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For the executive contemplating test marketing, we intend to focus first on three strategic questions: When should you conduct a test market? What can you learn from a test market?

How should you use information from a test market? We will then explore recent developments in new product research—specifically, the use of simulation models and test markets in the laboratory environment. The questions and answers that follow reflect test marketing experiences we gathered from 31 marketing research executives who had been involved in hundreds of new product introductions.

These products included packaged grocery items, health-care products, and consumer durables. The executives represent three orientations toward test markets—the manufacturer, the advertising agency, and the marketing research supplied.

Commentators Alvin A. Walter Thompson Company Henry J. Pratt, Jr. Four tests were required to test two levels of ad weight. But there are also indirect costs. There is, for example, the cost of revealing a new product idea to a competitor.

If he is better organized for new product introductions, he can beat you to the market. It is hard to estimate the cost of being second in the market, but marketing experience indicates that it means a lower market share and higher promotional costs.

Another indirect cost is that of exposure. It is impossible to estimate these exposure costs. Diversion of employee time and activities is an internal, out-of-pocket expense that is rarely quantified when the cost of test markets is estimated. Many researchers feel that test marketing should be the last check before rolling the product out into national distribution. The test market can of course alter your plans by giving you a no-go. But in the absence of bad results, you continue.

Implicit in the comments of our marketing executives is a well-articulated new product development process. It is to this process that the executives tacitly appeal when they make their judgments on the costs of test marketing. The first step in the new product sequence is an identification of opportunities—needs not being met adequately by products that are currently available.

This phase of research frequently uses qualitative techniques borrowed from social psychology. One method often used is the focus-group or group-depth interview. This is a two-hour discussion in which 8 to 12 persons are asked to describe their experiences with present products or to recount how they handle specific problems. Such interviews provide concepts for new products or for extension of present products. These concepts are actually hypotheses that can then be tested with more quantitative methods such as the survey.

Elimination of all but a few of the concepts is naturally a subjective process. The number of product concepts finally chosen depends on the resources of the company and its strategy for new products. Given limited resources, should a company select only one or two concepts and spend most of its resources on developing communication plans, or should it retain four or five product concepts and test only a few communication plans for each one?

The answer to this question must reflect the history and strengths of the organization. The next step in our ideal new product development is creating a preliminary profit plan that estimates the length of the payout.

Based largely on estimates by experienced marketing executives, this profit plan can eliminate product candidates that do not reach the minimum payout period set by management. Each stage in the exhibit replaces management estimates with data, thereby reducing the range of uncertainty in estimating the profit plan. The center section of the exhibit has three columns—product development, strategy development, and communication development.

These columns emphasize a very important point: the steps contained in them are taken simultaneously, not serially. Advertising development, for example, does not wait until a product is refined before starting its work, but begins immediately on the problem of communicating the concept reflected in the item. Anticipated availability of a product in part determines the methods for its testing.

For instance, a minimum of facilities may be required to produce actual products for testing a product extension such as the addition of a lemon flavor to an existing brand.

In contrast, a new home entertainment center requires a whole new production facility. In this latter case, the concept is pretested in the first stage of product testing and the product in the second stage. See the exhibit. At the conclusion of these concept and product tests, the profit plan can then be revised to take into account information derived from the research.

These new data suggest levels of production costs and therefore of product acceptability. If a proposed product meets the minimum payout period, it can then go into extended product use tests. Marketing strategy requires setting goals, pricing strategies, and distribution strategies for a new product. Rough estimates of price ranges may be part of product testing.


If your company plans to use its present channels of distribution, the channel strategy may be that of determining how to get your channel to accept the new product. Communication strategy includes the development of the package, the copy theme for advertisements, and the selection of the desired media mix.

It is important to note that the communication plan feeds into the development of the marketing mix plans for strategy development. The estimated cost of the communication plan is input for the final estimated profit plan. The plan is then submitted to management for approval in order to proceed to the test market stage.

When, then, should a test market be done? But when product and communications research have already told you that you have a successful product and communication plan, why should you go to the expense of test marketing, adding to the costs of delayed revenues from a successful item?

The test market combines both these elements. Furthermore, it tests the elements of the plan and their combinations in the real world. In most cases, the company can rely on its experience with the trade to estimate future acceptance. No es or tot lo que llu: Obras De D.

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Respuesta a las ocho Donaldson claims that firms cannot be persons because they lack important human capacities, such as the ability to pursue their own happiness see also Werhane Other responses denied that firms are moral agents also.

Velasquez argues that firms lack a necessary condition of agency, viz. In later work, French recanted his claim that firms are moral persons, though not his claim that they are moral agents. Discussions of corporate moral agency and moral responsibility have largely faded from the business ethics literature as of But they continue to receive attention in the mainstream philosophical literature, where they are treated with a high degree of sophistication.

Here the focus is on collectives more generally, with the business firm playing a role as an example of a collective. As in the business ethics literature, in the mainstream philosophical literature a key question is: What are the conditions for moral agency and responsibility, such that collectives qua collectives, including firms, do or do not satisfy them? This view has strong intuitive appeal. On the other side are writers who deny that firms can be moral agents, such as Gilbert , S.

A claim advanced on this side is that agency requires intention, and firms are not the kinds of things that can have intentions S. Miller The common way of speaking about the agency and responsibility of firms may be metaphorical, or a shorthand way of referring to the agency and responsibility of individuals within firms.

For discussions of these issues, see the entries on collective responsibility , collective intentionality , and shared agency. While the question of whether firms themselves are moral agents is of theoretical interest, its practical import is uncertain. Perhaps BP itself was morally responsible for polluting the Gulf of Mexico.

Perhaps certain individuals who work at BP were. What hangs on this? According to Hasnas , very little. Firms such as BP can be legally required to pay restitution for harms they cause even if they are not morally responsible for them.

What ascribing agency and responsibility to firms enables us to do, according to Hasnas, is blame and punish them. But, he argues, we should not engage in this practice. Phillips , by contrast, argues that in some cases no individual employee in a firm is responsible for the harm a firm causes. To the extent that it makes sense—and it often does, he believes—to assign responsibility for the harm, it must be assigned to the firm itself.

The ends and means of corporate governance There is significant debate about the ends and means of corporate governance, i. Much of this debate is carried on with the large publicly-traded corporation in view. There are two main views about the proper ends of corporate governance. According to one view, firms should be managed in the best interests of shareholders. Shareholder primacy is the dominant view about the ends of corporate governance among financial professionals and in business schools.

A few writers argue for shareholder primacy on deontological grounds. On this argument, shareholders own the firm, and hire managers to run it for them on the condition that the firm is managed in their interests. Shareholder primacy is thus based on a promise that managers make to shareholders Friedman ; Hasnas In response, some argue that shareholders do not own the firm. They own stock, a type of corporate security Bainbridge ; Stout ; the firm itself may be unowned Strudler Others argue that managers do not make, explicitly or implicitly, any promises to shareholders to manage the firm in a certain way Boatright More writers argue for shareholder primacy on consequentialist grounds.

In support of this, some argue that, if managers are not given a single objective that is clear and measurable—viz.

Consequentialist arguments for shareholder primacy run into problems that afflict many versions of consequentialism: in requiring all firms to be managed in a certain way, it does not allow sufficient scope for personal choice Hussain Most think that people should be able to pursue projects, including economic projects, that matter to them, even if those projects do not maximize welfare.

The second main view about the proper ends of corporate governance is given by stakeholder theory. To its critics, stakeholder theory has seemed both insufficiently articulated and weakly defended.

The groups most commonly identified are shareholders, employees, the community, suppliers, and customers. But other groups have stakes in the firm, including creditors, the government, and competitors.

It makes a great deal of difference where the line is drawn, but stakeholder theorists have not provided a clear rationale for drawing a line in one place rather than another. With respect to defense, critics have wondered what the rationale for managing firms in the interests of all stakeholders is. This is precisely what defenders of shareholder primacy say about that view. It is important to realize that a resolution of the debate between shareholder and stakeholder theorists however we conceive of the latter will not resolve all or even most of the ethical questions in business.

This is because this is a debate about the ends of corporate governance; it cannot answer all of the questions about the moral constraints that must be observed in pursuit of those ends Goodpaster ; Norman Rather, these views should be interpreted as views that managers should do whatever is morally permissible to achieve these ends.

A large part of business ethics is trying to determine what morality permits in this domain. Answers to questions about the means of corporate governance often mirror answers to question about the ends of corporate governance. Often the best way to ensure that a firm is managed in the interests of a certain party P is to give P control over it. We might see control rights for shareholders as following analytically from the concept of ownership.

To own a thing is to have a bundle of rights with respect to that thing. As noted, in recent years the idea that the firm is something that can be owned has been challenged Bainbridge ; Strudler But contractarian arguments for shareholder control of firms have been constructed which do not rely on the assumption of firm ownership.

All that is assumed in these arguments is that some people own capital, and others own labor. It just so happens that, in most cases, capital hires labor. Many writers find this result troubling. Even if the governance structure in most firms is in some sense agreed to, they say that it is unjust in other ways. Anderson characterizes standard corporate governance regimes as oppressive and unaccountable private dictatorships.

Arguments for these governance structures take various forms. According to it, if states should be governed democratically, then so should firms, because firms are like states in the relevant respects Dahl ; Walzer A fourth argument for worker participation in firm decision-making sees it as valuable or even necessary training for participation in political processes in the broader society Cohen Space considerations prevent a detailed examination of these arguments.

But criticisms generally fall into two categories. The first insists on the normative priority of agreements, of the sort described above.

There are few legal restrictions on the types of governance structures that firms can have. And some firms are in fact controlled by workers Dow ; Hansmann To insist that other firms should be governed this way is to say, according to this argument, that people should not be allowed to arrange their economic lives as they see fit.

Another criticism of worker participation appeals to efficiency. Allowing workers to participate in managerial decision-making may decrease the pace of decision-making, since it requires giving many workers a chance to make their voices heard Hansmann It may also raise the cost of capital for firms, as investors may demand more favorable terms if they are not given control of the enterprise in return McMahon Both sources of inefficiency may put the firm at a significant disadvantage in a competitive market.

And it may not be just a matter of competitive disadvantage. If it were, the problem could be solved by making all firms worker-controlled. The problem may be one of diminished productivity more generally.

Popular frameworks for business ethics Business ethicists seek to understand the ethical contours of, and devise principles of right action for, business activity. One way of advancing this project is by choosing a normative framework and teasing out its implications for a range of issues in business.

One influential approach to business ethics draws on virtue ethics see, e.

For MacIntyre, there are certain goods internal to practices, and certain virtues are necessary to achieve those goods. Building on MacIntyre, Moore develops the idea that business is a practice, and thus has certain goods internal to it, the attainment of which requires the cultivation of business virtues. Scholars have also been inspired by the Aristotelian idea that the good life is achieved in a community. They have considered how business communities must be structured to help their members flourish Hartman ; Solomon Another important approach to the study of business ethics comes from Kantian moral theory D.

In a competitive market, people may be tempted to deceive, cheat, or manipulate others to gain an edge. Ethical theory, including virtue theory and Kantian deontology, is useful for thinking about how individuals should relate to each other in the context of business cf. Rorty But business ethics also comprehends the laws and regulations that structure markets and organizations. And here political theory seems more relevant see and cf.

This is not an easy task, since while Rawls makes some suggestive remarks about markets and organizations, he does not articulate specific conclusions or develop detailed arguments for them.

But scholars have argued that justice as fairness: 1 is incompatible with significant inequalities of power and authority within businesses S. Arnold ; 2 requires people to have an opportunity to perform meaningful work Moriarty ; cf. Hasan ; and requires alternative forms of 3 corporate governance Norman ; cf. Singer and 4 corporate ownership M. A version of this view can be found in McMahon , but it has been developed in most detail and is now most closely associated with Heath According to Heath, the reason we have a market-based economy, as opposed to a command economy, is because markets are more efficient.

But markets fail, due to imperfect information, externalities, transaction costs, and more.

The state corrects for many market failures through regulation. We set limits on pollution and require truth in advertising, among other things. But we would not want, and we cannot write, regulations to address every market failure. This is where business ethics comes in, according to the MFA. Businesspeople have a moral obligation not to exploit the market failures that the law allows them to exploit.

Put another way, the moral obligations of businesspeople are identified by the ideal regulatory regime—the one we would have if regulations were costless and written and administered by a godlike figure.

Selecting a normative framework and applying it to a range of issues is an important way of doing business ethics. But it is not the only way. Indeed, the more common approach is to identify a business activity and then analyze it using intuitions and principles common to many moral and political theories. Firms and consumers The main way that firms interact with consumers is by selling, or attempting to sell, products and services to them.

Many ethical issues attend this interaction. Among the things commonly said to be inappropriate for sale are sexual services, surrogacy services, and human organs.

Some writers object to markets in these items for consequentialist reasons. They argue that markets in commodities like sex and kidneys will lead to the exploitation of vulnerable people Satz Others object to the attitudes or values expressed in such markets. They claim that markets in surrogacy services express the attitude that women are mere vessels for the incubation of children Anderson ; markets in kidneys suggest that human life can be bought and sold Sandel ; and so on.

Whether selling a particular thing for money expresses disrespect, they note, is culturally contingent.

They and others also argue that the bad effects of markets in contested commodities can be eliminated or at least ameliorated through appropriate regulation, and that anyway, the good effects of such markets e.

When is a product too unsafe to be sold? This question is often answered by government agencies. In the U. In some cases these standards are mandatory e. The state identifies minimum standards and individual businesses can choose to adopt higher ones.

Questions about product safety are a matter of significant debate among economists, legal scholars, and public policy experts. Legal scholars have also devoted considerable attention to tort law, the area of law that deals with cases of non-contractual, non-criminal harm. But business ethicists have paid scant attention to these questions.

Existing treatments often combine discussions of safety with discussions of liability—the question of who should pay for harms that products cause—and tend to be found in business ethics textbooks. There is much room for exploration of these issues. Drop side cribs pose risks to consumers; so do chainsaws.

On what basis should the former be prohibited but the latter not be Hasnas ? On the question of liability, an important issue is whether it is fair to hold manufacturers responsible for harms that their products cause, when the manufacturers are not morally at fault for those harms Piker Advertisements tell us something about a product, and try to persuade us to download it.

Both of these components can be subject to ethical evaluation. Emphasizing its informational component, some writers stress the positive value of advertising. Markets function efficiently only when certain conditions are met.

One of these conditions is perfect information: minimally, consumers have to understand the features of the products for sale. While this condition will never be fully met in reality, advertising can help to ensure that it is met to a greater degree Heath Another value that can be promoted through advertising is autonomy. People have certain needs and desires—e. Their choices are more likely to satisfy their needs and desires if they have information about what is for sale, which advertising can provide Goldman These good effects depend, of course, on advertisements producing true beliefs, or at least not producing false beliefs, in consumers.

The issue here is not whether deceptive advertising is wrong—most believe it is cf. Child —but what counts as deceptive advertising, and what makes it wrong. Its advertisements were deceptive, and therefore wrong, because they appeared to make a true claim, but in fact made a false claim. But many advertisements that do not seem deceptive make false or unverifiable claims.

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It is common to say of these types of claims that they are not warranted as true, and so cannot deceive Carson Yet these claims may in fact deceive some people. Advertisements are deemed deceptive when a reasonable person, not any person at all, is deceived.

This makes deception in advertising a matter of results in consumers, not intentions in advertisers. Many reasons have been offered for why deceptive advertising is wrong. One is the Kantian claim that deceiving others is disrespectful to them, a use of them as a mere means.

Deceptive advertising may also lead to harm, to consumers who download suboptimal products, given their desires and competitors who lose out on sales.

A final criticism of deceptive advertising is that it erodes trust in society Attas When people do not trust each other, they will either not engage in economic transactions, or engage in them only with costly legal protections. The persuasive component of advertising is also a fruitful subject of ethical inquiry. Galbraith , an early critic, thinks that advertising, in general, does not inform people how to acquire what they want, but instead gives them new wants.

Moreover, since we are inundated with advertising for consumer goods, we want too many of those goods and not enough public goods.

Hayek rejects this claim, arguing that few if any of our desires are independent of our environment, and that anyway, desires produced in us through advertising are no less significant than desires produced in us in other ways.

Galbraith is concerned about the persuasive effects of advertisements. In contrast, recent writers focus on persuasive techniques that advertisers use. Some of these are alleged to cross the line into manipulation. It is difficult to define manipulation precisely, though many attempts have been made see, e.

For our purposes, manipulative advertising can be understood as advertising that attempts to persuade consumers, often but not necessarily using non-rational means, to make irrational or suboptimal choices, given their own needs and desires see and cf. Associative advertising is often held up as an example of manipulative advertising.

In associative advertising, the advertiser tries to associate a product with a positive belief, feeling, attitude, or activity which usually has little to do with the product itself. Thus many television commercials for trucks in the U. Commercials for body fragrances associate those products with sex between beautiful people.

The suggestion is that if you are a certain sort of person e. Crisp argues that this sort of advertising attempts to create desires in people by circumventing their faculty of conscious choice, and in so doing subverts their autonomy cf.

Arrington ; Phillips Because somebody has a great insight, a great solution to a great marketing need, we are going to go full steam ahead to test market or even national markets.

It is not hard to see why moral and political philosophers might be interested in business. The outputs of the product and communication developments should be combined with the marketing strategy to form a complete marketing plan.

Whether selling a particular thing for money expresses disrespect, they note, is culturally contingent.

What Can You Learn?

Nike, for example, does not directly employ workers to make shoes. Galbraith , an early critic, thinks that advertising, in general, does not inform people how to acquire what they want, but instead gives them new wants. Boatright, J.

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