2022 Guide to Ethical Digital Marketing

Table of Contents

What are today’s most effective ethical marketing tactics? Read JB Media Founder Justin Belleme’s free guide or download the full ebook to get bonus interviews with ethical marketers from B Lab US & Canada, Acumen Academy & other orgs.

What is Ethical Marketing?

Ethical marketing requires honesty in all of your company’s advertising and communications and principled behavior guided by thoughtful consideration of your business’s impact on people and on the environment. 

Ethical marketing is still fundamentally marketing – it’s the strategic delivery of targeted messaging designed to raise awareness of your brand and to sell products or services – but it’s done in a way that demonstrates your brand’s core values (and potentially your commitment to corporate social responsibility, stakeholder capitalism, or the B Corp movement). 

At strategic and tactical levels, the best practices for ethical digital marketing vary by platform and channel and the definitions and best practices change all the time. The line that separates ethical from unethical practices will continue to move at the speed of technological change. Google, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and other search and social applications regularly create new ethical dilemmas for marketers as tracking and targeting software gets more and more sophisticated. 

Not only are there concerns about the impacts of tracking and targeting on user privacy, there are also growing concerns about the negative social, emotional, and psychological impacts stemming from the use of some social media networks. Concerns about these potential negative impacts are broad and far reaching ranging from cyberbullying, social isolation, technology addiction, and body image issues to broader issues such as misinformation, fake news, and in some extreme cases challenges to democracy and fair elections.

To help you navigate this tricky, rapidly evolving landscape, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to today’s ethical marketing practices that features insights from five experts in the fields of marketing and communications.

How Leading Marketing Experts Define Ethical Marketing

The following quotes come from an interview series that Justin Belleme conducted with a variety of marketing experts. The full transcripts of these interviews are printed in the last chapter of his complementary ebook which is available for free download here.

Communicating with honesty and transparency builds more trust and connection with your customers, but it has to be grounded in a very authentic place.

Danielle Sutton

Content Animator, Acumen Academy

Ethical marketing would be about telling stories that are rooted in truth.

Anthea Kelsick

Former Co-CEO, B Lab

The first step in companies marketing to people in ways that are ethical is telling me exactly who you are and what the benefit is for your product or service. Explain to me (the consumer), how your company will address my needs, add value and flavor to my life, and help me build a relationship with either you, the company, or the people around me using your products and services. Ethical marketing needs to be responsible in what it communicates and realize that it has a responsibility to be true and honest and authentic and to illustrate that value in unequivocal ways.

Thomas Cumberbatch

CEO/Executive Creative Director, Godzspeed Communications

I would say that ethical marketing turns on this idea that what you do is an accurate reflection of who you are, in the sense that if a company has values, and the presumption of its existence is that it’s going to play a meaningful role in the world and have a positive impact on people’s lives, then that’s what you deliver through your supply chain, through your HR department, and the culture you build through your employees, through the products you take to market and the way you innovate, through to the types of marketing you do, and ultimately to the impact work and community giving that you do.

Simon Mainwaring

CEO, We First

Ethical marketing, in my view, is intentionally committed to clear and universal ethical principles, the first of which is “do no harm.”

Dr. Susan Clark

Professor, UNC-Asheville

The Principles of Ethical Marketing

Coming up with a definitive or comprehensive list of ethical marketing principles is challenging due to the ever shifting technical landscape and the relative lack of transparency and understanding of how many of our most popular social networks and search engines track and utilize user data and to whom they share or sell that data. As a digital agency that values ethical practices and which works with a lot of nonprofits and social ventures, we have worked to identify a few key pillars that marketers should consider when evaluating their own efforts against the lens of ethical marketing:

Create Value

One principle that most marketers can agree on is that it’s always a good idea to focus on creating value for your target audience. If you regularly deliver value you will build trust and establish a two way relationship.

Communicate Honestly

Honestly portraying your products or services may seem like a no-brainer, but in the world of sales and marketing there is often some element of hype, exaggeration, or overstaying facts to help influence a target audience and win business. Establishing a marketing principle based on honesty and defining lines your business or organization will not cross, makes it easier for people to speak up when the honesty of marketing messages is called into question. Having clear boundaries in place makes the conversation more about following a policy vs questioning someone’s creative work.

Avoid Impact Washing

Impact washing is related to honesty because at its core the practices of overstating or exaggerating an organization’s impact is a form of dishonest communication. Establishing internal principles and guidelines for how to identify and avoid impact washing is critical for organizations that are aiming to focus on creating value and communicating honestly.

Ask for Permission

Concerns related to user privacy and the ownership and use of user data are at the center of the global conversation about marketing ethics. The immense influence, power, and marketing control wielded by the largest social media and search marketing companies make this issue a challenging one to navigate. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling forced to use whatever platforms are the most effective in order to keep up with your competition and meet your growth goals. Increasingly the tool of government regulation has been introduced to try to establish privacy and data ownership rights for individuals using online tools and platforms. As marketers we have a decision to make to either support these regulations and do everything in our power to proactively seek user permission to collect and use their data for marketing purposes.

Do No Harm

In addition to creating value, focusing on honesty, avoiding impact washing, and ensuring that your organization is a good steward of your users’ data and privacy, our final recommendation is that you establish a policy of avoiding any marketing tactic or strategy that would do harm to your audience. The ‘do no harm’ principle can mean different things to different businesses. Some will choose to avoid using any platform that has been proven to cause harm to its users while others will focus more narrowly on their own efforts and tactics to ensure that their organization is not causing any harm via misleading, dishonest, or extractive practices.

We will explore these and other ethical marketing principles in more detail in later sections of this guide.

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Honesty in Digital Marketing

“The most trusted brand is also the most profitable.”

—Seth Godin

Integrity and honest communication are two of the qualities that a majority of consumers expect from the brands they purchase from.

Being honest in all of your communications, especially your digital advertising and marketing efforts, is a smart business practice in today’s connected world. 

Exaggerations and false claims, however, are likely to damage your reputation and turn off consumers who can easily unsubscribe, unfollow, block, and report your company’s content. Brands that  run the risk of being called out publicly on social media platforms and online review websites. False advertising, overpromising, and other dishonest marketing tactics routinely come back to bite offending brands in real time. 

Ethical brands communicate with honesty and transparency will build trust with customers and convert them to brand ambassadors. 

Examples of Dishonest Marketing Practices to Avoid:

  • False Advertising: Exaggerating values and benefits
  • Using fake or overly doctored reviews and testimonials
  • Inflating results when creating messaging for partners or within your advertising

In order to be an ethical marketer, you must be willing to commit to absolute honesty in your marketing for both your customers and partners.

Honesty with partnerships is about creating a vision for campaigns together that are realistic and to not overstate what you can bring to the table. Honesty in your direct marketing is about having critical conversations internally to ensure that all marketing messages are truthful, honest, and accurate. 

In an online class that JB Media co-produced with Acumen Academy on this topic, Joshua Maddox, Associate Director of Marketing and Technology at Acumen, said “the Acumen team spends a lot of time thinking about honesty in marketing. In my experience you know you have found the right balance when there is some tension on the team that creates an open debate. Focusing on honesty does not mean avoiding psychology in marketing. It also does not give you an excuse to forgo the hard work of communicating your product or service’s value and finding the right product market fit.” 

Do No Harm

It is easy to claim that our efforts are honest, however it takes discipline, rigor, and at times internal conflict to ensure we are not just sharing information to elicit excitement, or false hope for the benefit of short-term gains. As you are planning your marketing and communications we suggest exploring the following topics with your team.

  • Are we clearly communicating our product or service’s value without exaggerating or misleading our key audiences (target market)?
  • Are we using language that honestly communicates the features and benefits of our products and services?
  • Are we accurately quoting our customers, partners, and team when we share reviews or testimonials?
  • Is our use of data and examples honest and accurate when promoting our features, benefits, or the impact of our products and services?
  • Is there internal pressure to communicate dishonest information within your marketing and communications coming from team members or the leadership of your company or organization?
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Impact Washing

A growing number of consumers want to support brands that have an authentic commitment to social responsibility and sustainability.  

According to the market research firm Forrester, sharing authentic information about your company’s positive social and environmental impact is an effective way to stand out in the marketplace and to build trust and brand loyalty among today’s values-driven consumers. 

Authenticity is key, however, which is why you must take steps to avoid impact washing

Impact washing, similar to greenwashing, happens when a business exaggerates their positive environmental or social impact to gain a marketing advantage. Another form of impact washing is using “feel good” marketing to distract consumers from paying attention to its negative impact on people, communities, or ecosystems.  

A list of marketing tactics that involve impact washing includes:

  • Exaggerating impact by inflating numbers, cherry-picking data, or focusing on stories that aren’t representative of overall outcomes;

  • Communicating false promises or make unrealistic claims about expected results;

  • Sharing stories or create impact initiatives that aren’t rooted in an authentic mission or intention for good–purely for the marketing benefits;

  • Using a social impact initiative to distract from negative social or environmental problems caused by their core processes, products, or services.

It’s important that everyone is on the same page about the impact of our work and what assumptions we may have. Understanding how we are measuring our impact is important. One good question to ask yourself when reflecting on impact washing is, “would I be doing this work if I could not talk about it?

Danielle Sutton

Content Animator, Acumen Academy

It’s also important to distinguish between companies or organizations who do positive impact work as their core business model and or missions statement vs businesses who use impact initiatives as a way to give back.

Impact initiatives that are added on top of the core business operation can come from a genuine place and can be put in place to use profits for social or environmental good, to motivate and inspire employees or improve workplace culture. 

Businesses that do good, whether it is their core mission or an impact program may also want to use their impact work and their outcomes in their marketing. They key to avoiding impact washing it to make sure that the impact marketing messages are honest, authentic, and culturally sensitive.

Questions about Impact Washing that You Should be able to Answer:

It’s also important to distinguish between companies or organizations who do positive impact work as their core business model and or missions statement vs businesses who use impact initiatives as a way to give back.

Impact initiatives that are added on top of the core business operation can come from a genuine place and can be put in place to use profits for social or environmental good, to motivate and inspire employees or improve workplace culture. 

Businesses that do good, whether it is their core mission or an impact program may also want to use their impact work and their outcomes in their marketing. They key to avoiding impact washing it to make sure that the impact marketing messages are honest, authentic, and culturally sensitive.

A Final Word on Impact Washing

Impact washing can be subtle or it can be overt. If you are dedicated to avoiding impact washing it is key that your marketing and communications are tied to expanding your organization’s ability to have a greater impact rather than using your positive impact primarily as a marketing tactic or publicity stunt.  

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Cultural Sensitivity

Sensitivity is a tricky topic to explore within the context of marketing and communications. There are a lot of areas where marketing campaigns and messages have the potential to be insensitive. It takes a combination of self awareness and inclusion of others in the creative process to avoid releasing marketing campaigns that are insensitive. 

The line of what is considered insensitive is culturally defined and can be different for different groups and can also change over time as cultural norms evolve. Something that one person sees as a joke or even as an empathetic statement can be interpreted by others as offensive, demeaning, hurtful or insensitive.

It is absolutely critical that your organization does not appropriate, exploit, victimize, alienate, stereotype, or misrepresent your customers, community, or anyone who comes across your marketing and messaging. In order to avoid these negative outcomes it is critical to take steps to reinforce inclusivity and diverse perspectives and vices within your creative process.

Avoid the Savior Complex

One common place where sensitivity issues come into play is when the leadership team of a social venture, nonprofit, or impact initiatives operates from a place of power over the community that they hope to support. This often comes from a place of privilege and a lack of understanding and sensitivity to the chosen issue.

Often a well meaning team or caring individual can feel like they care enough about an issue that through their education, access to resources and capital, or sheer willpower that they will be able to create an organization or business that will solve a complex challenge for a community that has a perceived need for support. This approach can be characterized as a savior complex, especially when the organization developing “the solution” does not listen to or partner with the community directly impacted. Communication is likely to lack sensitivity when organizations attempt to solve issues without including and empowering the community that they are striving to support.

Questions about Sensitivity that You Should be able to Answer:

  • Has your organization taken steps to avoid any exploitation, appropriation, or stereotyping of underrepresented or historically oppressed people or groups within your marketing content?
  • Do you seek out feedback on the appropriateness and sensitivity of your marketing content?

Dignity vs. Focusing on the Problem

As marketers we choose how to represent people. Typically people who have barriers in their lives are in the best position to remove those barriers. The process of dignification, deep understanding, and empowerment are the first steps toward solving key social issues. It is also important to recognize and understand the social and economic systems that lead to the issue in the first place. Any complex issue likely has multiple causes and multiple potential solutions and it’s important as marketers for organizations that are trying to address any social or environmental issue that we humble ourselves and commit to exploring various perspectives and options for how to build campaigns aimed at promoting products or services as solutions to long standing issues. 

Highlighting those in need, typically using stereotypical images, is often useful in raising money and eliciting an emotional response from the broader community who may be interested in helping, however this approach often misrepresents the problem, oversimplifies the issue, and dishonors the individuals and community who are in need of support. While it may be tempting to take this approach, it almost always leads to campaigns and messages that will be seen as insensitive and may have disempower the communities that we should be striving to empower.

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Permission Based Email Marketing

“Permission based marketing is anticipated, personal, and relevant.”

—Seth Godin

The term “permission marketing” was originated by marketing thought leader Seth Godin in his 1999 book by the same name to describe marketing where the recipient of the marketing messages provides permission to send them marketing materials. Another way to describe this is that they have opted in to receiving marketing messages. Over the years this has primarily been used in discussion of email marketing, however it also applies to social media and some forms of traditional marketing such as direct mail. For this section of this guide to Ethical Marketing, we will be focusing on permission-based email marketing.

The keys to successful, ethical email marketing include:

  • Relationship – Building trust with your target audience so that they will be willing to offer you permission to send them email messages by opting in. The key to building relationships is to offer value.

  • Frequency – Ensuring that you get the timing right with your emails messages so that they are not so frequent that they become annoying or so infrequent that your audience loses interest.

  • Permission – Building enough trust and offering enough value that your audience will happily provide your email address to join your list, download your content, or join your online community, etc…

Building a list manually and sending without permission is both unethical, but in some cases it may also be illegal and is certainly a surefire way to undermine the trust within your target audience.

Keys to Success in Ethical, Permission Based Email Marketing

Create value within your free content (including videos, blogs, online resources, online classes, social media content, etc).  You must prove to your audience that there is a reason to opt in. One great example of this concept is covered in the book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk. The jab is a reference to the free content and adding value, repeatedly before asking your audience to buy anything. The right hook is the ask, where you ask people to buy something, hire you, attend your event, etc. The right hook comes after a series of jabs that build up trust by offering real value over time. 
Build additional value through “gated” content.  Gated content is content that requires some additional action to gain access to the content. The most common example is when a marketer requires a user to provide their name and email address in exchange for access to a higher valued piece of content. In essence you are asking for access to their inbox and the ability to send them content any time you want in exchange for the gated content. 
Implement GDPR compliant email opt-ins into your website landing pages and campaigns.  The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation that came into effect in May of 2018 that regulates a variety of aspects of data privacy and transparency. This regulation was passed in the EU and primarily regulates how companies can capture, store, and use personal data for EU citizens, however similar laws are expected to come into effect in the US, and we feel that these laws set a clear standard for permission based marketing that provide a solid benchmark for ethical email marketing.   One of the ways this law impacts the collection of email addresses is that when you ask your website visitors to provide their email address (even if it is in exchange for gated content) you should ask them to acknowledge that they understand they are being asked to sign up for your email list by taking an action (i.e. clicking a box) that states they want to “opt in” to receiving regular emails from your organization. 
Maintain the trust of our email list by continuing to offer value and consistency. Only message your list about topics, events, and content that are related to what they opted in for.  If you keep the value and trust levels high you should see effectiveness from your email marketing including a high engagement rate on your messages including a high open rate and click rate as well as a high level of interaction of your key messages and calls to action.

Resources to learn more about Permission Based Marketing:

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Ethical Digital Advertising

Digital advertising, like any form of disruptive advertising, has the potential to land anywhere on the honesty spectrum from highly manipulative and dishonest to very accurate, ethical and honest. 

Aside from the question of accuracy and honesty, digital advertising also opens the door to other ethical issues related to data privacy that result from the technological steps that large media companies have gone to in order to understand, profile, track and target their users online so that their paying advertisers can reach their exact target audience via their digital advertising products and services. 

The ethical considerations of digital advertising is a rapidly evolving landscape. It is highly likely that the line of what is both legal and ethically acceptable will shift over the next few years.

Concerns Related to Digital Advertising

Cookies

Cookies are small text files that a web browser software uses to store identifying information to help them understand visitors between online sessions and between different websites. Increasingly it is seen as unethical to use cookies without getting a site visitor’s explicit consent. Cookies are often used for remarketing and advertising list building. 


False Advertising

This one speaks for itself. If an advertisement makes untrue claims about a product or services or clearly misrepresents what is being offered then it is false advertising which is clearly an unethical marketing tactic. 


Issues with Advertorial Advertising

It is important that an online user can tell what is paid advertising vs what is editorial content. Advertorial content is content that looks like unbiased editorial/earned media but is actually paid advertising. This type of content can take place on written articles, social media posts, written reviews, or videos. Influencer marketing often relies on the process of well connected social influencers promoting products or services to their audiences, often through content that would be considered advertorial if the influencer is not transparent that the content is a paid promotion. 

While advertorial content may be seen by some as an ethical gray area, it is increasingly becoming clear that misleading users into believing that a brand mention is based on editorial merit alone, when in fact the placement was paid for by the brand is an unethical marketing tactic by both the publisher and brand buying the paid content.  


Pop-Ups, Pop-Unders and Modal Windows 

There are a wide variety of types of pop-up style promotions that websites can deploy. The use of pop-ups or pop-unders (which create new tabs or windows behind the main browser window) is now widely considered to be an unethical practice. Pop ups and other similar tactics often generate misleading statistics about how many people actually see their content and few users actually engage with this type of content. 

The modal window is a term for using similar techniques within your own website where the pop up is part of your own web page. Modal windows are often used for contact forms, email signups and other strategies. When properly implemented, modal windows can be helpful for the user and very effective for marketing. However, when overused modal windows can become annoying and can degrade the user’s experience of your website. Here are a few best practices for modal window use:

  • Use them in ways that offer clear value. 
  • Limit how often they are used, allow people to opt out of modal windows.
  • Make it easy to close them.
  • If a user closes a modal window, save that info so that they don’t see them over and over again.
  • If a user completes a modal window for an opt in, then you don’t need to show that user the window again.

Privacy and Transparency

The main issue around privacy and transparency with digital advertising revolves around using personal information for targeting without consent from the user. GDPR offers clear guidelines that require that websites ask users to opt into their data being used for digital advertising and targeting. 


 
How Cultural Sensitivity Impacts Advertising 

In addition to honesty and privacy being ethical factors in advertising, cultural sensitivity is also a topic that should be strongly considered during the development of any new digital advertising campaign. Over the last few years several major brands have rolled out advertising that has been widely criticized as being culturally insensitive, including ads for Pepsi and Heineken. As you embark on any new advertising campaign, it is good practice to carefully consider how  communities are represented in the advertising and whether or not your ad perpetuates harmful stereotypes. 

The highly ethical marker will explicitly ask their website visitors for permission to use cookies for the purpose of showing them relevant content in the future (retargeting or remarketing to them using cookie data). As privacy laws and regulations evolve it will likely be legally required to include an explicit opt-in from your website visitors in order to track them and remarket to them using cookies.

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Digital Wellness and the Social Media Dilemma

The potentially harmful psychological impact of social media on human beings is now being widely researched and talked about, as is the role social platforms play in the sharing and spread of misinformation, fake media, and hate speech. The 2020 documentary The Social Dilemma shone light on both of these concerns. The Center for Humane Technology, the organization behind the film, has worked to drastically increase pushback against social platforms. A variety of boycotts of social advertising have gained momentum and an increasing number of impact focused organizations are opting to divest from paid advertising on social media platforms and in some cases other digital advertising platforms. 

Ultimately each business and organization will decide how to use these social media and digital advertising platforms as more information comes to light. A movement is building to regulate these platforms, however historically political pressure does not move fast enough to keep up with technology. Pressure is growing on the platforms to reform themselves, and at the time of this publication (early 2021) they have not made any major changes to address these concerns other than minor changes to filter and flag misinformation.

Businesses that market to broad consumer audiences (B2C businesses) may find it very difficult to disengage from mainstream social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. Boycotting or avoiding these platforms may not be an option for many businesses and marketing agencies. That said, every business can choose how they utilize these tools and which of the paid targeting options are deployed when buying digital advertising on social media platforms. Every business should be encouraged to do their own research and have internal conversations about which platforms, tools, and targeting strategies that they are comfortable with. These decisions should be revisited 1-2 times each year as these platforms and technologies are always changing and public knowledge of how they work is also an evolving landscape as well.

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Ethical Marketing Strategy: SEO and Content Marketing

Google and other search engine providers use proprietary algorithms to determine how to rank the content they deliver to users. Higher rankings can lead to greater traffic to your website and growth for your business and organization (in terms of audience size, sales numbers or donation amounts, or other metrics). Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the term used to describe practices to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website by improving search engine rankings and attracting greater traffic through organic search engine results. SEO can be an effective way to reach your target audiences, but you must tread carefully here. Any time that computers are used to make decisions that will affect business outcomes—bad actors will attempt to hack and manipulate the system. 

So how do you ensure you are only using ethical SEO practices? 

To put it simply—the use of manipulative tactics that exploit the system and the audience is unethical. 

The only ethical approach to SEO is to create useful content that audiences find valuable and that is structured in a way that aligns with what the algorithms are looking for. 

Unethical SEO: Tactics to Avoid

  • Purchasing links – Paying for links from other websites. Links should be built organically out of merit and from real relationships and partnerships. 
  • Automated link building – Using software or online bots to build links.
  • Hidden content and links – Intentionally hiding content or links so that only the search engines can see them.
  • Automated, stolen or plagiarized content generation – Using content scraping  technology, AI content development, or direct content theft to generate high volumes of content to build your site’s size and perceived authority. 
  • Keywords stuffing, over optimization – There is a fine line between manually optimizing content for SEO best practices (ethical onpage optimization) and over optimization which can also be called keyword stuffing. It takes experience and a deep understanding of the latest algorithms to learn where this line is.
  • Misdirection – Unethical redirects: Misuse of cloaking and doorway pages.

Best Practices for Ethical SEO and Content Marketing

  • Put the user first, focus on value, create helpful content that aligns with your mission
  • Stay up to date. Google and other search engine providers update their algorithms frequently. Constant attention must be paid to ensure your SEO practices remain both effective and ethical. 
  • Link building: Create valuable content that other websites will link to and cite as a source. (The rule of thumb is to aim to create content that is 10 times better than other pieces on the same topic). This includes blogs, ebooks, comprehensive guide books, and educational “pillar pages” that cover a topic and all relevant sub-topics in depth.
  • Use PR and aligned partnerships to build links.
  • Use redirection tools to help users find the right content.
  • Create helpful, well branded 404 pages with useful navigation.

Joshua Maddox Associate Director of Marketing and Technology at Acumen: SEO best practices are all around providing great content and being a great partner. Search engines want to provide the best content. Try to provide value and you will be rewarded for it. If you try things just to get ahead, it may work today but it will not work tomorrow. The search engines will catch up with unethical strategies.

Resources to learn more about Ethical SEO:

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Marketing Examples from Three Leading Ethical Companies

TOMS

TOMS was one of the first consumer product brands to incorporate a social cause directly into their business model and marketing strategy. With its “One for One” campaign, TOMS donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair that a customer buys to a child in need. As of the start of 2022 they have donated over 75 million pairs of shoes. Ethical marketing example: TOMS ‘One for One’ Campaign: “For One Another” Commercial and assets

Dr. Bronner

Dr. Bronner’s marketing approach can be characterized as activist marketing, as they often feature ethical marketing campaigns focused on income equality, regenerative organic agriculture, drug policy reform, and animal advocacy. Ethical marketing example: What Dr. Bronner’s Mad Scientist Marketing Can Teach Brands About Actually Giving a Crap.

Patagonia

Patagonia is one of the best known and most commonly cited examples of a company that utilized ethical marketing and product sustainability to drive brand awareness and customer loyalty. Ethical marketing example: The Success of Patagonia’s Marketing Campaigns

Want more? Download a free version of the ebook to access additional content, including a series of interviews Justin Belleme conducted with digital marketing experts. 

Benefits of Ethical Marketing

New privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA mean there are new pitfalls to avoid, especially around email list management and digital advertising through Google, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the considerations you need to make to ensure you are reaching people through digital channels in ways that are as ethical as they are effective. Having an ethical marketing policy in place can help you navigate the decision making process and reduce any anxieties you have through that process. 

Aside from the relief of knowing your digital marketing efforts are ethical, there are a variety of other benefits for companies that take steps to create and adopt their own policies. Justin shared a few of the benefits that he has seen within our own agency since we adopted our own ethical marketing policy.

You Need an Ethical Marketing Policy: 6 Benefits for Companies (Especially B Corps)

Ethical Marketing Policy Template

To help other marketers and business leaders benefit from our research, we have created a free ethical marketing policy template. Click on the link to access the Google Doc template. Make a copy and adapt to your own needs.