You may have noticed a logo in the footer of my webpage saying ‘The Ethical Move” and wondered what it’s all about. Well, instead of you guessing, I thought I should take some time and tell you a little about it, as it is very important to me.
In their own words The Ethical Move believe that:
“how we sell matters.”
The Ethical Move is a group of people taking the first step in moving away from the manipulative selling techniques being used on us in the digital world. As members we pledge to not use certain selling and marketing techniques or to use them responsibly. The pledge focuses on 7 primary elements. The folks at The Ethical Move have a pledge page where they explain each element really well: The Pledge.
But here is a summary in my own words…
1. Charm Pricing
This is when a seller is trying to make an item seem cheaper by going a single/few digits under the higher amount. A great example is instead of saying something costs $100 they say $97.
As an a member we pledge to not use the number 9 in our pricing.
The “Get It Now Before This Deal Expires” Deal. You get so worried you are going to miss out that you rearrange your entire, (sometimes limited), budget to get the deal in time – only to find that it’s still running a week/month later. This in itself is not an unfair practice, but it can be abused by unscrupulous parties to create that ‘knot in the stomach’ feeling of missing out.
Yes there absolutely are instances where an offer is limited. As I prepare my online courses I will also be running them for a limited time each year. Which means, there will be a cut off.
The difference – the cut off is genuine and you will know when and how often the course is run upfront. If you cannot afford it or don’t have time for it now, you can always sign up when it runs again.
3. False Scarcity
This often ties in with No.2 (countdowns) and can get you really anxious. As a solopreneur I honestly can only accommodate so many seats at a live venue or for the online course. I prefer to interact directly with my class and there are limits.
If a course is fully automated, or the offer is electronic, then there is often no need to create this sense of pressure.
4. Lead Magnets
This is a difficult one. The deal is this: I give you something free in exchange for your email address. Without it many businesses would be dead in the water. Email lists are how we grow our client base and keep them informed. So really it isn’t ‘free’ in the true sense of the word.
The problem is when you make this trade and then get inundated with emails, sales and promotions that may or may not include content you even signed up for.
Not all of us are marketing guru’s and it can be difficult for someone like myself to know how much is enough and to know if we are still adding value – which is our primary intention.
The responsible thing to do is make sure your subscribers knows they can unsubscribe at any point – no hard feelings. Their information is not sold or farmed out for profit and that you stick to what you said you would.
5. Bait and Switch
This one drives me crazy. You get told to take a quiz and you will receive something personalized – or something like that.
But, all you get is sales pitches and buy this to get that nonsense! I would like to think I cannot be caught out with this sort of thing, but (sigh) it still happens.
All I can say to marketers that use this – enough already!!
6. Woke Washing
This one is a particularly nasty element to marketing nowadays. I battled to write this paragraph without ranting. So I decided to just quote directly from The Ethical Move:
Woke washing is the appropriation of ethical and progressive values with the intent to leverage image and increase sales, when behind closed doors, the actions and words don’t match the reality (when a brand donates to BLM while exploiting BIPOC in their supply chain).
– The Ethical Move
As members we pledge to being transparent and honest about our actions and words.
7. Secret Recipe
This is something I often refer to as the Silver Bullet Solution. It happens a lot in the health and wellness industry and can be very frustrating. If you eat this and do that you will get these miraculous results.
I’m not saying some of these ‘secret recipes’ don’t work, what I am saying is that they will not work for everyone. If it did not work for you then it isn’t your fault and there isn’t something wrong with you. Even if a million people had success, they do not live your life, have your DNA or deal with what you deal with. You are unique and not a statistic.
There is also more than one solution to anything and more often than not there is no hack or shortcut.
What do we do about it?
So there you have it. Honestly, there isn’t much you can do other than be aware and educating yourself and your family around these tactics. As a blogger, business owner, entrepreneur or anyone with influence you can perhaps do what I am…
I promise to uphold these values and apply them responsibly. I am grateful to have guidelines like these to work with and truly hope that others will do the same.