Ethics of Marketing and Users’ New Preferences

Posted on
April 12, 2021

Ethical marketing stands out as the answer to the demands of today's consumers. It is a trend and more and more consumers take it into account when buying. 

According to recent studies, more consumers consider the values ​​and ethics of a brand in their purchase choice and 92% of millennials prefer to buy products from ethical companies. And many consumers would boycott a company if it operates under irresponsible or unethical practices. Why? Connectivity made us more demanding and expectations are higher. Consumers inform themselves about the products they consume and question the behavior of brands.

In this new digital ecosystem, consumers demand social responsibility from brands. So, brands need to be authentic, transparent and have values, as well as the ability to communicate them properly.

What is ethical marketing?

Ethical Marketing is not a marketing strategy, but a philosophy that must reach all levels of your company. It consists of making morally correct marketing decisions considering not only the ROI (Return on investment) but also the moral perspective: whether or not a decision is correct from an ethical point of view. This behavior is in line with the new demands of consumers.

Pick the right way to sell!

What are the benefits of ethics in marketing?

Now, applying ethics in marketing brings benefits to your business such as:

1. Build relationships of trust. Maintaining ethical behavior within the company gives you credibility, which facilitates the connection between consumers and brands.

2. Attract good customers, suppliers and employees. By conveying an image of professionalism and communicating integrity, you’ll attract people who are looking for a brand that shares their values.

3. Protect yourself against negative publicity. No business is exempt from receiving negative comments. But when it happens, the ethical reputation of your brand will protect you.

4. Add value to your product. Working ethically allows your clients to see that your practices are correct. This will undoubtedly favor your business, improve your brand image and, consequently, improve sales.

5. Produce personal satisfaction. By acting under solid ethical principles, you’ll feel satisfaction that will encourage you to continue working correctly.

How to determine what is correct from an ethical point of view?

We are already clear that ethical marketing will bring a lot of advantages to your business strategy. But, what is "right"? what is "wrong"? Ethics is a philosophical and abstract concept. How can we guide ourselves? We are going to define the practices to avoid. 

Unethical marketing practices

  • Price discrimination. It is a strategy that consists of charging different prices for the same product based on certain customer attributes. By the way,  69% of customers said that exaggerating or distorting the truth when selling is also unethical (Forbes).
  • Bait and switch. Attract customers with a very low price and then persuade them to buy a similar product at a much higher price by arguing, for example, end of stock.
  • False sales. 
  • Test on animals.
  • Planned obsolescence.
  • Excessive pressure to close the sale. In fact, 43% of customers think that high pressure for selling is unethical (Forbes).
  • Sale of samples. 
  • Sale of prohibited products. 
  • Misleading advertising. 56% of customers say that altering images for selling is unethical (Socialchamp). 
  • Exaggeration. It consists of launching false advertising messages about the quality of a product or its popularity. 
  • Subjective advertising messages about the company's products. Phrases like "The best chocolate in the world". It is subjective and nobody can confirm that information.
  • Unverified advertising messages. Products that promise results with no scientific support as evidence. For example, those slimming creams that promise miracles in a few days without specifying how or why.
  • Unclear use of cookies and SPAM.

These kinds of practices may pay off in the short term, but you are seriously jeopardizing the reputation of your business in the long-term.

How to apply ethics in marketing?

How can your brand show its marketing ethics? Here you have some ideas to implement marketing ethics in your brand to satisfy current customer demands.

1. Design original products perfectly working. Designing products perfectly assembled or programmed, avoiding, for example, programmed obsolescence.

2. Understand the needs of your client. More than closing a sale, try to sell your client a product that really solves their problems.

3. Avoid misleading advertising and stereotypes. Exaggerating the benefits of your product creates unrealistic expectations about your items, something that consumers will notice once the purchase is complete. 

4. Don't use bad digital marketing practices. Google penalizes online marketing practices such as Black Hat SEO, damaging your search engine ranking. Avoid sending SPAM, clarify the use of cookies on your website and treat your users' data correctly.

“The evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings” Albert Schweitzer

As you can see, applying ethics in marketing and building a code of principles will inspire your clients to do business with you… And the reputation of your brand reflects its true values.

At PUNCHY we really care about ethics and we can help your brand increase its reputation to get more clients easily. Give us a shout!

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