Ethics, are they really that important? We are reading a lot of stuff lately, about how the internet has been or might have been used to influence the outcome of the last US election and the ethical issues that may have come to light.
So, the thought, (or rather a question) came into my head…” Why are Ethics so essential for a successful business, Online or in the real world?” Are there ethical standards we must adopt if we are going to be successful as Online Entrepreneurs?
Of course, many of us believe that but, there are some in the online world that don’t as well. Hopefully, there are more who do than don’t.
Many, if not most of us, ARE concerned about whether someone is doing the right thing or not AND, it’s not just about the other guy. Most of us also want to do the right thing whether it’s in our personal life or, (as the case may be), on the internet if we have an online business or blog.
So, what are some of the ETHICAL ISSUES surrounding the Internet E-commerce/blogging realm? Not really knowing anything about this issue, I decided to do some research on the subject and see what I could find. As it turned out, online business ethics are not all that different from the Offline world with some additions.
So…lets get to it.
What are the issues in marketing
According to Monster.com there are four basic issues when marketing products to the public. Here, I am talking about TV advertising. These four issues are:
1. Stealth Marketing – How far can you go. Stealth Marketing is when a company hires actors to promote their products. It sounds to me like they promote these products BUT they really don’t know anything about them or personally use them. These actors just go out and pose as tourists. They get paid to hype the product to others which probably means they memorize some facts about the product but as I said, don’t personally own it or use it.
Is this ETHICAL? My mind tells me that it would be better to have real people that use the product doing the promo. They know the product because they have used it and are, therefore, familiar with what it does. Actors just say what you write for them therefore, they are not giving an honest view of the product. So, no, I don’t think this is ethical
3. Comparing one product with another – You see this happening all the time in TV commercials. One brand of soap to another, this paper towel with another, this car or truck with another car or truck.
I think it’s safe to say that a company is not going to put their product in a bad light when comparing it to another. Their product is always better.
I think the best way to go is to just give the TRUTHFUL facts about their product and only their product. Let the public check them out for themselves and make up their own mind. If the product holds up to its claims, people are going to buy more of that product. If they’re going to compare their product A with product B, then they should be able to back it up with the truthful facts.
It would definitely be unethical to do otherwise.
3. Your personal information – This has been a hot topic for quite some time now and is probably, in my opinion, the most unethical. Companies gather information through credit card and debit card purchases in the store and online and some of them sell this information to other businesses. Most of us know about this because we receive E-mail promotions on almost a daily basis from totally unrelated sources.
Not a day goes by that we don’t hear about another major store chain getting hacked and the important information of millions has been stolen. The hackers use this info to create fake ID’s and bank accounts costing the public billions every year. This is not only unethical, it’s criminal.
4. Breaking Copywriter laws – Creating content for an online business has never been easier. With the click of a button, you can pretty much copy anything you can find on the internet and use it. This is highly unethical and has cost many an aspiring internet marketer their chance at a profitable online marketing venture.
These same issues occur in Internet Marketing as well and If you have an e-commerce website I would encourage you to create your own content. Yes, do your research, check out other websites surrounding your topic but, PUT IT IN YOUR OWN WORDS. Make your content unique and you will gain a higher trust and more traffic in the online world and with search engines. They LOVE original material.
If you want to use pictures and other graphics in your content, make sure you use “Screenshots” and not someone else’s actual pictures. Screenshots are OK…the actual pictures? NOT OK!
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The List Goes On
Other issues include:
- Giving clients poor service for products they have purchased if something goes wrong.
- A plethora of internet scams.
- the promotion of products that, when you click on the link, take you someplace totally different
But, Those Sites do so Well!
Yes, is some cases that is very true but, the truth is that because of their dishonest behavior, most of them end up with their feet in the air dead in the water. Another fallout to their bad behavior is that it gives other legit online businesses a tarnished look and takes longer to build trust.
Having an Internet Marketing business is no different from a brick and mortar business. They are our lifeline, our assets and have real value. If we want to be successful we need to stand up and not waiver from the ethics of doing business the right way whether online or otherwise. It’s just not worth risking our time and resources with dishonest practices just to lose it all overnight.
So, What Can We Do In Order To Be a Success
We can start by asking ourselves a few questions. If you want to have an Internet Marketing website and promote products or programs that people want or, are looking for like “how to build a great website” or “The best solar panel system for an RV”, whatever you are trying to help people find, here are a few questions that I think are very important.
1. Are the reviews that I’m doing exaggerated? Am I giving an honest opinion of the product? Have I done the research necessary to draw the right conclusions and, if possible, have I used the product myself.
2. Are there other reviews about the product/program? Are there other ways to get more info that will back the claims of the said product/program.
3. Honesty, Honesty, Honesty. Am I focusing on just the good stuff or am I giving all the information (good or bad) about the product?
I’ve probably given you lots to think about here. I have done so, in an effort to help those who want to start up their own Internet blog, website, Internet Marketing Business avoid the pitfalls that many enter into and end up losing it all for the sake of trying to make a quick dollar.
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That is the object of this website, to help others be successful in their online en devours. So, I hope you have found this post helpful and if you have any questions at all or a comment, please leave them below. I want to know what you have to say. All your questions and comments are important to me.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and as always, all the best of success as you move forward in your Online journey to freedom,
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