Nice guys finish last they say. Does this mean that you have to use some unethical or shady marketing to succeed? Not even close. Not only can you succeed by doing things the right way, your business may even depend on it.
Ethical consumerism has been around for a while but the last few years has many people using their wallet to effect social change and expect businesses to be ethical, too. They will gladly take their dollars somewhere else if they feel that your company is somehow unethical. And that includes your marketing.
Whether it is through your social media or by other marketing platforms, you should be promoting how your company is different because it is ethical.
In this article, we will go over some ways that ethical marketing can help your business and why you need to do the right thing.
What is ethical marketing?
When a business employs ethical marketing, they are demonstrating that they are socially responsible or at least strive to be. They use principles that make sure that their efforts to grow their business through marketing does not conflict with doing the right thing by the general public. According to Maryville University, social media is being used to great effect to change the general discourse.
An example would be using fair trade products that help small producers from third world countries. An ethical marketer understands the need to use this as a way to separate their company from the competition and doesn’t exaggerate their relationship with these farmers.
Another example is making it known that the company is using recycled materials or only uses renewable energy to power their offices. The ethical marketer wants people to know that their company is doing the right thing without lying about how the company actually operates.
What is unethical marketing?
There are companies that use the current trend to be eco friendly without actually being eco friendly. This is called greenwashing and is a perfect example of unethical marketing.
For instance, many bottled water producers claim that they are using compostable plastic in an effort to be more environmentally friendly. What they don’t tell you is that it can take decades for that plastic to actually biodegrade which is not eco friendly at all.
Then there are more blatant lies in which a company over promises through their marketing and completely under delivers.
How to develop an ethical marketing plan
The first step is to do a complete corporate analysis to see if your actual business practices are, indeed, ethical.
You may find some areas that are perfect to use as a marketing angle as long as they are actually practiced in your company. You may also find some areas within your processes that need improvement.
The next step is to create a brand centered around the areas of the business in which your ethical stance can be communicated. Make a checklist that clearly outlines all the areas of the business that exhibit the traits you want to be known for.