When does your marketing go too far?

I was emailing with a customer, Victoria, a few months back about some of the marketing tactics one of her competitors were using. There were… let’s just say aggressive and almost to the point of an invasion of privacy.

Her specific questions got me thinking about ethics in general.

Just because there’s technology that allows you to do something, does that mean you should? Where do you cross over from advanced marketer into that creepy stalker business zone?

Before you adopt any new tactic or hack to get customers, have you thought about how you’d feel if that was used on you?

There’s a lot of research and writing out now about how to subtly influence and persuade people to take an action. It’s been used heavily used in games but it’s also influencing simple things like newsletter pop ups.

Eventually you’ll run into ethical questions about if you should do something or not.

You might say yes, you’d do whatever it takes to make your business grow.

Or you might hold yourself to a higher ethical standard than your competitors.

There’s no right answer, but it’s important to take a minute and ask yourself if that’s what you really want.

(Or this could be nothing new to you. I just finished reading a philosophy book so this is where my mind has been wandering lately).

One ethical tactic that always pays off is to learn more about your customers.

The better you understand them, the better you’ll be able to help them through your products and services.

If you haven’t installed Repeat Customer Insights yet, it can help.

Its analysis will help you find groups of customers so you can begin to understand their actual behavior.

Eric Davis

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