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5 Ethical Marketing Hacks

It’s no secret that the world of marketing can sometimes be associated with some “shady” practices. The thing is, even if such practices may seem to work at first, they quickly take a left turn – often at the expense of your reputation, customer list and budget. But avoiding shady practices doesn’t mean that you can’t use ethical marketing hacks, tips and tricks.

“But how?”, you may ask. 👀 Keep reading below!

ethical marketing hacks

What is Ethical Marketing?

The term ethical marketing refers to a type of marketing that focuses both on the ethics and values (such as honesty, transparency, empathy and accountability) of marketing and promotional strategies.

👤 Ethical marketing initiatives take into consideration the society, target demographic, as well as environmental and social concerns.

🚀 The benefits of ethical marketing include:

  • practices that are more relevant and meet customer needs;
  • practices that are less “push” but “pull” – they naturally attract your audience to your brand/business (organic marketing);
  • a longer lifecycle with enhanced customer loyalty and retention.

🔍 An example of ethical marketing could be to highlight a company’s fair practices by giving an inside look at the production process, the minimal environmental impact or the privacy-friendly and respectful approach when reaching out to customers via e-mail.

💡 5 Ethical Marketing Hacks

1. Be transparent on what you offer

Amongst the best ethical marketing hacks is, obviously, practicing transparency.

If you choose to go the opposite way, not only do you put customer trust greatly at risk, but yourself as well. Deceiving practices may be illegal under some consumer marketing laws, which means you could be exposed to fines and lawsuits.

If you want to be a fair marketer, you shouldn’t:

  • ❌ make promises you can’t keep and deceive users;
  • ❌ make false claims about your product;
  • ❌ oversell yourself (and no, your product is probably not the best in the whole wide world! 😉)

🚀 By being honest and transparent from the very beginning, there are no surprises. You reduce the risk of returns and refunds, complaints and unhappy customers, negative reviews, and more.

👉 If they did not see through your insincerity at first, your customers will eventually learn the truth!

2. Only gather essential data

When it comes to advertising and profiling, a large amount of data is gathered in order to gain valuable customer information and create targeted and personalized experiences.

However, under several privacy laws including the GDPR, you’re required to follow the concept of “data minimization”. That is, processing only what you need.

It’s really as simple as this: if you don’t really need the information, don’t collect it.

💡 If you would like to go one step further, try limiting your use of third parties since, naturally, you have less control over this data.

🚀 By focusing on “essential” data, you are:

  • clearer on your value proposition and who your target audience is;
  • acting in your best interest, since the more data you collect, the more data you’re responsible for!
Read also

Do you make this one mistake when sending marketing emails?

👉 Check out our short guide

3. Legally disclose your endorsements

Endorsements or affiliations are common marketing practices; but do you know that you’re legally required to fully disclose them? In short, you must:

  • inform users when there’s a connection between an endorser and the marketer a consumer would be interested in knowing, or that would change their perception if known; and
  • inform users when you’ve been given an incentive (financial or otherwise) to push the product.

👉 For more detailed information on this, check out our guide.

🚀 Quite surprisingly, when customers are given the appropriate disclosures, they may be more willing to buy your product or service.

4. Practice empathy-based marketing

Along with transparency, empathy is another one of ethical marketing hacks.

A successful marketer is a marketer who is able to shift their perspective and consistently focuses on the customer. Rather than acting in their own interest when designing product features, for example, their priority is on what will benefit their audience.

Using empathy in marketing involves seeing through the eyes of your customers. A truly customer-centric approach involves understanding who the customer is, what their challenges are, and what motivates them to act.

🚀 When practicing empathy, your messaging and advertising will become more contextual and relevant, thus successful.

5. Don’t use dark patterns

As a general rule of thumb, you should make sure to provide a smooth and fair user experience when it comes to getting informed, consenting to or refusing any activity:

  • have your legal documents such as your privacy and cookie policy readable and easily accessible on your website;
  • think of UX and design for your cookie banner, make it easy to say “no”;
  • give your customers the possibility to opt out of marketing emails such as your newsletter.

🚨 Using any persuasive tricks to “guide” users into making some specific choices will only be harmful. If a user doesn’t want to sign up to your newsletter or ignores your CTA, that’s ok! No need to overdo it.

💡 Have you ever heard of dark patterns?

Dark patterns are design elements used to influence people’s decisions and trick them into doing things they didn’t mean to do. They clearly go against legal requirements of major privacy laws.

👀 Make sure to read more about dark patterns here.

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