The Responsible Marketing Manifesto: A Preamble
Responsible Marketing Consulting Services is a private marketing consulting firm that was founded to provide responsible marketing to the small business community.
As the founder and principal of Responsible Marketing, I have more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience. In this time, I have had the opportunity to work with several visionary leaders. I have also had the misfortune of working for a few less notable leaders who were more concerned with selling product and making money than they were with doing what is right.
It is the combination of experiences, both good and bad, that drove me to found Responsible Marketing. Too often (and I feel even once was too often) I had been involved in the promotion of a product or service that, simply put, didn’t measure up. Unfortunately, I am a good marketer and I had considerable success promoting these products that I did not believe in. In my own way, I feel I contributed to the overall low reputation that marketers have and added to the skepticism that most consumers feel when they see marketing messages.
Not only have I been directed to “skew” a message to make a certain point (some may deem this misrepresenting the truth by “slight of hand” or omission), but I have also been directed to recommend and perform marketing tasks that had the sole purpose of generating fee revenue with little expectation for return on marketing investment. I am not proud to have done these things. In my defense, I was only the messenger, not the creator of the message. I was given a task, it was part of my job and I was expected to carry it out. This left a bad taste in my mouth.
I believe I am not alone. I believe there are many marketers out there that have performed marketing tasks that were not fully on the up-and-up. Most of my fellow marketers I suspect are in general “good” people who act responsibly in most other areas of their lives. However, mortgages, car payments and families to support can cause even the most respectable marketer to blur the lines occasionally. Faced with a “do something I’m not completely comfortable with or look for a new job” dilemma, it is not difficult to see why more than a few marketers would opt to bend the rules or stretch the truth just a little. The need for that paycheck outweighs one’s sensibility to stand on moral / ethical grounds.
Having been faced with this dilemma, I opted to take my chances and start my own marketing consulting firm where I could focus on being a responsible marketer: doing what is right for my customers, communicating messages that are right for their customers and promoting “Responsible Marketing” as a discipline that all marketers should aspire to.
No longer would I allow myself to be put in a position to compromise my values and ethics. As the responsible owner of my own firm, I will not take orders from anyone, not even paying clients, if their intentions are not honorable and responsible. If you are looking for flim-flam, shim-sham or smoke and mirrors, look somewhere else.
Responsible Marketing’s Responsible Marketing Manifesto
In order to help improve the perception of marketing and marketers, and ensure that as an organization we hold ourselves accountable to a higher standard, Responsible Marketing is publishing our formal principles and policies for our Standards of Conduct:
If it doesn’t look right, doesn’t feel right or just plain isn’t true, we won’t do it, say it or sell it – don’t ask!
Responsible Marketing is committed to obeying all local laws: both the letter and the spirit of the laws.
Responsible Marketing will not engage in the promotion of illegal or contraband materials nor will we represent any firms that are not in compliance with all applicable local laws.
Responsible Marketing will conduct business in a responsible manner, respecting the clients we serve as well as the constituents with whom we communicate on their behalf.
Responsible Marketing will not engage in any activities that are designed to be deceptive or misleading.
Responsible Marketing will not recommend or execute marketing campaigns/programs that serve no purpose except to generate fee revenue. Unless there is a responsible reason to ask you to spend your money, we will not accept or suggest the task.
As no one person or entity is perfect, should Responsible Marketing fail to fully adhere to any of these principles, we will do everything within our power to take responsibility for our actions and make things right.
Download The Responsible Marketing Manifesto in PDF format.