The Market Orientation and its Financial Consequences
Levitt (1970; in Rae and Wong 2004), compares advertising to poetry. There is metaphor, there is illusion, and there’s exaggeration. The current focus of marketing includes promoting a product using all the resources and liberties that are within the law. Marketing works to create a demand in order to sell excess products. The marketing question is all about an organization’s efforts to achieve bottom-line sales. This organization could be a for-profit organization; but not-for-profits use marketing tactics as well. A Christian perspective on marketing would consider the ethics behind advertising to create demand as well as promotions that encourage people to consider market commodities as solutions to non-market needs. Christians are not told to resist the consumer culture and favor asceticism (being happy with nothing). Yet there are examples in the Scripture where godliness with contentment is described as having great gain (1 Timothy 6:6); and where Paul the apostle trusts that all his needs will be met by God (Philippians 4:19). This then creates quite a foundation for debate as to the role of Christians in the marketing of products and services. Please consider some of the author’s points and the scriptures highlighted below, and respond to these thoughts with your own argument for or against their positions in your initial discussion post:
- As marketers we must be wary of promoting over-consumption and promoting consumerism for goods with little or no social value (Rae and Wong, 2004 p. 217). It is important for the faith-based marketer to understand the power of marketing and associative advertising and operate with integrity in develop promotional campaigns (Rae & Wong, 2004, p. 349-350).
- We are stewards of the resources we have, the products we sell, and the means by which we promote those products (Chewning, 1990). In addition to the product and the way it is promoted, it is important to find pricing strategies that reflect integrity and honesty (Chewning, 1990, p. 212).
- Rae & Wong (2004) “…business is one means by which God provides for his people. Business provides goods and services, creates employment opportunities, and with market capitalism’s unique ability to create new wealth, may (if properly done) be the best means of mitigating poverty in the world” (Rae & Wong, 2004, p. 75).
- Since laying up “treasures in heaven” is our highest calling (Mt. 6:19-34; Phil. 4:19), earthly profit or wealth or esteem should not ultimately motivate us. So we guard against temptations to excessively embellish product features, or we are careful when creating product marketing that encourages people to consider market commodities as solutions to non-market needs.
Chewning, R. C., Eby, J. W., & Roels, S. J. (1990). Business Through the Eyes of Faith. San Francisco: Harper & Row.
Levitt, T. (1970) The Morality of Advertising, found in Rae, S.B. and Wong, K.L. (2004) Beyond Integrity, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. pp. 340-348.
Rae, S.B. and Wong, K.L. (2004) Beyond Integrity, 2nd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.