When it comes to internet marketing and how you present your online business, it’s not just about what you are trying to sell, but selling your business as well. While it may seem that business ethics have diminished over the years based on a number of approaches that reflect the greed of some people, the truth is that having good business ethics is just as important today as it ever has been.
To apply a standard of practices directed toward your customers, clients and employees that reflect the best standards of ethics is far from a detriment. In fact, it is an advantage to your overall marketing efforts to sell not only your products, but your business to the public as well.
How Integrity is Vital to Internet Marketing Efforts
Projecting the integrity of your business and the ethics that infuses your approach is a vital aspect when it comes to marketing your services across the internet. Remember that most people discover online businesses through search engines which means that most of them have never seen any advertisements, talked to other customers or have even been aware of your business before discovering it themselves.
In these situations, practicing high standards of ethics is crucial to gaining their confidence. This means that you may risk not making the sale, but in truth you have secured your business in being trustworthy and dealing above the board when it comes to the many different issues of customer interaction.
As many people were taught as school children, the unethical road is actually easier, but leads to disaster and failure. Taking the path of establishing good ethical practices means having to do more work, but the end result is one that will benefit your efforts in the long run.
The Advantages of Ethics in Online Businesses
Setting good ethical standards for how you treat your customer, clients and employees in every phase of your online business starts with writing out these practices for all to see. In this manner, you are holding yourself accountable along with everyone in your business to uphold good ethical practices.
Uniformed Approach: Your business brand is built in large part by how customers perceive your company. Quite often, the bad experiences that customers have with a particular business are because of the different treatment that they receive in comparison to others. Such incidents get reported on customer review sites and your brand suffers in the process.
By practicing good ethical standards that all of your employees are aware, you create a standard which all customers are treated the same. While this will not fully end bad experiences, it will put them in a different light and they will also be resolved more in a manner that builds up your image.
Business to Business (B2B): When working with other companies, having a set of ethics that is followed builds trust and creates a better environment for outsourcing, selling and even partnerships that may develop with clients. While each business will have its own standards and practices, working with a company that has the same basic ethical rules creates a more open and honest relationship.
Here, everything is above board and misunderstandings are fewer in nature. While it doesn’t mean that potential conflicts or troubling issues are complete avoided, it does mean that when any controversy comes up it can be handled quickly and honestly. As a result, your overall image improves and the ability to work with more businesses is increased as well.
Problem Solving: When there are uniform standards, all but the most unusual of circumstances becomes easier to handle and solve. Take for example the business that does not always practice the best of standards in how they sell to the consumer. When faced with a situation with another business that they work with or a valued employee who may have crossed ethical lines in their efforts, it is much harder to justify any action taken because they themselves are just as guilty as well.
Long Term Success: The companies that have lasted for a very long time share at least one thing in common, a history of good ethical practices. There may have been times during their history when that was not true and some may have managed to get away with being less than honest. However, such situations rarely last for very long because the resulting scandal will either bring down the company or cause a major correction to take place. History is full of businesses that have endured major scandals only to survive because they started engaging in good ethical practices afterwards.
By practicing standards across the board with all aspects of the business, it becomes much easier to handle situation in which a policy or approach is not considered proper.
Social Media Efforts are augmented by Good Ethical Conduct
One of the most interesting new marketing channel of the past decade is social media. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the like have provided a new platform for businesses to reach out to customers in a more personal manner.
However, social media is also a place where the “hard sell” is seen as unsuitable for the nature of the environment. Here, a more direct interaction with potential customers is preferred and having good ethical standards will pay off in this field as well. When interacting with those on social media sites, the practice of good ethics is respected especially if it is applied in an even manner.
Social media offers a unique platform in which these practices can be explained, discussed, debated and even augmented. While general ethics are an unshakeable platform, you may be surprised to find approaches within your standards that otherwise would be undiscovered without the interaction with your customers. Therefore, social media can work to your advantage when it comes to expressing your good business practices and finding new customers as well.
Employing good, professional practices that are clear to your employees, businesses and customers helps tremendously with your internet marketing efforts. Far from being dead, the online businesses that succeed in the long run are those who place a very high emphasis on good ethical practices.