Ethical and Unethical Marketing

           Marketing is a very important function for every business.Understanding your customers as well as understanding how to reach them is critical.There are well researched ways to get people’s attention and then to purchase your product.The way in which you apply these methods is very important in making sure that your customers do not feel cheated after purchasing your product.So, what is the best way to make sure you apply ethical marketing behviors?

          In order to understand ethical marketing behaviors, one must understand unethical marketing behaviors.In short, unethical marketing involves lying or stretching the truth.For instance, customers respond to scarcity.If they believe an item is scarce, then they are more likely to purchase the product. An unethical marketing tactic would be to tell the customer, “This is the last one left”, knowing full well that there is a whole pallet in the back.This happens frequently on car lots.So, by telling a lie, the car salesman is engaging in unethical marketing.Another example of unethical behavior is pretending that you are very similar to your customer.For instance, by seeing a person with a baseball cap for the Yankees, you tell them that you are a major fan of the Yankees.If this were true, it is ethical, but when it is a lie intended on making the sale, it is unethical.In short, lying equals unethical behavior.

            The simple answer to applying ethical marketing is simply to not lie.There is always a temptation to stretch the truth, you just have to realize that it may do more harm than good.The reason for this is that I believe that a customer will always find out the truth.Especially in this information age, your customer will eventually find out that you lied to them.You may have made the sale today, but lost a customer for a lifetime, as well as probably many of their friends who they will tell about your actions.The simple way to practice ethical behavior is to have solid marketing principles.These principles will act as a guidelines to make sure you do not deviate from your mission.These principles must also be provided to and embodied by your salespeople.Without a clear set of guidelines, they may become too focused on the short term, and not aligned with your (the owner) strategy of long term customer engagement.

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