Social Responsibility in Marketing: A Proactive and Profitable Marketing Management Strategy

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The author contrasts Adam Smith's market to the prevailing American market stating that, in order to achieve the same results that Adam Smith's perfectly competitive market could have created, a socially responsible behavior on the part of marketing is necessary. Marketing can achieve greater profits and higher quality of life for the whole society by being consumer oriented and proactive, and by considering consumers' well-being the highest priority. Marketing must reach out and cater to, not only the mainstream core markets, but to those who are less than equal opportunity consumers. These are special market segments such as the poor, elderly, minorities, and those who are particularly vulnerable. Marketing must also develop environment and consumer-friendly products and services. The prevailing market conditions in the United States are in favor of certain select groups. Furthermore, many conditions in the existing market are borderline pathological and need to be corrected. In addition to these, there are those consumers who are very vulnerable such as the elderly, the poor, the undereducated, and the frail. These groups cannot make the best purchase decisions nor do they have access to many facets of the market. Marketing must make a special effort to provide education, information, and protection for them and must bring as many people as possible into the mainstream of the economy. Unless marketing can take a proactive position and bring about products and services that are good, functional, and non-hazardous, consumers will not be able to optimize their purchase decisions.