Incorporating Ethics Into Marketing Strategy

Instructor: Savannah Samoszuk

Savannah has over eight years of hotel management experience and has a master's degree in leadership.

Every company wants to sell their product and will use marketing strategies to do so. This lesson will take a look at how to stay ethical when creating a marketing strategy.

Ethics in Marketing

A company's goal is to sell their product or service and make a profit. When developing a marketing strategy in order to achieve this goal it can be easy to leave ethics out of the strategy. Ethics are a set of moral principles. In other words, ethics are doing the right thing for the good of the consumer when it comes to marketing. Companies need to keep their consumers in mind when developing marketing strategies.

For example, let us imagine that Jimmy is starting his own business selling cleaning products. He starts advertising that his cleaning products are chemical free but he knows that they actually contain some chemicals. This is when ethics comes into play in marketing strategies. Jimmy knows that his products are not chemical free but he wants to advertise them that way in order to gain customers. To explore the matter further, let us take a look at three ways to incorporate ethics in marketing strategy that include honesty, consumer safety, and consumer security.


The first way to include ethics in a marketing strategy is to make sure that all advertisements are honest. In the example of Jimmy's business he was not honest about his product by advertising that the cleaning products were chemical free when they were not. Companies need to make sure that they do not advertise false information in order to get consumers to buy the product.

They can also be honest by making sure they are clear about the intended market. For example, if a company is selling diet pills that work best for people who are looking for casual weight loss versus extreme weight loss they need to disclose that in their marketing. They do not want to run a commercial showing people losing 100 pounds if the product is only good for losing 10-20 pounds. The bottom line is to make sure that all marketing content is honest starting with telling the truth about the product and its intended target.

Consumer Safety

Next, companies need to keep their consumer's safety in mind when developing a marketing strategy. They need to make sure that their strategy does not encourage unsafe practices or uses of products. For example, if the diet pills could cause harm if used with alcohol then the company needs to make sure to include that in their marketing strategies. They do not want to market the diet pills saying that the consumer does not have to make any changes to their current lifestyle in order to use the product. This would not be taking the consumer's safety in mind when promoting the product. The company would list what could happen if the consumer combined the diet pill with alcohol. An ethical marketing strategy would make sure to point out any dangers to a consumer. This is why many drug commercials include a long list of possible side effects.

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