Hi, I’m Jessica and I’m a marketer.

Do I ever see a smiling face after that introduction? No, never. Not even once. And I fully understand why. Marketing is viewed as a dirty and manipulative profession.

I even had a conversation on Facebook with someone who wished all marketers would be sent to a deserted island to never be seen again. I honestly didn’t know there was THAT much hate tied to my profession, but apparently, for some, there is.

This doesn’t bother me though. In fact, it inspires me because where there’s awareness, there’s an opportunity for change and growth. Both for marketers and consumers.

The Monster Marketers Have Created

In a previous post, I talked about how the industries accommodate for the human demand of fast, cheap and convenient.

And that we not only buy what we need or want, we buy what we don’t need and often, what we don’t even want.

This shopping mentality has caused a lot of depression because material things do not buy happiness or satisfaction and never will. Not only that, it’s caused SO much harm being done to humans, plants, animals and our environment.

I’m honestly not sure who started it though. Did the consumers scream first and then the industries deliver faster and cheaper products or did the industries try to beat the competition and present their cheaper and faster solutions first to attract the consumer?

Probably a combination of both, but this ‘chicken or the egg?’ argument doesn’t even matter. It happened and only recently have we identified the monster we’ve created, so are now trying to find more sustainable solutions before we completely ruin our beautiful planet.

One way we can change our buying habits and consciousness is if we market our products and services ethically.

What does Ethical Marketing Mean?

I also asked this in a recent survey: what does Ethical Marketing mean to you?

I got a lot of answers and am still getting them and not to my surprise, it means something different to each person.

When we look at the past few decades, we’ve seen a shift in the marketing industry and now, everyone’s a marketer. Anyone can start a company and sell their products or services.

The market has opened with the introduction of the internet. It’s a great development on the one hand, but on the other, we’ve noticed a lot of manipulation going on which has caused this disgust and rage in the consumer’s mind. I get it, I’m fed up too!

Digital marketers are going to all lengths to get heard. We talk about funnels, launches, lead generation, freebies, opt-ins, customer journey, etc. We send a gazillion mails to try to persuade someone to buy our sh*t. We also get caught up in ‘beating the competition’ so instead of concentrating on our own customers, we’re concentrating on someone else’s. Puh, exhausting, isn’t it?

And, marketing is no longer about the 4 Ps, even though many universities STILL, to this day, cover those damn 4 Ps to a T while bypassing the stuff that really matters, the 4 Cs of Ethical Marketing: Communication, Connection, Collaboration and Creativity.

THAT, to me, is marketing.
THAT to me, is Ethical Marketing.

Ethical Marketing Best Practice Solutions

As Consumers:

If we shop consciously, we can not only start to replenish the resources we still have on Earth, we can also become a mentally and physically healthier and happier society as a whole.

It’s not always easy to shop consciously though. You have to read labels, research brands and spend more money because as soon as the Vegan or Organic symbol is placed on the packaging of a product, the price increases, even when unjustified. I guess that extra graphic work costs 10% more, who the heck knows!

All kidding aside, I truly believe if more consumers go this route, the demand for sustainable products will increase and these products will become the standard, not the ethical alternative, making them more affordable and accessible in the long-run. It’s just a matter of time.

As Ethical Business Owners:

Running a sustainable business is not easy. On the contrary. Competition is getting fiercer in the ethical space as more and more small, ethical brands are popping up, so being green is no longer a USP.

If you’ve been reading my stuff, you know that I’m an advocate for planning for profit and thinking strategically to be able to rock your revenue when it comes to your marketing.

I encourage every business owner and marketer to create an Ethical Marketing Strategy for your brand that nurtures human connection with conscious consumers, collaboration with partners of the same mindset and transparency to present your incredible products or services to those who are more than happy to support your mission.

And I also want you to enjoy it. Marketing HAS to be fun, otherwise, you’ll get caught in the grind of ‘ugh, what am I gonna post today’ or ‘oh sh*t, the event starts on Monday, I’m not ready!’ and ‘ugh, this copy makes me feel sleazy, how can I sell in an authentic way?’.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to break down some best practice solutions for you so that you can start to implement them in your ethical marketing strategy. Stay tuned and in the meantime, sign up to our newsletter to get other ethical marketing tips.

Marketing is no longer about the 4 Ps, it’s about what really matters, the 4 Cs: Communication, Connection, Collaboration and Creativity.

Want to learn how to market ethically?

Absolutely, let's GO!

What marketing tactics do you find unethical or even annoying? Please comment below and let’s talk !

Rock On,

Jessica

Photo: Alexandre Godreau, Unsplash

4 Comments

  1. Luce

    So down with this Jess – what a brilliant perspective, and, as always, entertainingly delivered too!

    Reply
    • jesslohm

      Thanks so much, dear Luce, my copy crush! You inspire me! If anyone else is reading this, Lucy has the most talented way of bringing words to a piece of paper, or the screen of your computer, check her out!

      Reply
  2. Edward Rozzo

    Nice spirit, nice article. You’re a user-friendly information center! You’re also right. Both cutomers and businesses have to wake up to the ethical aspects of what they’re doing. Consumers can change whole markets by their buying choices and businesses, especially retailers, can redefine the relationship between things we buy and the people who buy them. There’s some confusing, but much less than three or four years ago. So keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • jesslohm

      Thanks, so much! Yes, I’ve compared this type of change to the music industry in a previous post of how Napster and Apple changed the way people listened to music. They envisioned an easier and more affordable way to enjoy music and once consumers got a taste of that change, we never went back to the old ways and the entire industry was forced to accommodate.

      Now that we are becoming more conscious of our buying habits and what toxins, plastic, etc. are doing to our environment and smaller companies are showing us that there is a more ethical way to produce things and there are more healthier buying habits, they‘re changing the way people produce, market, shop and live.

      It‘s taking a long time though. I was roaming the mall yesterday wasting time before a Cirque du Soleil show watching busy people carry full bags of fast fashion they most likely don‘t need. This ethical living lifestyle is still new and hasn‘t reached the masses yet, so we still have lots of work to do…

      Reply

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