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Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett

Succeed with Ethical Marketing Practices

Marketing often gets a bad rap because some companies misrepresent themselves and their products or services. Ethical marketing has a foundation in ethical business practices and in informative - and truthful - marketing communications.

Ethical Business Practices

  • Base business decisions on ethically conducted and accurately reported market studies. When researchers misrepresent the purpose of their market studies, they discourage some to participate and encourage others to provide faulty information. This could lead companies to decide to promote a product or service with little promise.
  • Provide excellent products and services. They are easier to promote, sell, and service.
  • Compete ethically. Making false claims about competitors or their products will backfire.

Ethical, Informative, and Truthful Communications

  • Provide accurate information about your company, products, services, prices, customers, and competitors. Misleading marketing information can lead to “mismatches” between vendors and customers. This mismatch can create expensive customer service issues, observes Marcia Yudkin, Marketing Minute, April 11, 2018.
  • Provide authentic testimonials by real people. Few believe ads in which actors in white coats make unsubstantiated claims about medicines or beauty aids.
  • When referring to marketing studies in promotions, make sure the studies are unbiased (see above). A recent study concluded that alcohol does not have harmful health effects. Later reports revealed that the liquor industry had sponsored the study, which discredited the study's conclusions.
  • Do not use robot calls to reach prospects. Such calls are illegal without permission. Robot calls are annoying and ultimately ineffective.
  • Publish critical reviews as well as good reviews on your website. Respond to unfair criticism, and describe what you are doing to handle any real problems.

Ethical marketing is important to the success of your business. Ground marketing initiatives in ethical business practices, and then use fact-based, well-designed marketing communications to promote your company and your products and services.

Winett Associates helps companies
understand their customers and markets.

Copyright © 5/17 Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.


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