One of the most effective ways to improve your marketing strategy is to consistently abide by certain ethical principles. Some marketing strategies may be able to draw in customers by using shady practices (such as spamming, which no one appreciates) – but the cost here is serious.
By using shady marketing tactics, you damage the long-term reputation of the company. Brand image is not something to be taken lightly, as it drives loyal customers.
If you focus on ethical marketing instead, you will be able to maximise customer satisfaction and maintain consumer trust and brand credibility.
Ethical marketing should always aim to be honest and fair. Unethical practices will not guarantee you more sales or necessarily cut costs in the long-term. What it does do, though, is put your company’s viability at risk.
Ethical marketing, on the other hand, is always the wisest route to success.
Here are 10 principles of ethical marketing (five dos and don’ts) that will help you devise an ethical and fruitful marketing strategy.
The Five Dos Of Ethical Marketing
Whenever you are marketing a product or service to customers, ensure that you are fully transparent about it, including key information about its safety and effective use.
Protect Consumer Data And Privacy
Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about entrusting their personal data with companies. For this reason, it’s important to emphasise the company’s commitment to consumer privacy.
Commit To Sustainability And Human Rights
Ethical consumerism is becoming a bigger priority for many customers. People want to feel assured that what they are purchasing is sustainable and ethically produced. Be honest about your ingredients, product components, and your supply chain.
Respond Meaningfully To Consumer Concerns
If customers have safety concerns about a product or service, then this should be seen as a company’s top priority. Always seek to protect consumer rights and immediately investigate any complaint.
Maximise Benefits And Minimise Risks
Every ethical marketing strategy should try to benefit as many people as possible while creating as little harm or cost as possible. Making an overall and lasting positive impact should always be the aim.
The Five Don’ts Of Ethical Marketing
When you exaggerate the benefits of a product or service, you are making a false claim. You are promising a customer a level of quality that cannot be delivered.
Don’t Make False Comparisons
This is an unscrupulous tactic that involves making false, inaccurate, or misleading statements about a competitor’s products.
Don’t Make Unverified Claims
This involves promising to deliver results (e.g. improved skin) without providing any scientific evidence to back this up.
This involves the promotion of stereotypes (e.g. portraying women as sex objects) in order to sell a product. The harm here is that this sort of marketing helps to maintain a sexist culture.
Don’t Exploit Emotions
Getting an emotional reaction from consumers is one of the most effective ways to generate interest. However, if you evoke negative emotions such as rage, fear, sadness in a tasteless way, this could be seen as exploitative. Customers want their emotions to be sympathised with, not manipulated.
Examine your current marketing strategy and see how it could be altered in line with these 10 ethical principles. If you change the planning, implementation, and monitoring of your strategy with ethics in mind, you will be able to drive success while maintaining a solid reputation.