Let’s face it: there are countless people out there, from all walks of life, who believe that cutting corners is a legitimate way to get ahead. While many feel that subterfuge of any kind is unacceptable in marketing and advertising, it does occur on a sliding scale. In SEO, we refer to these as grey- and black-hat techniques. Black hats are the serious ones, like buying email databases. Grey hat offences aren’t illegal (like a black hat), but they would be considered unethical or against best-practice by anyone in the industry. This article offers a few reasons why you shouldn’t consider grey- and black-hat marketing techniques just to make pole position:
Reacting before consideration is something nobody should do – especially not businesses hoping to survive and thrive in the “new normal”. Brands should be taking the time to breathe, assess their situations, and make wise, strategic decisions and movements in areas that sure wins. The company that sticks to the basics won’t explode to position one but will build a lead generating stream with longevity. Since we’re currently in a global recession, keeping your doors open should be your main short-term goal – not smashing every competitor.
Loyalty Is Everything
Another marketing fundamental is customer loyalty. Unfortunately, too many businesses see loyalty as a mechanism that can be fed with content and it churns out loyal, paying customers. A customer loyalty programme without a human touch might as well not even exist. Brands must inject humanism into their customer interactions – on every level. It might be easier to automate customer services, but people are loyal to people; not chatbots.
No business operating a brick-and-mortar establishment wants to close its doors – even if it’s participating in eCommerce. However, it isn’t wise to capture the future with the nostalgia of the past. Some believe brick-and-mortar can be revived with new technologies (like augmented reality and interactive storefronts). Still, most experts suggest that brands act rationally and follow the data – which suggests overwhelmingly that businesses invest in digitalisation.
There’s no question about it: ethical marketing is the only marketing. This can be seen in great international moves towards advertising ethics, like Europe’s GDPR and our own POPI Act.
Get a sound understanding of marketing fundamentals, including the ethical considerations all marketers should know, with the Marketing Fundamentals course from DSM.
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