Marketing Your Business with Ethics and Integrity

Madison Avenue ad agencies have most of us believing you can persuade consumers to buy services through ads with cute or bizarre content. Their ad reps will usually tell you their purpose is to attract attention and create consumer awareness. They assume their creativity will entice people to desire what they are promoting. Rarely, however, do they make any effort to prove their clients' services are any good. Nevertheless, their methods work, so long as they outspend their competition, and their competitors’ promotion fails to convince prospective buyers that their services are of better value. This weakness is inherent in every form of typical ad-agency marketing, including websites, online yellow pages, traditional media, and other online advertising.

 

What Is Wrong with Today's Advertising?

 

Most professional service firms do understand that Madison Avenue ad agency trickery will not work for their businesses. Unfortunately, in part due to the Madison Avenue mentality, how to market with integrity and ethics is a lost art. Today, professional service business promotion is loaded with meaningless platitudes, fluff and generalities that make little if any impression. Trite examples of these we see everywhere include statements like we care about our customers, over 30 years experience, our staff is warm and friendly, and we have highly skilled professionals. What would you expect a business to say… we don’t care about you, we’re inexperienced, cold and unfriendly, and our professionals have no training? These clichés are a given. So, why do professional service businesses stick banal statements in big, heavy type in their ads when these phrases are nothing more than minimal expectations of consumers?

 

Honesty, Ethics and Competitive Advantage

 

When we say integrity, we mean the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. The most accurate definition of ethics we believe is degree and contemplation of optimum survival. Thus, an ethical act is one that not only benefits, you, your family and your business, but also your customers, your community and, perhaps, even those beyond these.

 

Our website homepage reveals the goal of marketing strategy is to convince your prospective clients they would be making a mistake to choose any business but yours for the type of services you provide. The only long-term way to achieve this is via honesty and impeccable ethics, and offering more value to your clients than your competitors do. Superior value can be in terms of quality, customer service, convenience, consistency or price. Although it is ideal for a professional service business to be superior in every category, being clearly better in one or two of these areas can be sufficient. Here are four examples:

 

  • A woman who knowingly sees a chiropractor whose reputation is only good but not the best because he offers evening and weekend hour appointments whereas the other local chiropractors refuse to do so,

  • A primary care physician who is not board certified but has a great bedside manner and does whatever it takes to ensure the right diagnosis and treatment, 

  • A local painter who has a superb reputation and flourishes in business despite charging 15 percent more than most other local painting contractors, or

  • A local attorney in solo practice who has an excellent reputation with local judges as opposed to a larger law firm whose attorneys have superior credentials but are not so well thought of by local judges, and tend to be arrogant.

 

Why We Must Be Selective in Choosing Clients

 

Businesses we work with are either better than their competitors in at least one of the five areas mentioned above, or are willing to work actively with us to innovate their businesses so they will soon provide superior value. The greater the disparity between our clients and their competitors, the more aggressive we can be with our messaging. In fact, we prefer to work with business owners who are driven to continually innovate what they provide even when they already offer superior value. Because of the power of the methodology we employ, it is only ethical for us to market businesses that deserve to capture market share.

 

Ethics and Assertive Marketing

 

If the service you offer is clearly better than your competitors, aren't you performing a disservice to your target markets by not assertively communicating how and why you offer superior value? In such cases, it may be unethical to keep prospects uninformed. Take a look at this flyer from this perspective.

 

Restrictions on Marketing

 

Most of the service industries we serve have restrictions concerning their promotional content. These include healthcare, law, accounting, financial services and real estate. Of course, it is essential for any marketing firm to understand the guidelines of each industry and to adhere to them. Fortunately, because the messaging we create relies on specifics rather than generalities, and only makes claims that are honest, ethical, and provable with evidence, our content is rarely challenged. 

 

In the case of industries such as financial services, where content needs to be submitted for approval to a certified agency, our content seldom requires more than minor revisions. This is probably because we back our assertions within the content. For instance, if we claim that 27 accountants refer to our financial planning client, we do so only after our client has gone through their records and created a list of referring accountants and counted them. Then, with our client’s permission and approval from the agency that governs their content, we would state in their marketing that the list of referring accountants is available at the financial planner’s office for prospective clients to review, note, or even make calls to, which would verify our client’s sincerity.

 

In Conclusion

 

A marketing strategy that ensures your business provides better value than your competitors, and communicates this fact using The Formula for Market Dominance clears the hurdles to growing a business. If you study The Formula for Market Dominance, we are confident you will agree it is a logical, ethical and honest approach, and potentially will provide the means to ensure a business’s prosperity when our fragile economy stumbles.

Learn What You Need to Do to Dominate Your Competitors 

Receive a Personal FREE One-Hour Consultation. During this session, our marketing strategist will help you sort out what the most effective strategy is for your business. Schedule a phone, Skype®, FaceTime®, face-to-face meeting.

Strategy vs. Tactics

How Business Builders Rose Above Its Competitors

Stop Guessing with Your Marketing

How to Avoid Mistakes in Selecting Media

The way to ensure your advertising dollars are well spent is through diligence and research. If you follow these steps you will avoid throwing money away and get better results from your ads. Use this approach for all online and traditional media. 

Links to Other Marketing Related Sites

Services

Strategic Planning & Implementation

Tactical Planning & Implementation

Innovation Planning & Implementation

Marketing Research

Competitive Positioning Surveys

Test Marketing

Branding

Copywriting (All media)

Promotion & Ad Design (All media)

Website Design

Internet & Social Media Strategy

Internet & Social Media Advertising

Search Engine Optimization

Email & Direct Mail Campaigns

Business Development

Hiring & Training of Marketing Personnel

Learn What You Need to Do to Dominate Your Competitors 

Receive a Personal FREE One-Hour Consultation. During this session, our marketing strategist will help you sort out what the most effective strategy is for your business. Schedule a phone, Skype®, FaceTime®, face-to-face meeting.

Strategy vs. Tactics
How Business Builders Rose Above Its Competitors
Stop Guessing with Your Marketing
How to Avoid Mistakes in
Selecting Media

The way to ensure your advertising dollars are well spent is through diligence and research. If you follow these steps you will avoid throwing money away and get better results from your ads. Use this approach for all online and traditional media. 

Links to Other Marketing Related Sites

The following are the sources that helped enable us to develop our strategic marketing approach. We deeply appreciate them all.

 

Arizona State University W.P. Carey

School of Business

Jim Collins

 

Peter Drucker

 

Mitch Meyerson

 

Jack Trout

Michael Gerber

Richard Harshaw

Hubbard College

Tom Peters

Jay Abraham

Steven W. Brown

Michael Porter

Al Ries

Jim Rohn

Seth Godin

Tom Vassos