A Critical Look at Marketing From the Consumer's Perspective
Updated: 4 days ago
Author: Suat Yıldırım
Date of Publication: 04/04/2023
Have you tried to take a critical look at marketing?
If you haven't tried it, keep reading this article to find out. Marketing affects our lives in individual and social dimensions. In particular, these impacts are not only local or national. They also occur in international and global dimensions.
Many of the products we buy are global brands produced in different countries. So, consumers living thousands of kilometers apart can use or consume the same products. Therefore, this situation reveals the dimensions of marketing activities that transcend national borders.
Moreover, the benefits of marketing can be offered to consumers beyond national borders. In fact, marketing has provided consumers individually and society in general. However, apart from its benefits, there are also points of criticism.
Extremely high dividends
Some businesses are accused of selling their products at excessively high dividends. Also, consumers state that products in some product categories are generally sold with very high profit margins. But in some cases, companies take advantage of the consumer situation. For example, products are sold at very high prices by using situations such as the fact that the consumer has no other option.
Deceptive practices are encountered in terms of price, promotion or packaging. For example, retailers inflate prices first and then apply a high discount. What’s more, misleading advertisements are another situation encountered. In misleading advertisements, the product may be different from what is described or shown in the advertisement.
High pressure sales efforts
Salespeople are sometimes accused of putting too much pressure on consumers to persuade them to buy products they didn’t intend to buy. In fact, salespeople receive specific training on techniques to persuade customers. In addition, they have a sales obligation. This is because the high premiums they will receive after the sale force them to behave in this way.
Poor quality, harmful or unsafe products
Criticisms such as poor quality of products offered to consumers, poor performance, and harm to those who use or consume them are also common. For example, fast food is a product that receives intense criticism because it is unhealthy.
Likewise, unsafe products are encountered especially in situations where the life safety of consumers is endangered. Therefore, it is a must that some products have passed the safety tests.
Planned product obsolescence
One of the marketing issues that businesses face is to ensure that their products wear out in a planned manner. In this way, they guarantee that consumers buy a new product ahead of time. For example, buying a new product because they think it is outdated makes them think that the features of the product they have do not meet their needs. As a result, consumers perceive the product as obsolete.
Marketing urges people to buy unnecessary things
This is one of the criticisms that marketing faces the most in the social dimension. In fact,
there are those who go further and argue that it is inevitable that marketing encourages
excessive consumption. Therefore, it is a common situation for consumers to buy a product that will meet their needs. This especially happens in some product categories such as clothing or accessories.
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Piccolo, S., Tedeschi, P., & Ursino, G. (2015). How limiting deceptive practices harms consumers. The RAND Journal of Economics, 46(3), 611-624.