Times Have Changed: Ethical Marketing in 2021 

 June 25, 2021

By  Jennifer Anastasi

My grandmothers grew up in a world where women weren’t allowed to work. It’s not that they chose not to work – companies wouldn’t hire them.

One had to give up her job the day she got married and the other was “lucky” in that she could continue to work until she got pregnant (a few months after her marriage so big whoop).

I look at the choice available to their granddaughters and I feel so blessed that so many women have come before me and fought the good fight for the rights of women to be able to do things like keeping a job after having a baby (and I can’t wait until we have a better parental leave policy in the US).

Differing Opinions

I digress. One of my grandmothers thinks the ability to work is an amazing thing that we’ve gotten.

My other grandmother knows it “good” but she laments a time when women stayed home with their kids. She’s a product of her time.

She was told over and over and over again that women should stay home and it’s better for children, and it’s hard to deprogram yourself from that.

Plus, she was able to stay home and raise her children while her husband worked three jobs, so she has a different life experience than someone like me who works and sends a child to daycare.

For her, it wasn’t a choice. I know many women who now choose to stay home with their children.

I’m happy for them. I’m proud they are able to make that choice.

But neither of my grandmothers made a choice. It was decided for them. And that’s the issue.

Times Change

My husband only works one job (though at times it feels like more), and takes an active role in our family life as more than just a disciplinarian.

Times have changed. We’ve made forward progress.

My daughter and my husband have an amazing relationship that comes from the time they spend together, something they wouldn’t have if he had to work three jobs.

And I have a business that fulfills me and that I’m passionate about. I get to set an amazing example for my daughter and I’m proud of that.

But my grandmother still makes comments.

She’s 90 years old, so I give her a pass, but if I didn’t love her and respect the heck out of her, I might take offense to some of the comments she makes (or at least be more forceful in my responses to them).

Next up, taking down those ego-driven marketers

There is a group of mass marketers (and names are being added to the list every day), who use slimy and outdated marketing techniques to build their business.

It’s all driven by ego and exaggerated claims.

They are a product of their time, a time back in 2014-2016ish when all you needed was a funnel software and a bit of money for ads and you had a thriving business.

First you would create an info product.

Then you’d create a sales page, designed in a specific way, usually with a video sales letter.

You would offer upsells and downsells, tell people that they only had 10 minutes (or less) to make a decision, and then you’d be put on an email list where you’d get an email every day that would push you to take the next step.

And if you took the next step, the whole process would start all over again, just with a more expensive product.

You might get results from the products, but more likely you were promised the world and you’d be sadly disappointed when you wouldn’t get it.

But that’s not all…

But then the emails would tell you that if you really wanted that success, you needed to invest in the next level (eventually being told that you needed to invest in 1-1 coaching with a coach who had no time which is why they charged $10k for a half-hour session to “fix” your business).

The tactics shifted a bit, new ones were introduced (like the one-hour webinar, photos with sports cars in front of mansions, and the “girl next door” vibe that women used when using these same tactics).

But all of them were high pressure, had exaggerated claims, exaggerated value (this is worth $1,000,000 but for just today you can get it for $67!), and made you feel a specific way (not good).

The ethics of it all

Do these tactics work? Sure.

Are they ethical?

In my mind, the intent behind them isn’t to do what’s best for the client, but to do what’s best for the business – make the quick buck.

The thing is, a few years ago this was a huge way people were making money online.

You couldn’t escape the ads online. And they are still around today.

But it’s not 2014 anymore. And we don’t have to be a product of that time.

It’s OK to question these marketing methods and work toward a more ethical marketing strategy – one that builds trust over time and gives your potential client transparent information to make a decision.

Maybe you’ve even used some of these tactics. I have in the past. And it’s OK if you didn’t know any better.

You’ll still see a lot of these tactics used in online businesses. And for some businesses, they still work.

But now it’s time to grow do better.

When we turn around 20, 30, or 40 years from now, we’ll be amazed at how far we’ve come.

Resources

Jennifer Anastasi

I’m Jennifer Anastasi, an Engineer turned Brand Strategist. I help service providers achieve clear branding strategies using a blend of creativity and technology. Unlike course creators and group programs, I focus on each business as a unique entity and break down complex concepts into easy-to-understand ideas for custom results. Together we build more than just a website; we put together your online presence one puzzle piece at a time.

related posts:

Leave a Reply:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}