Ethical Marketing Strategies: How to be Effective While Retaining Trust

Effective marketing can do wonders for your business by getting the word out about your company while simultaneously exalting the benefits of your product or service. However, marketing and advertising, while incredibly effective, can lead you down a slippery ethical slope. As a business owner, you obviously want to put your best foot forward when it comes to marketing your product or service, but at the same time, it is incredibly important to retain the trust of your consumers.


Utilize Analytics

One of the easiest ways to implement an effective yet ethically sound marketing strategy is to utilize the data you have available to you. Data analytics not only drives sales for a business, but gives them invaluable insights into exactly who their customers really are. When you understand what your customers value and what they are looking for in a product, you’re able to develop a marketing strategy that plays to your strengths in those areas — and analytics can help you achieve that.


Tools like Google Analytics can help you measure the success of your marketing campaigns in real time, letting you see what is and isn’t working in your favor. Analytics can also help you to determine when the success of any particular marketing campaign begins to wane, allowing you to reallocate resources in an intelligent manner. By using analytical tools to monitor the success of your campaigns, you will effectively have your finger on the pulse of your customer base and will be able to react quickly if any particular campaign seems to be turning them off of your product or reducing their overall trust in your brand.


Big data like this can benefit your business on multiple levels, from showing you where you should be putting your resources to how and why customers purchase your product. The marketing insights provided from analysis of these large pools of data is invaluable to any business, and when you know what your customers want then you can tailor marketing campaigns around their desires. This ultimately builds trust in your brand among your customers, as they will feel far more of a connection with your business than if you were to take a shotgun approach to marketing strategy.


Developing A Successful Business Growth Strategy

Whether your business is big or small, a business growth strategy allows you to plan ahead, potentially putting you ahead of your competition.


A good business growth strategy includes a few key elements, like:


  • Paying attention to the feedback you receive from as many sources as possible and using it constructively.
  • Conducting market research to gain a better understanding of who your customer is and who potential customers might be.
  • The ability to be flexible with your plans, and the willingness to change things up and try new methods if things aren’t currently working.


Marketing is an essential part of any effective business growth strategy, and ensuring that your business’s marketing is ethically sound from the beginning can help to build and maintain trust among consumers. Growth can be unpredictable, but strategies that promise rapid growth are often ethically dubious, so taking it slow and steady is often the best course of action.


Digital marketing is now an undeniably huge part of any business’s growth strategy, and to ignore digital marketing is to ignore some of the most effective tools you have at your disposal.


Mobile-first marketing, investing in video, and a consistent social media presence can all result in reliable growth for your company. However, when taking advantage of social media and the influencers who make their money marketing products on various platforms, it is important to maintain a high level of transparency as many influencers are beginning to be regarded as hucksters and shills.


When developing your business growth strategy — and keeping ethical marketing in mind as you do —  you have the opportunity to prepare your business for the future. Giving thoughtful examination of particular marketing issues as they relate to moral judgment creates a marketing strategy that will stand the test of time. When your marketing strategy is ethically sound, you will naturally avoid your marketing efforts becoming problematic down the road, as you have made sound judgement while developing it.


Avoiding Unethical Strategy

When deciding how to spend your marketing budget — whether you’re following the pivot to video, implementing CRM software, or engaging in SEO — there are unethical pitfalls to be aware of across the board. For example, paid Facebook advertisements can come off as intrusive to potential customers, despite the fact that Facebook Ads and Google’s AdWords are practically the standard, base level when it comes to marketing. Meanwhile, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat are all viable marketing options, but if you don’t maintain a good social media presence on them and only use these platforms for advertising purposes, your business can seem cold and impersonal.


Though keeping your marketing ethical is generally going to be good for your business, it can also keep you out of legal trouble — after all, consumer protections are put into place in order to prevent consumers from being financially or physically harmed by any given business. While the most stringent consumer protections tend to revolve around food and medicine to dissuade from false marketing strategies, it is always a good idea to ensure that your business isn’t violating any consumer protection laws regardless of what sector you do business in.


Unfortunately, marketing will always toe the line ethically, in a sense, because advertising and marketing are inherently slightly manipulative while being informative. While yes, the goal of marketing is to convince consumers that your product is worth their money more than the competitors, if you avoid engaging in misleading advertising, black-hat link building/SEO, and emotional exploitation, you can remain fairly ethical. There will always be competitors that have no issue engaging in unethical marketing practices, but the gains are almost always short-lived while ethical marketing stays effective for the long term.


Keeping your market strategy effective while also maintaining your customers' trust doesn’t have to be difficult. If you understand your customer and what they look for in a business, ensure that your marketing growth strategy is ethically sound from the beginning, and avoid falling into any unethical marketing practices, you’ll see long-term benefits from your efforts. At the end of the day, ethical marketing just makes more sense and is overall better for business.