Oct 20, 2021
On today’s episode, we talk about the ethics of marketing, and the struggle of balancing unhealthy manipulation and effective marketing. The truth is, with so much noise, many use lies to cut through. This creates a downward spiral where people no longer believe marketing messages. One way to defend against this is by defining who you are as an agency and what matters to you. When your true values and goals are displayed in your marketing, you can create moving advertisements as well as genuine customer-brand relationships. It’s also important to have an aligned double bottom line in your agency. What we mean by this is to create two end goals or purposes for your business. The first can be monetary related, but the second should be related to a greater purpose. Once you can align these goals, they can work together to make your marketing honest and effective.
Top 3 Curtain Pulls in this episode:
For more tips, discussion, and behind the scenes:
About The Guys:
Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from 2000-2017. He is also the author of 3 books. More on Bob:
Brad Ayres: Founder of Anthem Republic, an award-winning ad agency. Brad’s knowledge has led some of the biggest brands in the world. Originally from Detroit, Brad is an OG in the ad agency world and has the wisdom and scars to prove it. Currently, that knowledge is being applied to his boutique agency. More on Brad:
Ken Ott: Co-Founder and Chief Growth Rebel of Metacake, an Ecommerce Growth Team for some of the world’s most influential brands with a mission to Grow Brands That Matter. Ken is also an author, speaker, and was nominated for an Emmy for his acting on the Metacake Youtube Channel (not really). More on Ken:
[0:42] Bob opens today’s episode with a chat about the local coffee shop and the origins of the names of types of coffee.
[2:17] Brad begins today’s discussion about manipulative marketing. He talks about how brand to client relationships often aren’t genuine and instead are pretty creepy. “Can a brand be its true self and can a product stand on its own without having to feel like we constantly have to do things that will sell the product or say things that will manipulate people to get them to buy our product?”
[4:39] Bob starts a discussion about the ethics of marketing when he asks, “what are the ethics or what should the ethics be behind advertising?”
[5:32] Bob continues the conversation about ethics and considers the fact that the sales funnel in and of itself may not be an ethical way to treat human beings.
[6:07] Ken talks about the pressure to use manipulative tactics in marketing and advertising today.
[11:08] Brad contemplates the tipping point of solving problems for your customers and looking for their vulnerabilities that you can market to, without actually solving a problem. “there's a point in time where you're looking for more vulnerabilities in a person and not really solving the problem.”
[12:36] Bob gives examples of how ads have changed over time and how they can manipulate the customer in new ways. He also talks about the two main philosophies of business. “A capitalistic society business's main goal is to satisfy the shareholders and make money. That's your only goal, that's one philosophy. The other philosophy is no, I want to leave the world a better place. I have purpose in my life as a human being and while I want to be successful and make money, I also have another bottom line and that is to _____.”
[17:55] Brad discusses the awkwardness around brand-customer relationships, as well as some of the factors that contribute to it.
[19:36] Bob asks, “At what point does it become manipulative?”
[22:13] Ken talks about how manipulation can be used to motivate people and help them take action. “not all manipulation is bad. It can be used very badly. But if it's with the intent of ultimately helping the customer…”
[25:59] Brad compares pain points and vulnerabilities and contemplates the ethics of seeking out consumers’ pain points.
[28:10] Bob talks about the importance of knowing who you are as a brand and being able to portray your true self in marketing. “This idea of being less of our shadow and more of who we truly are in advertising and marketing is something that we need to talk more about and understand what that means.”
[33:24] Ken highlights the importance of having an aligned double bottom line. “the double bottom line always has to align. if they don't, it's not a business.”
[34:53] Bob talks about how vital an agency’s culture is and considers the question, how do we perfect selling our product? “until you create, and fight for and do the hard work of building that type of culture inside an organization, it's not going to change for your agency”
[37:02] Ken discusses the importance of quality leadership when ethically marketing. “let's not destroy someone's inbox for no reason.”
[40:50] Bob talks about the tragic reality that manipulative marketing actually harms people.