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Ethical Manipulation In Marketing


With companies and significant corporations going to great lengths to market their products and services, one might wonder if ethics are involved in determining what is fair and just. However, you might be surprised to learn that marketing ethics is not a myth; in fact, the term exists and has a significant meaning.

Marketing ethics can be defined as the development of strategies in which moral principles trump all forms of communication while the need to sell products and services remains. According to marketers at a sales and marketing conference, marketing ethics is concerned with promoting goods and services without making false claims. It also means not invading customers' privacy and avoiding tarnishing a competitor's public image through manipulation.

These principles then form the proper conduct that the establishment follows, aiding in shaping their current and future decisions. However, the question arises as to whether manipulation can be accomplished through ethical marketing.

To help some people understand this quandary, experts from top marketing events in Vegas discuss how manipulation can be justified through the lens of ethical marketing. Here are a few things to remember:

Creating Genuine Enthusiasm

To grasp what we're talking about, consider the marketing strategy known as spamming. Spamming in digital marketing can be defined as self-promotion in which a company or establishment sends unwanted information about its products and services to an extensive list of random email contacts. Understanding the needs of your target audience rather than simply promoting your offers and bombarding them with unwanted advertisements is an ethical approach to communicating with them.

However, because spamming is a relatively less time-consuming method of reaching a more significant number of people, companies frequently engage in this type of manipulation.

Realistic Advertising

Over the years, we have seen many organizations fall victim to marketing schemes that encourage the dissemination of false information to capture the attention of their target audience. Maintaining credibility and trustworthiness in your line of attack would be an ethical approach. Advertising realism entails being truthful in your claims and statements so that they are based on reality and actual outcomes rather than projecting your products and services through deception.

In a nutshell, realistic advertising is when companies straightforwardly show the facts with nothing to raise doubts in the viewers' minds.

Genuine Promotions

Sometimes businesses make the terrible mistake of listing the benefits of their products and services by fantasizing about them and blowing them out of proportion. That's where genuine promotions kick in!

Building Trustworthy Relationships

One of the most important goals of marketing is to keep customers and build long-term relationships. However, as we have seen in the preceding examples, being honest throughout your operations requires considerable skill.

Ethical marketing entails remaining trustworthy and dependable without the use of deception.

Adding Value To Stakeholders

The basic definition of creating value for stakeholders is simply providing the best returns on their investment, which relates to maximizing net profits and cash flows. In that case, ensure your ideas and their implementation are unique and have no comparison to similar products or services on the market.


It is evident that ethical marketing is not for everyone, and achieving it requires complete honesty with your customers as well as incredible transparency in your operations.

However, for the longest time, people were unaware that ethical marketing and business existed. The Marketing 2.0 Conference, in its winter edition 2022, will shed light on more such aspects of manipulation in marketing.

Sarika Gautam

Sarika is a team leader at the Marketing 2.0 Conference. Through an exciting line-up of speaker sessions, experts will shed light on innovative topics such as the future of marketing, advertising, and retail at the three-day event. They will also touch on developments in marketing automation and e-commerce, marketing scams/fraud and spam, among other issues concerning effective marketing strategies.