The Netflix documentary Social Dilemma has brought forward a discussion on how to market ethically.
How does your company practice ethical marketing to ensure you are marketing responsibly?
We posed this question to marketing professionals and business leaders. We then combed through the best responses and have shared their insights below.
Here are a few ethical marketing practices to ensure that your organization markets responsibly.
To ensure that we are marketing our schools in an authentic and organic way, we often survey our existing and potential families to understand our audience, what’s important to them, and what we do well. We also like to have contests on social media as a way of gathering user-generated content and parent testimonials. We feel that this way, we are not manufacturing false perceptions of our schools or our curriculum, we are simply letting our kids and their parents share their stories and spread the word.
Jeanne Kolpek, Cadence Education
As an SEO agency, my company does not rely on any outbound marketing efforts. This includes cold calls, email blasts, social media ads, etc – all we do is SEO! I believe that SEO is an ethical way to market your business because you are identifying needs that consumers have through keyword research and crafting high-quality content that provides them with true value. Whether it be an answer to a question or a list of service providers to help them with a problem, our content aims to help people!
Nikitha Lokareddy, Markitors
At The Print Authority, we pride ourselves on our green printing practices! Through our use of 100% recycled paper and eco-friendly inks, we can reduce waste and eliminate harmful chemicals that harm the earth all while providing our clients with high-quality printed marketing materials.
Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority
Sharing Your Own Work
Some interior designers have gotten into the routine of sharing other designer’s work on their social media platforms. It is always followed by a shout out to the designer and tagging their account in the corner of the picture. I have found that this may lead potential clients to false assumptions by having them think that you can do a certain style or design that they saw on your Instagram account that you don’t have the expertise to pull off. We only share our own work on our social media platforms, and while we always LOVE to be featured and reshared, we want our clients to know that anything we are marketing on our social media platforms is an Alisha Taylor Interiors original design.
Alisha Taylor, Alisha Taylor Interiors
At Wilco Source, we’ve strived to build strong and lasting relationships with our customers, and in doing so, we’ve been fortunate to realize an unexpected benefit: they’ve become referral partners. So, we don’t tend to take to many of the widely used digital methods for lead generation. We use social channels to highlight our clients, share valuable information, and make more impactful one-to-one relationships.
Chris Lekander, Wilco Source
Be Genuine and Authentic
I think we have to demonstrate our behaviors first. We must demonstrate with all stakeholders and the public that we are highly ethical and have a zero-tolerance for unethical actions and behaviors. Once we have demonstrated this through our words and actions, I believe it’s easier to align our marketing efforts. Marketing needs to be genuine and authentic so if you do have high ethics and demonstrate those, it will be easy to assess your marketing efforts and know what feels right and what feels disingenuous.
Katharine Halpin, The Halpin Companies, Inc.
We’re a private foundation and so we don’t do marketing like for-profit companies but we do participate in campaigns. We work to ensure that our campaigns are grounded in science. Most recently, in the #MaskUpAZ campaign, we had the creative developed and then we shared it freely together with social media prompts and graphics so that others could take it and run with it. They were also able to add their own logos – who got the credit wasn’t important. We need to keep people safe.
Tammy McLeod, Flinn Foundation
Market What You Can Deliver
I make sure to only market what I believe I can deliver. I also want the individuals that I market to know that I care about their needs. People deserve to be treated as people, with honor and respect, so make sure that your marketing reflects this.
Clifford Starks, Starks Enterprises
Treat Your Marketing Materials as Knowledge Sharing
Conscious Capitalism principles permeate each of our departments and the services they provide. With regard to our marketing team, they carefully produce the content that serves as our company’s voice—always leading with value and purpose. In fact, leading with value and purpose is one of our company’s overarching tenets and something we work hard to instill in every one of our WebPTers from the top-down.
With these ideals in tow, WebPT’s marketing team has created a multi-pronged approach built largely around an inbound content marketing strategy. They have generated a vast online library comprising blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, and webinars that deliver valuable education specific to the rehab therapy industry—all free of charge. Our marketing team—and our company in general—believes that knowledge shouldn’t be siloed; rather, it must be shared to empower our customers to achieve greatness in practice, thus buoying rehab therapy as a whole. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats.
Heidi Jannenga, WebPT
I am working as a solopreneur in the fields of nutrition and weight loss—the latter being among the most dishonest industries on the planet. So my content marketing strategy basically comes down to these two rules. First, I am making sure that I provide lots of actionable, useful, and valuable content to my visitors first, and only try to sell to them after I have earned my trust and authority in the eyes of my visitors. Second, I am making sure that absolutely any claim I make is based on actual scientific research. This includes providing references in each blog to ensure the reader knows where I have sourced this information from.
Rok Sprogar, LeanHigh