In this episode of the, We Have Answers Podcast, Justin sits down with Chris Stewart, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Acorn Homes, to discuss ethics in marketing. Companies advertise using Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, and so much more. These companies have created an industry for consulting and paid marketing. With that, comes ethical issues and quality.
The average person has very little knowledge about how advertising online works. It is a complex and system. How come when I visit a website I see ads for it? How come when I click on the first link in my Google Search I don’t really see what I want? These sorts of questions are common, so we decided to discuss it.
There are marketing firms that offer to produce amazing numbers, new leads, and more purchases for organizations. Some of the tactics used may confuse potential buyers. It is important for people to know what happens when you click an ad. It is also important for people to know what marketing companies can do.
There are ethics in marketing. There are also laws and policies regulating the industry. For example, Facebook does not allow companies to post vague and ambiguous jobs in an ad. Most governments have laws governing false advertising as well. In our opinion, things that are unethical, however, are not limited to, when companies:
- leave out information
- they hide required fees
- misleading claims
- random and pointless comparisons
Sometimes a company will leave out important information. For example, you will see an advertisement for “A FREE iPad!” What is left out of the ad is that you need to sign a two-year service contract.
You often see hidden fees in ticket sales. You may see concert ticket prices advertised as $99.00, but then find out at the checkout that there is a $15.00 service fee.
Misleading claims come from ads that basically lie to you. If you are looking to attend a college and they tell you that 99% of their graduates are working, think to yourself, “Does that make sense?” Maybe it does, but maybe so few students graduate that they can claim that.
Random and pointless comparisons are easy to spot when you know what to look for. When you see something like “We are better than the competitor!” Ask yourself the question, “What competitor?” An ad like this doesn’t tell you who they are better than.
It is important to understand these basic principals of marketing. So, keep an eye for ads, and make sure you question things that don’t sound right.