It is very important to have ethics in marketing research because everyone involved from the clients and the public to the respondents and the researchers all have rights and obligations. When market research methods don’t involve ethics, lines are easily crossed and laws are broken.
When the importance of ethics in marketing research is overlooked, companies can face serious ethical repercussions and drastically impact the lives of consumers. Thanks to the rise of the internet and social media, market research methods have exploded and it’s now easier than ever before to conduct low-cost market research. Without ethics in market research though, companies can face major public backlash and innocent lives could be ruined.
Why Ethics is Important in Market Research
Privacy is a major concern for customers today, especially after the many scandals of companies misusing customer information. With companies having an unprecedented ability to collect and store massive amounts of customer data, the importance of ethics in marketing research has never been higher. While there are many market research methods to collect and use customer information to sell products or target advertising messages, invading the privacy of customers is risky business that never pays off in the end.
• Rights and Obligations
Everyone involved in the market research process, from clients and researchers to the public and respondents, has rights and obligations they expect to be met. From biased research methods and the invasion of privacy to unqualified research methods and misrepresentation, understanding ethics in marketing research is the best and only way to meet the rights and obligations of all parties involved in the market research. Paying attention to the ethical importance of meeting the rights and obligations of everyone involved is the best way to avoid any unethical concerns when it comes to your market research methods.
Understanding what a breach of confidentiality is can help your company avoid ethical issues when it comes to your market research methods. The importance of ethics in marketing research is to help companies avoid any unlawful sharing of customer data, whether it’s sharing information with affiliates or selling that information to outside companies. Breaches of confidentiality are great ways to discourage market research respondents from participating in any future market research methods and receive public backlash for your unethical practices.
• Deceptive Practices
The importance of ethics in marketing research doesn’t just apply to the way participants are treated but market research methods as well. Companies today have more access to customer data than ever before and this amount of access can easily lead to deceptive practices. Practices, like misrepresenting research results and not disclosing to consumers that their data is being collected, make understanding why ethics in marketing research is more important than ever before. Lying and deceiving customers to access and gather information is ethically wrong and could backfire in a devastating way.
The importance of ethics in marketing research has never been greater thanks to many recent scandals of companies misusing customer data and the amount of data companies have access to. It’s important to have ethics in marketing research, not only for the benefit of your company but the benefit of your customers, employees, and suppliers as well. There may be many market research methods available to companies today but any method that makes you question your ethics or completely throw them out the window is not worth your time or your customer’s time.