Do they think highly of you? Or do they believe they can’t trust you farther than they can see you? Perception is reality! At least in marketing. And what people think of you determines how they respond to your product.
What is integrity marketing anyway? Webster’s dictionary defines integrity as completeness; unimpaired condition or soundness; honesty and sincerity.
Marketing professionals are particularly susceptible to compromise because of the usual challenges that come with the job – competition, accountability and new technology. Here are some areas of self examination to consider:
- Do you make over-blown claims about your product/service?
- Do you deliver exactly what you promise without excuse?
- Knowing everything that you know, would you buy your own product?
- Does your product/service have potential dangers (physical, emotional or spiritual)?
- If it does, do you provide adequate disclosure?
- Does your advertising encourage bad behavior?
- Are your ads offensive (whether explicitly or implicitly)?
- Do you bend the rules a little to cover your rear?
- Do you calculate how much duplicity you can get away with without getting caught?
- Do you take responsibility for mistakes, bad business decisions etc. or do you look for a scape-goat?
Whatever you may think about integrity marketing, here’s why you should care – (Lynn Upshaw writes in an Adage article, “Integrity in marketing is not optional”):
- buyers are fed up with marketers behaving badly
- business integrity produces tremendous competitive advantage (Trader Joe’s employee tasting panels test all new products before stocking)
- even if legislation lags behind the marketplace, lawsuits and investigations are becoming increasingly common (AstraZeneca pays off $520 M for illegal marketing)
What are your thoughts on this delicate subject?