We live in an amazing time in marketing – with personalized promotion evolving like never before, and social media increasing possibilities for consumer / business interaction. Brands have the opportunity to actually talk to their customers and build personal relationships, in addition to targeting personalized and relevant advertisements to people that want to see them. We have completely ditched the one-to-many model, and evolved into many one-to-one relationships with our customers and associates. This can (and is) fostering a growing trust and respect within marketing between consumers and corporations.
From content strategy and search engine marketing to social media and influence marketing – in conjunction with traditional marketing mediums – marketers have more ways to interact with and convert customers than ever before. This is completely altering the traditional marketing decision process in an amazing way. The basic steps are more or less accurate, but how customers and marketers go about these has changed entirely for the better:
In these ways, current marketing practices and modern technology can benefit both the consumer and the company; however, they can also make it incredibly easy to breach consumers’ privacy. Ethically, marketers must remember this and maintain honesty and transparency when handling data and implementing campaigns. This not only helps to foster trust and respect within the marketing environment, but is simply ethical on a human level.
Not only do modern marketing outlets create better, more efficient ways to reach and convert customers, but they also promote societal disruption and change. Technology and marketing can improve everyone’s bottom line, the marketer’s, the business’s, the customer’s, hell even the customer’s mom – really. To that end, the American Marketing Association includes citizenship as one of the ethical values for marketers in its statement of ethics (alongside the values of honesty, respect, and transparency previously discussed). This is to say marketers should work “to fulfill the economic, legal, philanthropic and societal responsibilities that serve stakeholders.” I believe we have entered an age that not only changes the way we interact with our customers, but how we interact within society – it is now our duty to use marketing outlets and company resources for social and environmental benefit.
So marketers have a lot to consider – how to interact with their customers and promote brand loyalty, how to do this in a way that is transparent and respectful, but also how to do this in a way that can better society as a whole. That, I believe, is the real challenge in marketing today, but also an incredibly opportunity for us.