With all the fuss kicked up about SPAM and junk emails today, online marketing today has become a sensitive and important issue in establishing a client base for any business owner and marketing companies. Interestingly enough, while the days of mass mail-outs are still not over, there is really nothing different about the way both modes of mass market advertising operate. It is not the deluge of information that has the consumer worried – rather, it is the unethical and dishonest practices of the advertisers that turn the consumers away from the marketing.
Ironically, it is very easy to keep one’s marketing strictly ethical and honest. However, it is the onus of the business owner to make this happen, and there are small sacrifices along the way. Nonetheless, any business owner who is serious about establishing good client-side relationships will see the long term benefits that can be reaped from ethical and honest marketing practices.
The first thing that the business owner must do is to decide whether the marketing will be outsourced or not. If another agency or business is employed to do the marketing, then it is up to the owner to look beyond simply the costs and results of the marketing campaign. They need to look at the way the information is disseminated to their potential clients, and make sure that the people who are employed to do the marketing shares the same vision of ethical and honest marketing. It is easy to shift the blame to someone else just because the business isn’t conducting the campaign itself, but at the end of the day, it is the business (and not the marketing agency) that will suffer the consequences.
The second part is how to keep the marketing ethical and honest. Again this is very intuitive and almost commonsense, because all of us have been at some point a consumer. Therefore, we already know how we like to receive information, and what contents we would like in the information. Too often marketing campaigns focus on metrics which don’t really measure the attitudes and response of their potential customers, instead they only look at how many people the message has reached.
Ethical and honest marketing must focus on two key aspects of information dissemination. Firstly, you only target the people who are interested in the information. To do this, you must conduct a proper survey of your market, and look at the target demographics instead of flooding anyone and everyone with unnecessary information. Secondly, you have to be precise, clear and accurate with the information you are providing to the customers, with the view of building lasting relationship with the customer. Too many businesses have the attitude that if one person doesn’t buy it, someone else will. It is hypocritical for businesses to boast their excellent customer care, when in their advertising and marketing they act in the contrary.
In conclusion, Ghandi once said that happiness is when what you think is the same as what you say, and what you say is the same as what you do. The same principles can be applied to ethical and honest marketing.