86% of consumers care about data privacy and 47% already have switched companies or providers over their data policies or data sharing practices. Source: Cisco Consumer Privacy Study – 2021
As ethical marketing becomes more important in this digital age, many businesses are struggling to find what it is and how it can benefit their business. The internet has provided consumers with an abundance of information about companies they may want to do business with, meaning ethical marketing is the only way for your company to stand out. In order to be successful at ethical marketing, you will need to apply these three strategies:
- Be transparent
- Respect customer data protection rights
- Do not deceive customers
What is Ethical Digital Marketing?
As ethical digital marketing becomes more important in our society, many businesses are struggling to find out what ethical digital advertising looks like.
By definition, “marketing” is about identifying as closely as possible the wants and needs of its customers to provide the right product or service, at the right time. “Ethical marketing”, on the other hand, refers to a strategy that consists in making the consumer know you are here without pushing for consumption if he doesn’t need it. This concept should not be confused with the companies that adopt ethical practices such as a commitment to environmentally sustainable development, social responsibility, or the well-being of employees.
Many companies calling themselves ethical are mainly just advertising their green side. They think being ethical is showing how their products or values are socially responsible or can help environmental causes. But they are not conscious that to market those values they break more important values like data protection while they are sharing their user’s list to Google, Facebook, etc. to be sure to reach the right audience.
But what I believe is ethical marketing, it’s companies who make sure that their advertising is honest and trustworthy. In addition, they try to not deceive customers and build strong relationships with them through shared values. It is vital that marketing serves to create value for the structure (increase in sales, visibility, etc.) A business is here to make money and customers are aware of that, but showing why it’s a win-win situation for them too, is essential. Companies that prioritize ethical marketing consider their actions from both a commercial and a moral standpoint.
What is not ethical in Digital Marketing?
Doing greenwash for the sake of improving your brand image by donating to a worthy cause with no other purpose than to boost your reputation. Even if the barrier can be quickly overcome, this is a drift that must be avoided at all costs. Greenwashing might bring you exactly what you don’t want. This is why you must state plainly and explicitly what you want.
Not being transparent in all circumstances. A customer’s trust in a business is extremely fragile. To avoid rumors and bad publicity that spread like wildfire on the internet, be transparent. Demonstrate to your consumers that you have nothing to hide.
Not keeping your promises. Many customers buy based on a brand’s standpoints, yet they are also likely to boycott those that don’t make their commitments.
Other unethical digital marketing tactics might include – incentivizing reviews with free products or services, paying for fake product reviews, using bots for social media likes/follows/retweets/likes, etc., engaging in deceptive advertising practices like bait-and-switch tactics or clickbait ads, etc.
Why doing Ethical Marketing Now?
In today’s world ethical digital advertising has become a necessity. Nowadays companies are not only trying to sell their products, they also want to make sure that ethical digital marketing is part of it and this for a good reason. The world we live in has changed drastically over the past few decades with social media playing a big role in sharing information worldwide about what’s going on around us. Consumers have become more aware and conscious about various topics which affect them directly or indirectly, such as fair trade practices used by businesses all around the world.
In addition, ethical marketing has become a standard in the industry as government regulation requires that tech firms do not sell users’ information without their consent. Ethical digital marketers are now aware that they must follow these laws and the publicity around that makes also users more conscious about the data protection issues.
It can help you build a more positive image for your business, as well as improve communication on both the external and internal levels. Indeed, the fact that your workers are networked around a cause and contribute to it boosts their involvement and adds value to the firm.
The ethical Marketing is the future
The more you do ethical marketing the more the consumers will want ethical marketing.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is also becoming more stringent on data protection and privacy standards in the European Union, requiring advertising platforms to follow more rules.
Over the next decade, advertising will need to be redesigned. It will no longer be a funnel that exploits customers, but instead, it will sync with their values, peers, needs, and feelings in the present moment.
In a more private, secure, and ethical world, the consumer is in charge and online ad experiences are totally customer-centric. This implies we won’t have to use ad blockers in order to get away from the obnoxious advertising that follows us everywhere on our mobile devices.
In the future of advertising, there will be no invasive advertising, no spam, or anything that will influence us to make a decision we haven’t really thought through.
The future of marketing is ethical. If you’re not doing it yet, get on board- the sooner the better! It will be a difficult transition for some companies to make this change, but I assure you it will be worth it in the long run.