By: First Union
Is Unethical Marketing Hurting Your Brand And Business?
How do your customers perceive your marketing efforts? In other words, are your strategies honest, are they transparent? This is so critical not only for your customers' satisfaction but also, in the long run, for the sustainability of your brand. No one likes to be duped. Customers are quite savvy, especially nowadays and they can quickly see through deceptive or unethical marketing tactics.
A recent study found that near 95% of customers said that they will remain loyal to a brand if that brand stands by their word and is transparent in their advertising and marketing efforts. On the flip side of that, those who considered a company's marketing practices to be unethical were immediately turned off. Below is a breakdown of some of the statistics according to a MarketingCharts report:
Almost seventy percent of people considered marketing which exaggerates the truth to be unethical.
62% agreed that marketing that concealed certain info was unethical.
Just over 55% said that marketing using altered photos was unethical.
And 43% said using high-pressure sales was unethical.
Across the board, it seems that when customers feel that they aren't getting the whole truth, they will take their business somewhere else. And now companies also have to be careful given the prevalence of social media and reviews. If a customer feels taken advantage of after purchasing a product or service, they will often take their grievances to social media—and this can spell catastrophe for any business targeted.
Good customer service is about trust and honesty. If you exaggerate the truth, if you misrepresent your brand, if you distort perceptions of your products, all you're doing is giving your customers a reason not to trust you. It is far better, to be honest. Even if you do slip up or your business does make a mistake—own up to it. Don't try and "market" your way out of it. This will only hurt your reputation in the long run.