Marketing Ethics and Forming a Connection
Marketing is about selling, but it is also about ethics. Trust, relatability and growth are as important for a brand to boost longevity and relevance in the industry.
Promotion is the tool and commotion is the aim. What brands are trying to achieve is a boost in sales and brand loyalty, but what their customers want is different.
Your audience wants to feel that brands are genuinely working to form a connection, not just hitting checkout. Sales is clearly an important aspect of marketing, however formulating a relationship is what makes marketing tick.
Success vs. Respect
When formulating your marketing strategy, it is important to consider the differences when it comes to aligning your goals with your customers’. Your customers are looking to find a product or service to meet a specific need. If not a specific need, something that complements their existing interests.
From your side, you want to sell your product or service in order to make revenue and grow your brand. Your audience is made up of a wide range of individuals with different interests, ethics and buying habits. The catch is curating a relationship with your leads so they will buy your product, but trust and respect your brand to buy from you again. Read our blog on relationship marketing.
Reflecting your Audience
It is important when promoting your brand, that you clearly define your unique selling point to assure your customers that your product offering is unique and worth the investment. Marketing is not only about persuasion to buy something new, a tool of relatability to connect with what your audience wants.
What is clear is that buyers want to feel connected to what they are buying. Whether that is connected to the product ethos, the brand story or having ascertained that the product is exactly what they want.
Customers want your brand to offer a reflection of themselves. Which is not only in the products, but in the cultural and gender diversity of the models, product variants and more. Personalisation is vital to ensure customers feel included and catered for when you create bespoke product offerings. Read our blog on creating a marketing strategy that stands out here.
The Power of Influence
In the past, marketing was a lot more buy and sell with customers buying into new trends without necessarily knowing anything about the product and whether it works. Now with the rise of influencer culture, influencers are vetting trends for us, meaning that we are quicker to know if something is worth the investment without spending the money ourselves.
Though this is in a way, protecting viewer money, the power of influencer marketing has led to well-regarded products to go viral and lead many to buy them off the back of a review they trust. Product reviewers and lifestyle influencers are controlling consumer interest by telling them what is worth buying, which is its own new way of marketing.
This is not to say that everyone works the same way. Many buyers will intentionally avoid advertisements or viral products in order to research and make their own decisions. From this, users can control their own needs, perhaps having been burnt by virality in the past.
It is important when it comes to marketing to consider all aspects of your brand from an ethical standpoint. Now more than ever, audiences will look into the more granular aspects of your brand, from materials to supply chain.
We recommend being transparent about your production process, and highlight the steps you take. Greenwashing is not the answer, this transparency only works if you are being realistic about your sustainability goals and where you are on your journey.
At the end of the day, buyer confidence will grow with brands they trust. One positive experience, may lead to a future sale, a recommendation or engagement with your social accounts. If buyers like what you do and the content you share, they are more likely to want to support you.
Buyers are more hesitant to support brands they’ve not used or heard of before. Some will be hesitant about sharing payment and address details on a website they haven’t used. Half of marketing ethics is the need to know that they can trust you and their privacy is safe. From then on they can learn to love your products and your brand ethos.
Furthermore, some won’t buy from an advertisement full-stop, or until they’ve done their research. It is important to meet buyers at multiple touch points to ensure a conversion. This could be from ad re-targeting, social content, video promotions, media and influencer coverage and more. Don’t forget to learn about GA4 to get up-to-date insights on your conversion event tracking.
Our Tips for Good Marketing Ethics
These are our key tips to opening an honest relationship with your audience:
- Engage with your audience via ads and social media
- Reward customer loyalty with exclusive discounts and offers
- Be transparent about your sustainable practices and brand journey
- Share a genuine brand narrative and behind-the-scenes insights
- Keep track of relevant trends and discuss important topics to use your influence for good
- Personalise your content and products to suit your wide target audience
- Address any changes or challenges that might affect your audience
- Ask for advice and feedback from your audience to learn more about their interests
- Remember that promotion is only half of your marketing strategy, ensure that your brand is honest and your values are clearly communicated