Ethical Marketing: The answer to today’s consumer demands

Ethical Marketing– According to recent studies, more and more consumers take into account the values and ethics of a brand in their purchase choice.

For example, did you know that 92% of millennials prefer to buy products from ethical companies?

Moreover, even studies like this reveal that more than 90% of consumers would boycott a company.

If it were shown to operate under irresponsible or unethical practices.

The connectivity and the smartphone have made us more demanding.

We inform ourselves about the products we consume and we question the behavior of the brands.

In addition, the smartphone gives us the ability (that we never had before) to speak with the brands of you to you and to see our message amplified through Social Networks.

In this new digital ecosystem, consumers demand brands social responsibility. Brands need to be authentic.

Transparent and have values, as well as the ability to communicate them appropriately.

It is a matter of survival rather than a key to success and the answer to these new demands is ethical marketing.

What is ethical marketing?

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  • Ethical Marketing is not a marketing strategy, but a philosophy that must reach all levels of the company.
  • But what is it exactly?
  • There are many theoretical definitions of different authors.
  • Do you want a simple one?
  • It consists of making morally correct marketing decisions.

That is, it consists of taking each marketing decision taking into account not only the return. Or business profit but also the moral perspective: whether a decision is correct or not from the ethical point of view.

The effort made by a company to make its communications. And marketing more ethical will have a positive effect on all areas of the business.

Benefits of applying ethical marketing to your strategy

  • It gives prestige to the company and improves its reputation.
  • Add value to your product.
  • It favors the business and improves sales.
  • Bad practices are avoided.
  • Long-term relationships are established with stakeholders and customers.
  • It improves the quality of the personnel, the cohesion of the team and its commitment.
  • Improves competitiveness
  • Facilitates the connection between consumers and the brand.

How to determine what is right from the ethical point of view?

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  • All right!
  • We already know that ethical marketing will bring a lot of advantages to your business strategy.
  • But the line that separates what is “right” from what is “wrong” is difficult to define.
  • Ethics is a philosophical, abstract concept, and it is perceived in a subjective way. How can we be guided?
  • To begin, we are going to define the practices to avoid, the non-ethical practices.

What is considered non-ethical marketing?

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The unethical marketing is evolving and new forms are emerging, as it happens with any form of marketing.

  • And most, in addition to breaching ethics are illegal practices.
  • Below I detail some practices related to the decisions of the classic marketing mix. (Global Perspectives on Contemporary Marketing Education by Smith, Brent) And other more modern ones that are emerging on the internet, cited by other sources.

In pricing

  • Price discrimination: a strategy that involves charging different prices for the same product based on certain attributes of the customer.
  • Bait and switch: attract customers with a very low price.  Then persuade them to buy a similar product at a much higher price arguing, for example, end of the stock.
  • Predatory prices: for example, to avoid the entry of a competitor.
  • Predatory pricing.
  • Wars or price compacts.
  • False sales.

About the product

  • Copy the presentation or packaging.
  • Test on animals.
  • Programmed obsolescence.

About the distribution (Place)

  • Excessive pressure to close the sale.
  • Sale of samples.
  • Sale of prohibited products to a certain public (tobacco, alcohol).
  • Sell what leaves more margin without taking into account the needs of the client.

In advertising

  • Surrogacy/substitution: There is in some places a ban on advertising certain products. Such as tobacco or alcohol. Through surrogation advertising, consumers are reminded of the existence of these products indirectly.
  • Misleading advertising
  • Exaggeration: It consists of launching false advertising messages about the quality of a product or its popularity. A slogan like “get coverage anywhere on the planet” promotes a feature that can not be served.
  • Subjective advertising messages about the company’s products. Phrases like “The best chocolate in the world” can not be confirmed.
  • Unverified advertising messages: Products that promise results without any scientific support as evidence. Those slimming creams that promise miracles in a few days without specifying how or why.
  • Use of stereotypes
  • Lack of competitive ethics. Whenever a business makes false. Or misleading advertisements about competitors’ products or presenting their product as better subjectively.

In Internet

  • Black hat link building.
  • Contact people without prior consent.
  • Create controversy or exploit emotions in RRSS, taking advantage of an event of a great emotional impact.
  • Use of unclear Cookies.
  • SPAM
  • These are the practices to avoid.

Some of them may work in the short term, but you will be seriously endangering the reputation of your business. And it does not usually compensate …

Principles of Ethical Marketing

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The ” Institute for Advertising Ethics ” published a list with 8 principles of Ethical Marketing in 2018.

This independent organization, managed by the AAF (American Advertising Federation), has as its mission to be the source of information for professionals, theorists. And students of marketing and publicity in everything related to ethical issues.

According to the IAE, these are the 8 basic principles of ethical marketing:

  • All marketing communications will share the standard of truth.
  • Marketing professionals will abide by the highest standards of personal ethics.
  • Advertising must be clearly differentiated from news and entertainment editorial content.
  • Sellers should clearly state who they pay to promote their products.
  • Consumers will be treated taking into account their nature and characteristics (for example, marketing to children).
  • Consumer privacy will never be compromised.
  • Sellers will comply with the laws and standards established by governmental or professional organizations.
  • Ethical issues will be discussed openly and honestly when making marketing decisions.

On the other hand, the Marketing Association of Spain has also developed an Ethical Code with the intention of guiding Marketing professionals in the performance of their work and promoting best practices.


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