Virgin Atlantic has incorporated ethics in its marketing plan. The company has taken into consideration the various views about ethics globally in its marketing planning. This is on the basis of the assumption that ethical concerns of one country differ from those of the other. It is therefore ideal that virgin Atlantic considers all the ethical issues in the nations that it intends to establish its business. In doing this, the marketing planning becomes effective in ensuring the acceptance of the company’s services globally in regions where these ethical issues gain ground.
Ethics of the marketing mix also has a great impact on the company. If a company’s marketing mix tends to mislead the clients, the company loses trust and customer loyalty (McDonald, 2006). This becomes an ethical issue to the company. In order for a company like virgin Atlantic to win customer loyalty, it should provide the correct information about the company’s products and services in terms of features, prices and other related aspects.
Ethical issues related to technology and innovation also affects the company. For instance, the company’s internet use is often affected by hackers and internet criminals who attempt to access information from the company’s website. This issue may lead to leaking of information related to the company’s marketing strategies. As a result, the marketing strategies may be used by competitors or criminals to fight the company commercially or criminally. The marketing planning will therefore be affected by the technology-related ethical issues.
Ways in which virgin Atlantic respond to Ethical issues
Virgin Atlantic airways respond to ethical issues in various ways. The most notable way is considering good business ethics and ensuring corporate social responsibility. The company ensures that it’s always in good terms with the society it operates in. The pricing structure of the flight for example is socially efficient. The company has also engaged in environmental conservation through recycling of waste, reduction of noise and air pollution among others.
The company has established human resource recruitment policy that gathers for hiring well educated and competent marketers and sales people to steer the company’s success. The hired professionals help the company to gain advantage, reputation and also check against unfair practices that affect the company across the world.
On legal grounds, the company can assess the suitability of the company to the society (Kotler, 2011). This is done through the company’s corporate lawyers who give advice on legal matters and also ethical practices of the organization. The essence of this is to help the company do the right thing that are in line with the law and avoid wrong practices. The company has agents across the world that helps the company in monitoring the ethical issues in the company’s area of operation.
Example of consumer ethics that virgin Atlantic is facing in its attempt to carry out marketing planning is emergence of security concerns and terrorism. A Notable example of such situation was witnessed when security checks noticed an abnormal situation whereby passengers who were travelling to Yemen seemed to act as friends, bought tickets from the same agent and stayed at different parts of the plane. From the behaviour of the passengers, it seemed as though there was a security concern.
In some instances, customers may book air tickets and fail to travel. The company has to refund them the money. This distracts the marketing planning process since the tickets have to be resold again to the customers.