What is Ethical Marketing? Complete Guide

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Ethical Marketing, as the name suggests is a type of marketing in which companies try to market their products and services by not just revolving the campaign around the product and its benefits but also balancing it with how the society will benefit from the introduction of that product or service in the market.

So, Ethical Marketing is a kind of philosophy which tries to promote fairness, honesty, sense of responsibility in all the marketing done by a company.

Principles of Ethical Marketing

  • All marketing should be true.
  • Marketing and advertising must be different from entertainment and news content.
  • The privacy of the end-user is most important and must not compromise. 
  • All marketing campaigns must adhere to the norms, standards, rules, and regulations laid by the government and law-making authorities.
  • Personal ethics should follow by all marketing professionals.
  • Customers should treat them fairly.
  • Also, Marketing professionals must be transparent about what they are trying to convey and who they are approaching to convey the same.
Ethical Marketing and Why It's the Best Option for Your Business | SEO  Services Company NZ

Dos of Ethical Marketing

  • Try to be transparent.

As a marketing professional, you should try to be as transparent as possible whenever you are trying to market a product or a service. You should try to provide the maximum amount of information to the consumer regarding the product or service, its usage, and safety concerns regarding its usage.

  • Respect data privacy 

As a marketer who is trying to execute a marketing campaign, you tend to collect a lot of data about your consumers. Data privacy is the biggest thing that concerns the consumer in the current data-driven world. For this particular reason and the trust of consumers on the company, you must respect consumer data privacy.

  • Prioritize the concerns of consumer

Your customers will have a lot of concerns regarding the product or service offered by you. These could be as small as regarding the features of the product or range to safety concerns of the particular product. No matter how small the concern of your consumer is, your top priority is to respond to the concerns of the consumer in the most meaningful way you can.

  • Maximizing the benefits

Every ethical marketing strategy must try to maximize the benefits i.e, try to benefit the maximum possible people through your ethical marketing campaign.

  • Minimize the risks

Along with maximizing the benefits, it also becomes very important to minimize the overall risks associated with it. 

Don’ts Of Ethical Marketing

  • Don’t overemphasize or exaggerate

Every product offers specific features and benefits to its consumers. As an ethical marketeer, you must clearly state the features and benefits of the product. You must not overemphasize or exaggerate these features and benefits because doing so; So, you tend to make a fake promise or false claim to your consumer. You must not promise something which you cannot deliver. Doing so is unethical and not beneficial in the long run.

  • Don’t make false or unverified claims.

While performing ethical marketing practices, you should not try to involve in practices like making false or unverified claims regarding your product or service. You should not promote anything which is not right about your product or service.

  • Don’t make false comparisons.

The concept of ethical marketing doesn’t allow you to make misleading and false comparisons about the product or service of the competitor. You must focus on promoting your product rather than bringing down the product of your competitor.

  • Don’t harm the emotions.

Marketers tend to use emotions in order to better connect with the target audience.

Emotions generate a lot more interest in users than regular advertising. But being an ethical marketer, you must not try to harm or exploit the emotional side of your customers. You must show respect for their emotions and not try to manipulate them.

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Why Should Businesses Adopt Ethical Marketing?

Every business in today’s modern era requires a lot of marketing and as a result, companies are also willing to spend a huge amount on marketing the product or service.

If businesses are willing to spend so much on marketing, then they must not indulge in unethical marketing practices. 

These unethical practices may benefit the organization for a while, but in the long run, these will harm much more than the benefits earlier received. So, it becomes of utmost importance for businesses to indulge in ethical practices while doing marketing for their product or service. Staying on the path of ethics will surely benefit in the long run, and the benefits will be multi folds.

For Example, let’s take a business which sells cars. The business is promoting cars as the most fuel-efficient cars in the market and claiming numbers which are never seen before. But in reality, the car doesn’t deliver the promised fuel efficiency, and its just a marketing gimmick to boost sales of the car. 

In the initial stage, people usually fascinate and buy the car because of the promises that the company claims. But after some time, when the consumers do not get what’s promise, they will eventually not continue to buy with you and also stop other people from doing so. 

This one unethical practice initially boosted sales, but in the long run, it affected the product and also the reputation of the company. Now it will be tough for people to trust the company also for some other product by the company which actually delivers what’s promise.

This one act of unethical behavior will severely impact the business in the long run. Therefore, businesses must adhere to ethical marketing practices.

How Should Businesses Start with Ethical Marketing?

We discussed a lot about ethical marketing and the importance of the same for businesses. Now let us learn about how businesses should take steps towards beginning the journey of ethical marketing.

  1. At first, businesses must define what the definition of is. Ethical for them and find out the best ethical practices in their respective industry.
  2. Now the time comes to decide upon which brand ethics will the business follow and subscribe to.
  3. After deciding upon the ethics to follow now, it’s time to decide the strategy as to how ethical marketing will be implemented.
  4. Now it’s time to complete the analysis regarding how much ethical marketing will cost and also compare the benefits which you will receive by undertaking ethical marketing.
Conductor CEO Besmertnik discusses vision of 'ethical marketing'

Careers in Ethical Marketing

Marketing Manager

The role of a Marketing Manager is to supervise every aspect of a marketing campaign. They have to conduct market research, monitor key performance indicators and negotiate deals with ad buyers. As the person responsible for making the final call about marketing decisions, the marketing manager will decide how ethical a company’s marketing strategy will be.


An ethicist is a person who studies the practical and philosophical dimensions of ethical choices. Most people work in academic departments, but a few big companies employ their own ethical officers.

In the corporate world, ethicists draft policies defining the ethical obligations of the company, evaluate the ethics of decisions and offer counsel whenever required.


Copywriters using words that are for advertising and selling products. Things written by copywriters become the claims a company makes about its products. Ethical copywriters will focus on being honest in their claims and fair to their customers.


Ethics can be a part of a company’s marketing strategy, and also the whole strategy could be based on principles of ethical marketing. It all depends on what the business is trying to achieve and what they expect from customers, shareholders, and their target market. Ethical marketing can increase business costs or help them create a competitive edge.

To become most effective in the journey of following ethical marketing. So, Businesses must ensure that their ethical marketing strategy is customer-driven and provocative enough to grab the attention of the customer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who employs ethical marketing?

Every company can have the opportunity to practice ethical marketing. Any business, irrespective of its size, from the smallest store to the biggest MNC can choose to undertake ethical marketing and try to be open, honest, and fair when they advertise to their customers.

Why is ethical marketing important?

Marketing with ethics may seem to be a costly affair in the short term, but if you are patient enough, you will reap its benefits in the long run, and the effects will be multifold. This makes ethical marketing an important affair.

Why ethical marketing in the healthcare sector?

The healthcare sector deals with critical things which can directly or indirectly impact the health of an individual. Thus performing marketing, keeping in mind the ethical practices becomes crucial.

Brands undertaking ethical marketing?

Dr. Bronner’s
Conscious Coffees
Farmer Direct Co-op

Ethical Marketing

Every company can have the opportunity to practice ethical marketing. Any business, irrespective of its size, from the smallest store to the biggest MNC can choose to undertake ethical marketing and try to be open, honest, and fair when they advertise to their customers.

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