Marketers have often been portrayed to be coldly calculating, devoid of care and ruthless in their quest for personal gain, but in fact, marketing can be quite the opposite! In this article, we've compiled five guiding principles for ethical and conscious marketing that we follow when working with clients and that we'd love to see gain wider adoption as we co-create a healthier and more joy filled world where abundance is available for all. Plus, don't miss the huge discounts on internet marketing available for ethical projects too!
We founded Crucial Web, in part, as response to having grown tired of seeing a continual avoidance of moral and ethical issues in the marketing of businesses and services. We know that humanity can do so much better when it comes to interacting with each other in ways that feel good and aren't exploitative; so our internet marketing agency works with our clients to bring this vision to life.
Correct application of ethics makes a balance possible that feels good and which helps to ensure that success is sustainable and that those involved are inspired to ever greater heights. Far from being 'boring rules that limit profit and risk', ethics are a tool for optimisation of business and personal actions that can lead to very exciting things! Ethics also provide a framework which is intended to ensure that outcomes are morally and spiritually beneficial for all involved, without doing any harm.
The famous philosopher, Aristotle, once said “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” and despite nearly two thousand years having passed, we are often still facing the harsh results of heartless thinking all around us in society today. It's never too late for us to learn about ethics and apply them in our lives and, in fact, the less ethical our business has been, the faster we are likely to see benefits from introducing ethical practices.
There may be challenges along the way, such as realising that others in our lives may not yet have realised the benefits of consciously applying ethical optimisation strategies. However, the results will speak for themselves and successful ethical behaviours can easily be shared with others; plus, there are always others that we can do business with who will be more receptive or willing to work with us at our improving ethical standards.
As we are collectively made more aware of the real challenges facing humanity (including poverty, environmental pollution, failing economic systems and healthcare issues), the integration of ethical policies and thinking into organisations will become more significant to growth and success. Being able to legitimately differentiate your products and services is essential in marketing and doing so using genuine and well thought out ethics is perhaps the most powerful approach available.
Ethical behaviour makes sense logically and emotionally, plus business performance data shows it to be profitable too - so what you are you waiting for?
Integrating the following five principles into your daily life and business processes will form a great foundation upon which to strengthen the level of ethics in your organisation and to increase the value your audience places on you over time.
All activity should be able to withstand scrutiny. Many widely used marketing strategies literally rely on sleight of hand and deception which wander into a 'grey area' that some people might call fraudulent if they knew all the details. Does your marketing strategy stick to the facts or does it rely on obscuration and half-truths? Being honest with yourself and others will help to prevent nasty surprises for all involved later on!
Rather than exploit people's emotional or psychological injuries, nurture those people to empower them, they may be grateful for your help. Unfortunately, the majority of people are carrying unhealed trauma and this leaves them open to being manipulated into actions that do not serve them - whether through advertisements, mass media, political movements, spiritual/religious groups or other belief systems. Reminding ourselves and others that our own wellbeing can always be increased for free by increasing our own self acceptance and self valuation, rather than always promoting the latest drug or other product is a good example here. We truly are all stronger when we work together in harmony, so letting go of beliefs that rely on struggle and division is a powerful step too.
Successful strategies and techniques will be grounded in solid foundations, ensuring marketing budgets and clients are not investing time and money into dead ends. Being grounded implies an understanding of what is not so obvious since roots are, by definition, buried. Make time to do deep dives into your ideas, market and audiences in order to uncover key information that will ensure your actions are optimal, effective and sustainable. Sustainability also relates to our environmental impact and that means tracking supply chains and beyond to root out unethical behaviour. Organisations that are involved with your business and marketing strategy should be picked for their overall dedication to sustainability too.
There's no way to think and act ethically without the involvement of your own heart to balance your thinking. Our intentions underlie our actions, so they MUST themselves be balanced. Make sure your intentions are carefully examined to find out whether you are over-riding anything. You may be intending something that sounds good but which over-rides some other part of your personal/business life or the lives of others. Small adjustments and clarifications to intentions can make a world of difference which enables the other principles to work harmoniously too. Sometimes the effects may be subtle or need to be felt to be recognised, but they are there are will make a cumulative difference over time.
Successful marketing relies on imagination and creativity, but this powerful tool can be used in both helpful or problematic ways. Learn to use your imagination to outwit and out maneuver your competitors rather than your customers! Truly ethical actions require careful thought and often you will need to problem solve with imagination to find ways to improve unhealthy norms in your market, business, thinking and even the wider society itself.
Ethical business is all about working in harmony and is an area that Crucial Web takes very seriously. We love to share in the success of our clients and are always excited at the prospect of not only helping great projects to shine but also helping to improve our world in the process.
If you'd like to work with our team of marketing experts then just get in touch directly or request a free personal review of your website and internet marketing. If a free review isn't enough, we offer a substantial discount for ethical projects - head over to our pricing page for more details.
The Crucial Web Team