Ethics is a complicated issue which varies from person to person based on culture, country, race and other factors. A certain standard is not possible to set up, especially when the marketing and profit are concerned. Even though there should be an understanding of a general standard on what to do and what not to do, while dealing with consumer goods and services. A marketer’s personal ethics sometimes influences the overall ethical policy of the company and vice versa. Let’s take a look at some issues related to Ethical marketing.
1. Be honest:
You mean business and profit. No doubt! But that does not necessarily mean that you cannot be honest in ethical issues. You know the sustainability cannot go hand in hand with unethical business practice. Unethical marketing can backfire!
2. Be good to the customer:
Why not considering the idea that the ethics can be a goodwill.Therefore,an asset. The customers will speak for the company who is fair and nice to them.
3. Customer’s privacy is a priority:
This is true, especially for services. Be empathetic to customers and keep their secret inside yourself like you keep your one. Never expose customer’s secret!
4. Open discussion:
Talk about ethics,discuss on it,make logic,raise debate on it,cite examples.But never let it down. There are companies like Body shop which is maintaining significant profit and recognition by practicing ethical marketing.
5. Regulations and standards:
Obey the rules and regulation of the government and business community regarding ethical marketing. These are for the betterment of your consumers. And consumers matter!
6. Never make a mountain out of a molehill:
Present your products as they are. Don’t exaggerate by imposing excessive features which your products or services don’t bear. Profit is a priority but not at the cost of truth. Consumers don’t want to be deceived for a long time.
7. Unethical claim:
Don’t claim something which is not an established truth or yet to be verified. Don’t let your customer think that you are all show off, especially when you are dealing with a product which is related to taste and choice that can vary from person to person.
8. Be ethical in terms of gender:
The female body is something that the marketers all over the world use as a tool to introduce their products. It denounces the identity of women and makes them as a product which could be sold.This stereotyping has to be avoided while marketing your products and services.
9. ‘No’ to racism:
The marketers who sell brightening cream sometimes cross their limit. They market their products in such a cruel and insensible way that, it let down the women with dark skin.In this era of civilization, these types of insensibility cannot be accepted.
10. Keep children out of promotional activities:
Don’t ruin the tender mind so early by polluting them with the complex world of profit. It would lead to an unhealthy generation. A sensible awareness has to be build up to stop Child-Advertising.
11. Revising marketing strategy:
Develop marketing strategy for your company. Talk on that,arrange workshops, discussion meetings,revise the total marketing plan according to the proper ethical guideline.Convey the ethical message down to the management structure. Listen to the employee. Motivate them to the ethical marketing strategy.
12. Highlight the ethical strategy of the company:
Your ethical strategy is something that should be promoted. Make it a part of your promotional strategy.This would add a significant dimension to your overall promotion. Propose ethical marketing as a competitive advantage of your company over others. Consumers would be influenced by the promotion of your marketing that put extra emphasis on ethics.
13. Appoint ethical management:
There is certain ethical management setup now a day. Create post like ‘Ethicist’, ‘Ethical marketer’ to deal with ethical strategy.
An Example to think of:
This example is not to undermine a site.It is just to project on the notion that, ethics can be seen from different perspectives. A Sense of ethics varies from person to person. This site contains many reviews on hunting-gears apparently for marketing purposes. But surprisingly, they put some articles on birding also. Does it conflict? Can hunting and birding go hand in hand? I would not go for further analysis. It is just for a brainstorming.