When one starts a company, either online or in real life, many have hopes of striking it rich. However, not everyone wants to make money honestly using hard work, not everyone has what it takes to be successful solely through ethical marketing practices.
This is exactly why many people start engaging in unethical marketing practices. The goal here may be to trick customers into buying more, shutting out their competition, or simply enhancing their own name in some way. If the process is not strictly honest, the company may be putting its reputation on the line. Read on below to see if you are engaging in any of these unethical practices:
1. Forcing Customers Into Making A Purchase
There are several ways to convince people to buy your product. This may be done honestly, or occasionally in a forceful manner.
For instance, on their online sales page, there might be huge exclamations and banners falsely proclaiming charitable donations or how their product would help alleviate from poverty. Another example might be stating to their customers that buying their product may be the only way to make money online. If vendors claim that there is no use in trying to make money without their product, they are outright misinforming customers.
In most cases your product should sell itself through referrals and word of mouth. You may inform customers of what they would gain by buying what you have to offer. Alternatively, you could also honestly say what difference your product could make over others.
2. Accuracy in text or advertising
Sometimes goods on the market are not worth buying. Online marketing often uses photography and writing techniques to mislead. Unfortunately, often if the prices are too cheap, there is an almost certain compromise on quality. If the pictures are of food, it may be much smaller than it seems to be. Close-ups, zooming in, and lighting can serve to trick a customer into placing an order.
This practice may serve to get you a few initial orders, but very few repeat purchases. Customers would definitely not return to a vendor who has fooled them once.
Hence, it is important to make sure you are not just concentrating solely on making sales, but providing the best product or service you can as well. This would satisfy your customers, and they would most likely make your products popular in return.
3. Having Lackluster Customer Support/Service
A well-meaning company always has a great system of customer support. This serves to help the customers with any problem they may have. The system makes it easy for consumers to place orders, view their accounts and products, and register complaints.
It is also customer support which helps in analyzing feedback from the customers. This contributes to the market research which can enhance the company’s performance. Plus, customers greatly appreciate a polite and efficient system. Even if they are less than happy with the products for some reason, good customer service may keep them coming back.
However, many companies find customer support a bit expensive to maintain. They may cut corners and choose not to have a strong system available for customers.
However, this practice is quite unethical, as it may not offer any way for consumers to complain or get information. Some companies may have a customer service department, but not fund or staff it enough. Some may also provide a customer helpline but not have it working 24/7. This can also help to erode the customers’ trust and patience.
Moreover, it is very important that your customer service teams are well trained, polite and knowledgeable. Customer service is an important ethical part of your company and can work of as a strong marketing tool.
4. Under Delivering And Over Charging
These practices would never endear a company to its customers, nor help in attracting new ones. When you don’t deliver the full order or charge exorbitant prices, you are very likely to turn off customers.
Many marketers adopt the unethical practice of promising the customers a lot of things within a package. However, once the customer makes the purchase, they are told that the extra items are out of stock. This is a highly disappointing event and could lead to a lot of anger and frustration. Honesty for your company is one of the most important practices and should got through your whole company.
It is important to educate yourself about unethical marketing practices. This is because you may be indulging in these activities without realizing it. If customers and social media influencers catch on to this, it may break your hold on the market.
Hence, it is a much better choice to stay above board while dealing with your market. You may not earn so much in the beginning, but your customers’ trust is priceless in the long run.
Scarlett Erin is a Marketing Manager and Blogging Expert. Apart from being a marketing guru, she also lends her services for assignment writing UK to students in UK and abroad. In her leisure time, she likes to play soccer, volleyball and table tennis.
This article was written by, and is (c) Scarlett Erin. All opinions, recommendations and views expressed in this article are solely those of Scarlett Erin.