In the wake of our current economic situation one question we need to ask ourselves is: “Are we ethical?” At first you will probably say, yes, I am. However, if you look at it deeper are there any questionable practices that you and your company are doing that might be called to question?
Marketing or running your business ethically is fairly simple when you add common sense. I have been a Rotarian for over 17 years. This is a global organization that promotes good will in local communities and around the world. The Rotary has a simple 4 way test to determine if something is ethical. Paraphrased for the business world they look like this:
- Is it the truth?
- Is it fair to all concerned?
- Will it build goodwill and better relationships?
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
These are four easy questions to ask yourself before designing and implementing a marketing campaign, or anything else for that matter. Of course this is just one example of an ethical business code and there are many others. Does your company have a Code of Conduct that applies to marketing? If not it might not be a bad idea to consider writing one up. It is good to have a set of standards on paper that can be used as a simple reference point when planning anything.
Businesses are more likely to succeed when they function as an ethical organization centering on honesty, integrity, and quality. This goes for all levels of the organization from the product or service you offer, to the way you sell it, to the way you handle customer relations and to the way you interact with employees, the community and the environment.