If you don’t already have an ethical marketing policy in place for your business, you should strongly consider creating one now. I know from personal experience that the process of creating new policies can be tedious and time consuming. But it is still worth it.
This advice is especially true for companies that are working towards B Corp certification. The newest version of the B Impact Assessment now offers points for having an Ethical Marketing Policy in place. Aside from gaining points on your B Corp Certification or recertification, there are many other benefits to having an ethical marketing policy that you may not have considered.
Here are a few of the benefits we have seen in our own B Corp Certified digital marketing agency since JB Media wrote and implemented our own ethical marketing policy.
1. Clearly defined boundaries are easier to navigate.
An ethical marketing policy provides clarity for all of your team members. Everyone who creates marketing strategies or content for your company, from your leadership team to your newest marketing hire or contractor, needs to have a shared understanding of where your company stands on key issues. Everyone needs to know exactly where the boundaries are so they can design well within them.
A note for leaders. Growing a business is stressful. It is all too easy to cross the boundaries when the needs for growth and revenue take precedence over doing the right thing. Having a policy in place can create a clear line you can see even when the pressure to generate revenue is clouding your vision.
2. It is helpful to have a clear framework for vetting vendors or job candidates for marketing roles.
Having an ethical marketing policy in place is really helpful when interviewing marketing vendors or even new hires. A well crafted policy should offer a clear framework that can guide interviews. You can turn directly to the policy for questions to ask vendors and any candidates for new internal roles during the hiring process.
3. Serves as a guide for marketing process development.
Having this policy in place helps to identify which core processes need to be created and can offer a roadmap to ensuring all marketing materials meet the highest of ethical standards.
4. The process of creating an ethical marketing policy will help you identify any current ethical gaps.
You’ll need to research today’s best practices for ethical marketing in order to create your policy. The line between ethical and unethical marketing moves quickly in time with rapidly evolving technologies. You might have been so busy doing the work that you didn’t notice a change.
Drafting this policy will be an opportunity to step out of the details of your day to day marketing efforts and look at the big picture and then focus back in on what you are doing with a new perspective. Looking at your marketing efforts through an ethical lens will help you identify any areas where your current marketing strategy needs to be improved in order to be more ethical.
5. Uncover areas of confusion or internal disagreement.
The process of crafting your own Ethical Marketing Policy will help your team identify any key areas where team members disagree or are otherwise not on the same page. You’ll have to have internal conversations about these issues. This may surface tensions or points of confusion that need to be addressed.
6. Once you have the policy in place, you can create a process for staying up to date.
Marketing practices will continue to evolve and the line that separates ethical from unethical marketing practices will shift rapidly.
Once you have a policy in place, you can create a process to stay up to date and easily notify your team of small or large changes in reactions to changes from online platforms such as Google, Facebook, and other search and social applications.
JB Media concluded our ethical marketing policy by promising, “We will continue to monitor the state of the field across different marketing channels and tactics and update our practices accordingly.” We recommend the same to you.
Need Help Getting Started? Use JB Media’s Ethical Marketing Policy Template
Everyone benefits when companies follow ethical marketing policies. To help other companies get started on their own journeys towards ethical marketing, we created a Google Doc Ethical Marketing Policy Template that you can access, copy, and adapt to your own company and industry.
Let us know if we can help! Contact us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions about our policy or the process we used to craft it.