Over the past few years, the ethics of both the media and marketers have been put into the spotlight. This has come because of the rise of social media and the ability to post anything before being able to think of the consequences. Because of this, marketers need to ensure that they are ethical in their practices as well as in their messages.
While preparing a marketing strategy, every digital marketer has to consider the ethics involved to ensure fair business conduct when online. The ethics of digital marketing include:
Transparent product information
Brands need to be transparent when advertising products and therefore, should include all product or service information in the advert. It is not ethical to leave out features or specifications that are important or even critical to the product that can affect the customer.
There is nothing wrong with having competition. However, there is something wrong with taking the competition too far. It is, therefore, better to focus on your products and their benefits rather than trying to discredit your competition. It is also important that if you do mention anything about your competition, it better be true; otherwise, you will be called out on it, and your brand will be discredited.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
In any kind of advertising, it is critical to be truthful, especially on social media. When advertising products, promotions and gifts brands need to be sure that they will be able to back every claim they make. The brand must be able to take full responsibility in the event that they fail to meet the claim.
Advertising to vulnerable customers and children
Digital marketers are able to target specific people with certain campaigns. This means that brands need to ensure that they target the right people for the right reasons. For example, it is unethical to target an alcohol campaign to people under the drinking age. Brands also need to be wary as the digital forum is navigated by young and impressionable children. Therefore brands need to ensure that their messaging is appropriate for both children and adults where appropriate.
Privacy is a massive concern for many people and is, therefore, why people can often be mistrusting of digital marketing. It needs to be of the utmost importance for every digital marketer to ensure that throughout their campaigns, they respect privacy rules. By extracting data wrongfully through platforms like Facebook is in order to build campaign is a complete disrespect of privacy. When it comes to email marketing, in order for brands to respect the right to privacy of those receiving the emails, there needs to be an unsubscribe button on the email.