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Towards a Typology of Virtuous Marketing: Applying Marketing Principles and Practices to Community Development Work

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This paper examines the literature on the ethics of marketing practices and links this to our understanding of societal marketing and social responsibility. It goes on to examine the contribution to the debate of studies which evidence that the perception of marketing's virtue is often coloured by society's perception of the virtue of the products and services it involves. The marketing of non-profit organisations is also examined, as This paper examines the literature on the ethics of marketing practices it is often the case that marketing's virtue is linked to the perceived virtue of the marketing organisation. The recent rise in initiatives funded or managed by private/public/non-profit partnerships clouds the debate even further. Many of these initiatives focus on regeneration and community development. Whilst this would appear to be a virtuous area it is not one that has, historically, been examined from a marketing perspective. Indeed many such initiatives shun the very idea that they are engaged in "marketing", as marketing itself is deemed not to be virtuous by those working in the community development arena. Yet these initiatives, by their very nature, purportedly seek to ascertain and satisfy the wants and needs of those they serve, and to do so better than others who compete for both resources and "customers". By examining recent community development initiatives in South East Wales this paper attempts to establish a typology of virtuous marketing that takes into account not only products and services, but also the type of organisation engaged in a variety of marketing activities and the publics these affect.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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