Tag Archives: ethics

Ethical Selling: Not Necessarily an Oxymoron

4 Apr

Each year, Gallup conducts a survey on “Honesty/Ethics in Professions.” Here are the most recent results. As we can see, professionals in the health care professions are considered the most honest and ethical by Americans. On the other hand, car and insurance salespeople, advertising practitioners, and stockbrokers are rated quite low on these attributes. 
 

 

So what can these marketing professionals do to improve their standing among the public?

Consider these observations from Drew Hendricks, writing for Inc.:

“Sales itself is a fact of life; there’s something to sell to someone who wants to buy it; and salespeople are going to exist. Sales organizations need to ‘make a stand for ethical selling. Make sure it’s in your culture and communicate the importance and responsibility your salespeople and sales leadership have to represent the career of professional selling.’ Why do companies get an unhealthy sales culture? They’re pushing quota over quality, over long-term annual recurring revenue, and threatening those that aren’t ‘performing’ without understanding performance over time is powerful.”

“The most powerful conclusion one can take from the idea of ethical sales is to stand by key points: (1) Make thoughtful, careful research of a customer before even approaching them. (2) As Thorniley suggests, use ‘connected products, supported by predictive customer service [to anticipate] customer needs.’ (3) Think of the sales pipeline not as a one-stop process ending in a sale, but one that continually boosts customer happiness. (4) Don’t focus on closing; focus on making a sale that leaves the customer exhilarated and excited to have paid you.”

 

Click the image to read more from Hendricks.

CREDIT: Getty Images

 

A Salute to State Farm for Promoting Community Service

16 Mar

For decades, State Farm Insurance has used the slogan, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” It’s community involvement is highlighted by the tag line, “Good neighbors always lend a helping hand.”

To highlight its community involvement programs, beginning in late 2015, State Farm introduced a series of videos/TV ads called “Neighborhood Sessions.” Here is one of those TV ads:

 “State Farm Neighborhood Sessions® celebrates good neighbors — the kind of good neighbors who have your back and work hard to make their communities better. Meet some Oklahoma superstars who inspire others through their passion for good.”


 
This month (March 2017), State Farm introduced a new TV ad called “The Following:”

“Let’s turn caring into doing. Visit http://NeighborhoodofGood.com to find volunteer opportunities in your community. Causes include education, health care, homelessness, veterans, animals, and many others.”


 

Ethically, Should There Be a “Pink Tax”?

5 Dec

Did you know that there are several instances when women pay more than men for the same goods and services? For example, nationwide, many dry cleaners charge a higher fee for a woman’s “blouse” than a man’s “shirt” — even if the items are exactly the same. This practice has become known as the pink tax. We’re at the end of 2016, and this practice is still in effect.

Consider the following excerpts from a report by Glenn Taylor for Retail TouchPoints

When Boxed.com lowered the costs of feminine products sold on its site, it brought awareness to the issue of the ‘pink tax’ — the higher prices charged for female-marketed products such as razors, deodorants, and body wash compared to similar marketed-to-male products. But Boxed.com hasn’t been the only brand seeking to raise awareness about the pricing gap.”

A recent RetailWire article spotlighted the actions of New York City pharmacy Thompson Chemists, which charged a one-day 7% ‘man tax’ in response to the pink tax. Although the drugstore didn’t actually add on a tax for male shoppers, it did give females a 7% discount on all items throughout the store. The 7% discount reflected a study from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs indicating that women’s products across a wide range of hygiene categories cost 7% more than men’s products sold in the city. As if this added tax wasn’t enough, feminine hygiene products also fall under the ‘luxury’ tax designation in 39 states, which means a 9% sales tax is charged for items such as pads and tampons.”

“Like many politically sensitive or gender-charged actions, the pharmacy’s tax was met with sharply divided opinions from consumers. While the move was reportedly received well in the store, it resulted in a flood of largely negative comments online as the story went viral.”

 

Click the image to read more on this topic from Retail TouchPoints.
 

 

PLEASE Be a Smart Customer This Holiday Shopping Season

21 Nov

Yes, Black Friday WEEK is finally here — after weeks of being bombarded by holiday shopping ads. This post has two goals: (1) To alert you to the possible deceptions this week and (2) to again present our THIRTY-FIVE holiday shopping tips.

Our first topic is this: Is Black Friday week really a good time to shop? Are there bargains that won’t be available after Friday? Let’s turn to Brian Chen, writing for the New York Times (1, 2), for an assessment of Black Friday deals:

“The overwhelming majority of Black Friday deals are duds. Retailers’ sales promotions begin weeks before Thanksgiving, with a smattering of modest deals that eventually build up to the shopping bonanza that is Black Friday. That is followed by Cyber Monday, a so-called online shopping extravaganza after Thanksgiving weekend.”

“It has become fashionable for online retailers to build up anticipation for Black Friday with so-called flash deals. These last only a few hours, putting pressure on consumers to buy with little or no research. Yet, however you shop, chances of snatching a great deal for a quality item are slim, because Black Friday is mainly for retailers to clear out unwanted goods and best-sellers rarely drop much in price.”

“Year round, The Wirecutter tracks prices across the Web to unearth true deals on high-quality items. Less than 1 percent of the tens of thousands of Black Friday deals online last year were good deals — that is, discounts on high-quality, well-reviewed, and durable products. This year, the situation is likely to be the same.

“A quick search on Camel Camel Camel, which looks up price histories on Amazon, [can be quite enlightening]. Some mediocre deals can be tricky to catch. Toward the end of October, Amazon listed a deal for its Kindle Paperwhite E-reader for $100. This may seem like a good deal because the retail price is $120. But at the beginning of October, the Paperwhite was discounted to $90 — a price drop that Camel Camel Camel could not detect because the discount was applied at the end of the checkout.”

 

Take a look at the following New York Times video for further insights.

 

 

Our second topic is this: How can you be a better shopper for the 2016 holiday season? Here are 35 tips (originally posted two weeks ago).

2016-shopping-tips
 

Can You Personalize Marketing without Shopper Participation?

16 Nov

One of the toughest issues for marketers to deal with in this high-tech world is how much to personalize their communication and offerings. On the one hand, marketers need as much customer information as possible to target individual shoppers more specifically. On the other hand, many customers want their privacy and do not appreciate it when they think they are overly tracked.

What do YOU think is the proper balance?

Here the thoughts on this subject by Louis Foong, the founder and CEO of ALEA Group Inc., (a B2B demand generation specialist):

“You want to give your prospects and customers a seamless, personalized, and sublime experience, and you know that you can’t do that without collecting their personal data. The trouble is, a lot of your customers don’t like the idea of sharing their information with you – what exactly are they so afraid of?”

“Findings by Boxever show that attitudes toward personalization and privacy are complex, and there are a few reasons why many of them are so against sharing their personal information with companies. The infographic below shows the trickiness of balancing privacy concerns and effective personalization.  Customers are also wary about receiving spam mail or offers that aren’t relevant to their interests. Only 14% of people say data collection through connected devices will improve their life.The other 86% either aren’t sure or don’t think it will improve their life.”

 
Here is the challenge.


 

When Marketing’s Good, It Can Do GOOD

8 Nov

Cause-related marketing can be inspirational and touch us. Hopefully, it can also make us want to better ourselves and the world. 🙂

Consider the annual Wildlife Conservation Film Festival (WCFF):

“The WCFF’s mission is to inform, engage, and inspire audiences about the need for and importance of the protection of global biodiversity. The WCFF does this through the annual film festival and biodiversity conference in New York. Also through an education outreach program to college/university campuses. WCFF engages in monthly programs in New York and other cities that include film screenings, business & social networking events, and presentations. People that attend and participate in the WCFF are international wildlife conservationists, filmmakers, photographers, scientists and people across the globe that work toward the preservation of global biodiversity.”

As reported by HubSpot, the 2016 film, was “set to “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.” It was “created pro bono [free!!] by DDB New York as part of a larger campaign to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and global biodiversity protection. Zombie Studio produced the animation for the spot, which features a cast of uniquely expressive animals and sinister humans.”
 
Will this short film move YOU?

 


 

Public Wi-Fi: Popular, But Not Secure

20 Oct

Have you ever used free public Wi-Fi at the airport, Starbucks, Panera Bread, or other unsecured venues?  Is it safe from hacking, identity theft, and other invasions of privacy? No!! So, why do we use it?

According to Ian Barker, writing for Beta News:

“There’s an expectation that public Wi-Fi will be available pretty much everywhere we go these days. We access it almost without thinking about it, yet public networks rarely encrypt data leaving users vulnerable.”

“A new survey of more than 2,000 business users by networking company Xirrus finds that while 91 percent of respondents don’t believe public Wi-Fi is secure, 89 percent use it anyway. The report shows that 48 percent of Wi-Fi users connect to public Wi-Fi at least three times per week and 31 percent connect to public Wi-Fi every day.”

“When on public Wi-Fi, 83 percent of users access their E-mail, whether it’s for work or personal reasons, and 43 percent access work-specific information. ‘Today, the convenience of using public Wi-Fi, for a variety of work and recreational uses, supersedes security, which puts both individuals and businesses at risk. Most businesses do not offer secure connectivity options for customers and guests.’ says Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus.”

 

Take a look at the following infographic. Still think it’s a good idea to access private information via public Wi-Fi?


 

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