Cause Marketing - The Regis Group Inc

Social Cause Marketing - The Regis Group Inc


The Human Side of Business and Marketing Visible Efforts and Invisible Benefits With a more human approach, marketing practices will focus on consumer growth and the development of society, going beyond product specificities and consumption conditions. This vision turns marketing operations into a human endeavor that zeroes in on people, contributing not only to their wellbeing but also to their individual and social advancement. Thus, an aesthetic and social concern complements the ethical dimension that rules behavior, providing a more complete, well-rounded notion of human beings. The essence of business is to create value for its market, focusing on people, influencing both individuals and the society at large. Clearly, mass media plays a significant role in the cultural development, with marketing actions accounting for a large share of media messages. As a result, marketing practices involve a dimension that goes well beyond their strictly technical scopeóthey help forge the local culture. Marketing tools can also be used to influence society, driving positive social changes in what is typically referred to as social marketing, while ethical considerations shift the marketing focus from caveat emptor to caveat venditor. These matters are superseded by a human consideration of business and marketing actions that project their central role as cultural drivers. Social Responsibilities in Business and Marketing Marketing practices can influence society, supporting and promoting welfare improvements. However, they are also responsible for undesired results derived from the use of marketing tools. The social responsibilities embedded in marketing operations become all the more evident in deregulated, open and competitive modern markets, where the former metaphor of ëan invisible handí is replaced by the many ñ and seemingly irrelevant ñ decisions made by marketing practitioners, who impersonate ëthe visible handí in markets. The responsibility for delivering and growing sustained consumer value has also a direct effect on job creation ñ a key issue in prevailing economic systems. Conversely, the lack of creativity to expand markets leads to cost cuts ñ also dubbed as reengineering ñ that eventually reaches managers themselves, driving them towards outplacement. In addition to greater responsibilities, professional executives gain relevance in the age of financial capitalism that has followed its predecessor, entrepreneurial capitalism, dominated by family businesses. With lower capital investments and higher returns, entrepreneurs and their families led the creation of new business ventures. Growth and increasing competitive challenges required greater investments, leading to opening the equity ownership when self-generated funds proved insufficient. More sophisticated tools were needed to make investment, pricing, output, salary and human resources decisions, giving room to the growing influence of professionally trained managers. Management teams were encouraged to drive businesses as independent units, with their performance measured in terms of business income. And as profits grew, family owners found less incentive to engage in executive tasks. As a result, competition no longer confronted thousands of small companies regulated by the marketís invisible hand. Rather, large companies, ruled by their professional managers, competed against each other. As described by Alfred Chandler 1 , these executives became the visible hand that contributes to build markets, where consumers rule ñ albeit inevitably influenced by the actions deployed by executives to secure benefits for shareholders. Marketing managers influence the factors that shape markets. Their practices contribute to change purchasing and consumer habits ñ as well as, eventually, customs. While they do not actually create needs, they do emphasize the social values embedded in the society. Bearing in mind that, exceeding a minimum level, wealth and poverty are relative notions, it may argued that marketing 1 Alfred Chandler, The Visible Hand, Belknap, Harvard University Press, 1977. SEPTEMBER 2009 52 EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE


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