Marketing reflects an organization’s ethics and values as it communicates, especially with current and prospective customers. Marketers have learned to adjust over time to changes in the marketplace, especially as technology, the environment, politics, culture, and demographics have evolved and altered customer needs, wants, and demands. This chapter introduces concepts primarily concerned with culture and diversity and the need for businesses to focus more on customer individuality than on customer commonality. Research shows that companies that build emotional ties through diversity generate more revenue, increase stock price performance, and enhance brand perceptions.
Marketers must be constantly aware of demographic trends, especially in multicultural identities, generational differences, consumers with disabilities, and changes in spending. Ethics, too, transform and adapt to the business environment. Ethical norms not only promote fair and equitable competition, they also set standards for brand stewardship and social responsibility.
Finally, the focus of many successful marketers today is to rely on marketing intelligence to guide them toward establishing and maintaining positive customer associations across population characteristics.