Truth in Advertising: Why Marketing Ethics Matter

Marketers yield real power: We can use our knowledge of human behavior and our skills of persuasion to do good…or not so good. Marketers have a responsibility to serve our clients in ways that are productive not just for the organization, but for our communities and our culture, too.

That’s why it’s important companies get to know not only their marketing agency’s portfolio, but the values that drive them. Do they use their powers for good, or just anybody who will hire them? Choosing a marketing agency that closely aligns with your values will help uphold your organization’s authenticity. Be who you are, and find an agency that won’t push you to act in a way that’s inconsistent with your core principles. You want your marketing to match your mission!

The truth matters

Some people shrug off that kind of disconnect by saying, “It’s just advertising!” But that’s not OK. We should expect more of ourselves as human beings who are telling each other stories. The stories we’re telling about the products and services we’re offering in good faith should be true.

It’s encouraging that the market is starting to stand against incongruency. All of us have a bigger voice than ever: We have so many available platforms to voice our opinions. When people see a company not living out their principles or an influencer acting inauthentically, they react. Quickly. People are ready to post as soon as you mess up. And that’s a good thing! The more that people vote not only with their posts but with their dollars, the more we’ll be able to move away from lowest-common-denominator campaigns to marketing built on real, true, respectful stories—marketing that’s ethical and produces results.

Ethical marketing starts inside

Companies that I’ve seen doing it well are the ones who are living their values within their organization every day. Little by little, slowly and methodically, they grow from the inside out. We might be moving to a time that’s less about your advertising budget and more about developing real advocates for your brand, day by day. That kind of systemic, organic, people-based marketing has a better chance of changing the culture than any one-off ad campaign.

Real change happens human-to-human. When organizations decide to live their values in an authentic way, people notice. Those advocates become their best marketing. We’re seeing organizations who put their principles first win. We’re seeing them lauded for their culture. We’re seeing them grow.

That’s why Fervor is betting on helping organizations create an authentic, purpose-driven internal culture. We’ve seen it work. When companies live their values internally, they win externally.

Want to tell true stories? So do we! Want to live your values? Us, too! Let’s get together and talk marketing-for-good.