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Ethical marketing: The basics of catering to an inclusive market

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June 26, 2024

Employing an ethical marketing strategy is the way to go for companies if they want to reach the widest range possible. Upholding good values shows the right way to market the business amidst the latest trends. By employing some of the best principles and practices possible, the business is more inclusive for people worldwide. Let’s dive deeper into this phenomenon and see why being ethical is the way to go.

What is ethical marketing?

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Ethical marketing is an approach to promoting something while considering the consumers' welfare. By upholding values generally accepted as the right side of history, you comply with laws and build a good rapport with people. While you are not making a moral judgment of people, you are catering to a market where everyone is accepted rather than focusing on one side of the coin.

Promotion can be done with tasteful language rather than attacking other people or building discord between groups of people. Through ethical marketing, long-term relationships with the consumer can be created and further fostered. This shows that a brand is ready to provide the best product possible since it has mutual respect and understanding with its audience.

It can be a thin line to walk, but as long as strategy is involved, it can be done well. Ethical marketers are still successful with their bottom line since they have the technique to execute the plan and make it appealing to people without offending them. It is a masterful way to market a brand or a product that provides great results when it works.

Principles of ethical marketing

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Every business should do well when integrity is considered. In terms of marketing, this helps build trust with the consumer, so they’ll choose you as the company to work with. It makes your platform appealing to the consumer since you are not going against the values that are deemed acceptable. 

Preserve your brand reputation through this kind of marketing to help your company reach its fullest potential. Now, let’s dive into the principles you must showcase whenever you think about the ethical marketing practices you want to do for your brand.

  1. Transparency and honesty
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A company that exhibits a truthful image to the public can convince people to keep buying its products or services. It can be shown through the marketing material, as people look at the advertisements and see a platform they can trust from the get-go. Sometimes, companies struggle with authentic promotion, but being honest from the start is a good way to build rapport with the consumer.

Aside from the ads, you can also build your company well by giving accurate information about your offerings. If you run an online casino, you must have all the information available to the players so they know your platform is not deceptive. Show all the prices, percentages, and odds, so they see every detail that can make them feel at ease.

Here are some ways to practice transparent and honest marketing:

  • Have open communication channels with the consumer: Have ways to get in touch with consumers, like contact forms or even a live chatbot, which you can program to direct them to a frequently asked questions page or a direct line to your support team.
  • Learn from social media: You should also try interacting with people on social media to engage with your followers and have a productive two-way conversation. This could benefit your company’s growth as you’ll know about the consumers’ opinions on your products and services.
  • Proper descriptions for products and services: Any time you sell something, you must have proper descriptions that are not misleading. Make it appealing, but be honest with how you convey the info to avoid misunderstandings with your consumers.
  • Ensure your marketing material is authentic: Use real photos and videos for your products and services. You can be artistic and creative, but do not deceive people with what you want to promote.
  1. Respect for customer privacy
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Since you are operating in the online market, convincing people who are sceptical about online businesses can be challenging. That is why you must promote your business well by following the marketing ethics and proving you are not there to do unethical data collection. 

When obtaining people’s consent to gather personal data, you should also give them the option to kindly refuse. Ethical marketers must not disclose consumer information without their consent, and when consent is given, that information is only for product recommendations.

Here are some best practices when it comes to dealing with customers’ privacy:

  • You must develop a clear privacy policy: You must have a comprehensive privacy policy that covers all the bases. Protect the users and your platform as a general practice so you won’t deal with ethical issues that may arise.
  • Ensure data is protected: Data protection is crucial when running an online platform. Customer data should be secured by several protective layers, including two-factor authentication, secure socket layer (SSL) encryption, strong passwords, and more. 
  • Contingency plans for data protection: You never know when hackers will compromise your platform, so it is best to have a plan. Dealing with this can be challenging, especially if you are not prepared, so be responsible with your customers’ data by having plans.
  • Help your customers set their security settings: Give some privacy tools that could assist the site visitors with an option to opt out of data collection or different privacy settings.
  1. Responsible advertising
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The crux of ethical marketing is being responsible for advertising your platform to the public. You must consider the values you uphold and the impact you can have on people searching on Google. The advertising industry has leaned towards sensationalist ads, which should not be the case when you do it. Be honest with your advertising, but make it appealing to the public.

Do not make claims in your ads that you cannot back up. Promote ads that make promises you can deliver on. Doing the opposite might make it seem you’re exploiting the people you are catering to. Ensure you are doing a safe and fine job promoting your platform without going the low route. 

Here are the best ways you can do ethical advertising: 

  • Be sensitive to the cultures you cater to: When it comes to advertising, you must be aware of the people you are catering to. Respect the diverse backgrounds of people and market your products and services the best way you can without being insensitive.
  • Confirm the accuracy of your promos: Before you release your ads, do a deep dive into what you are sending out to the public. Look into every reliable source of information needed to release the ad without any sense of inaccuracy. 
  • Use the feedback to your advantage: You can offer surveys or questionnaires about the ads you are releasing. While some people might ignore it, you should incentivise them to answer so they can have honest feedback. Given the comments you receive, you should adjust your ads based on their responses, as you are getting a general feel of what you look like to the people.
  • You can partner with good causes with your ads: To double down on your ethical advertising, you should be looking into positive social causes that fit your messaging. It is best to include some donation links and even promote partnerships where a cut of your earnings is donated.
  • Take accountability when problems arise: While you might not want problems with your ads, there is a chance that they might backfire on you. The key to improving is to learn from your mistakes, even if they were minor missteps. Take accountability, move on, and create better messaging for your brand.
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  1. Fair competition
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Promoting your platform can be challenging since you are in the same space as everyone else. Any business comes with a rival competitor in the same environment, so you must stand out against them while still complying with the values you set for your platform. This is a big obstacle in your way, but you can do it well while staying honest and not engaging in low-blow moves. 

Some people might be too engrossed in the competitive side of business, but there is a way to stay within the ethics in marketing while not undercutting your opponents in the same field. You are competing with the same people in the marketing space, but it is best to keep it clean and not make some dirty moves just to get a leg up over the competition. 

Learn the best ways you can stand out by following these valuable tips: 

  • Do not belittle your competition: Stay competitive with your marketing, but do not use some underhanded tactics. It is best to go against some of your competitors at their best level and not undermine them just because you want to beat them. 
  • Monitor your competitors: Research your competitors and adjust your strategy to up your game. However, do not do too much, as you might make a mistake. 
  • Highlight points you have that they don’t taste: Highlight your strengths to stand out against your competition within the same niche. Do not put a spotlight on their weaknesses, as that will only make your brand look bad.
  • Respect intellectual property: It’s best to do something original for your brand instead of taking inspiration from your competition. Be unique with your selling points and try to do better than what your competitors are doing by prioritising originality.
  • Make your prices fair: Don’t overstep your boundaries by going too hard on the prices you are setting. It might be better to offer lower prices as you can sell more than your competitors. 
  1. Sustainable marketing
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By doing ethical marketing campaigns, you are looking into how to promote your brand sustainably in the long run. You can do this by spotlighting specific issues your business could dive into, making the space friendlier to good-natured advocacies. 

When doing sustainable marketing actions, you are looking into having a sustainable brand. Since you are doing this in the online space, you have the reach to promote environmental advocacies and be familiar with social values that would affect your brand and nature positively. 

Here are some ways to do sustainable marketing:

  • Learn how to be adaptable: Implement the latest trends in sustainability when marketing your services or products to boost your brand’s popularity and impact on the audience. Use the knowledge you gain to improve your marketing and lengthen your brand’s shelf life. 
  • Promote nature advocacies: While promoting your platform, improve how you can affect the environment through that promotion. Not only can you do tactful ads that promote your brand alongside the advocacy, but you can also donate a share of the funds you’re earning to charities out there.
  • Make people care about the environment: Depending on what kind of product or service you are offering, you must ensure that it is not impacting nature in the worst ways. Do what other companies have done and run campaigns that bring attention and awareness to nature. Check out some campaign examples that can help you with this:
    • Patagonia’s Don’t Buy This Jacket campaign helped promote sustainability and social responsibility through its stores by urging people to consider the true cost of their purchases. 
    • The Body Shop’s Forever Against Animal Testing campaign was a game-changer for the cosmetic space. It stifled animal testing in the industry and raised awareness of the issue.

Work with QWERTYLABS to implement your ethical marketing strategies

You might find it challenging to partake in such campaigns as a business, but being ethical should not be an issue. You must be conscious of what you are putting out to the world with your marketing campaigns and overall brand. No matter what kind of company you are, you must do well to be a good member of society by upholding positive values. 

Thankfully, you are not alone in the ethical marketing journey, as QWERTYLABS is ready to assist you. You can create the best marketing plans possible as we execute your plans in the online space. Find ways to improve with us and reap the benefits of your brand's positive results for long-term success. Contact us today for the best results possible for your brand!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is ethical marketing important?

Ethical marketing is important for a brand as it shows that the people behind the company can be trusted since they uphold the best values. It also shows that while they want to make money, they are willing to fight the good fight by running stellar campaigns.

How do you ensure ethical marketing?

To ensure ethical marketing, it is best to have a general look at the brand and showcase the values in all types of messaging. Highlighting some of the brand’s selling points while not taking away from the competition is a good way to do this, as you have a good approach to marketing your brand without putting anyone else down.

How can businesses incorporate social responsibility into their marketing strategies?

You should support positive causes on your social media channels while engaging in fair trade. It starts from within the brand, so treat everyone the right way, whether inside or outside the organisation. 

What are some common unethical marketing practices to avoid?

Here are some of the practices you should avoid: 

  • Putting down the competition
  • False advertising 
  • Deceiving the consumer through messing with data 
  • Plagiarism
  • Sensationalist campaigns that exploit groups of people.
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