Code of Ethics

The article / info below has been released  under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, by Ken Harthun. I think it’s worth reading.. and on point:

It has come to my attention and the attention of many of my Internet Marketing colleagues that a huge percentage of people in our community are operating in an unethical, often illegal, manner. In our own spheres of influence, those of us who still believe in “white hat” (ethical, honest) practices are taking to task those we know who are leaning to the “dark side” (dishonest, deceptive, unethical practices).

Naturally, we white hat marketers are being resisted and even upbraided by those on the dark side who continue to pander to the but-it-makes-me-more money-this-way mentality who are more interested in short-term profits than business longevity.

Some of us are fighting mad about it. But, let’s take a benevolent position for a moment and assume that part of the problem is that an “Internet Marketer’s Code of Ethics” has not been published. We’ll give the dark side the benefit of the doubt and ask them to adhere to a code. Then, if they don’t, they will have shown us all who they are and we’ll have a document to point to; we’ll be able to say, “Mr. XYZ marketer has violated these points of the ‘Internet Marketer’s Code of Ethics’.”

General Conduct

  1. I will not knowingly misrepresent myself or the products I am promoting.
  2. I will not knowingly deceive my customers.
  3. I will, at all times, treat my customers, my clients and my peers with due respect as they have earned and deserve.
  4. I will comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
  5. I will honor all guarantees and issue prompt refunds according to the terms I have stated without question.
  6. I will support and promote this Internet Marketer’s Code of Ethics.

Promotions

  1. I will refrain from using deceptive and/or misleading headlines, email subject lines and testimonials.
  2. Headlines, subject lines and testimonials will be relevant to the product I am promoting and relevant to the content of my promotional materials.
  3. I will avoid high-pressure and/or manipulative sales tactics.
  4. I will deliver everything I promise in my sales materials.

Communications

  1. I will inform my prospects and customers of the frequency of communication they can expect of me.
  2. I will adhere to those expectations.
  3. I will treat all communications to my customers and prospects as if I am communicating with them in person.

Miscellaneous

  1. I will never deprive someone of an affiliate commission they deserve or have earned.
  2. I will abide by the license restrictions for all resale products I acquire.
  3. I will not engage in excessive, irritating or deceptive entrance/exit popups.
  4. I will address all customer service/support requests in a timely manner.

This code will no doubt be questioned and it will, as a result of the normal course of human emotion and reaction, evolve. But, we have here a starting point from which to proceed.

If you are in agreement with this code, tell every marketer you know about it and get them on board. It’s our business to take care of our business. Post your comments and suggestions and feel free to contact me directly. It’s time to take a stand.

This was originally posted at http://internetmarketinggeek.net/2010/11/the-internet-marketers-code-of-ethics/ by  Ken Harthun, who shared the link with us via a private skype channel/mastermind group.

Comment:

It’s interesting to see how ideas are coming to the forefront, and the need for integrity and ethics in what we’re all doing is more and more important.

Again the intention is clear, and in line with the aspects we’ve set out repeatedly during our meetings, what is interesting is the subjective nature of some of these rules which will need to be reviewed over time.

Strategic Internet Marketing vs Tactical Internet Marketing

It seems that lots of internet entrepreneurs don’t know the difference between strategic and tactical internet marketing.

Most of the online entrepreneurs know they have to market their business and they automatically spend hundreds even thousands to learn the latest new tactical internet marketing techniques – you know the drill.. ppc secrets, email marketing secrets, generating leads, SEO blablabla

They all fail to realize the strategic part, thinking that the next “shortcut” will bring them the money that they have been “promised” then realizing it doesn’t work that fast so they look out for another tactic and blaming the previous for whatever reason.

In my experience the only reason this happens is because without strategy there is no meaning to use any internet marketing technique online, the techniques you use needs to sustain your overall strategy.

A great example of this is Jay Abraham, he uses his books and home study courses to lead the best students and most successful people to his more expensive seminars starting at $5000 that again leads them to $15000 and even up to $35000 per student and guess what, from these people that comes to the most exclusive seminars become longtime business partners of Jay Abraham.

You see the strategy here, of all these people who pay 5 to 35 grant, they are business owners that he can help and make money on these deals by creating passive income streams. What a fantastic lead generation system, a very profitable one for sure.

And his preferred tactical marketing technique to promote his services is joint ventures.

Again most of the people confuse with a strategy, it’s a tactic that can sustain your overall strategy.

Let’ have a deeper look, when Jay started out in the seminar business he went to the famous Anthony Robbins and set up a JV deal where Jay could promote his seminar at the end of Tony Robbins seminar full of a hungry market to lead them in his funnel of seminars, home study courses etc.

What you say, how you say it, and who you say it to–-is almost always MORE important than the marketing medium WHERE you say it.

You have to lead your prospects to say: I would be an absolute fool to do business with anyone else but you… regardless of price.

Just to recap and easy remembering…

Strategic Marketing

Strategic marketing has to do with what you say, how you say it, and who you say it to. In other words, it’s the content of your marketing message.

Tactical Marketing

Tactical marketing is the execution of your strategic marketing plan as far as generating leads, placing media, creating marketing tools, and implementing a follow up system. In other words, it’s the medium your message is delivered in.

That’s it for today..

David Ram

The Vagabond Marketer

Ps. Watch out for my next posts with tips on how you can educate and lead your prospect to say : I        would be an absolute fool to do business with anyone else but you… regardless of price..

Follow Up

Follow Up is an essential element of modern business.

The Web and automation makes it possible and practical for any business from a new start  up one man business to a hugh multi-location enterprise to engage with customers, vendors and partners.

On the plus side..

  • Who wouldn’t like a reminder about – birthday’s, valentines, holidays, linked to your personal preferences
  • Who wouldn’t want to know that insurance was about to run out, and be given 3 options that are well researched and cheaper
  • Who wouldn’t want a reminder of the dentist appointment, child healthcare visits

On the negative side..

  • Being emailed 1000000 times about links and things you don’t want
  • Be offered “support” for male virility at a work account ..
  • Having your main focus be distracted time after time..

Creating an optimal follow up sequence, is one of the keys to real Web Domination.

There are a number of software solutions such as:

To have them really work well, the overall approach needs to be holistic and customer driven.

Launches

You may have experienced a “Launch”, if so, what was your experience of it?

A Launch is for the sake of this conversation, the systematic and strategic roll out, of a marketing funnel and process online, with coordinated dates for the original access to the marketing information, and with strategic processes used to encourage interest, and purchase.

They have become synonymous with “product launches”, in the areas of web marketing, where a program for $1997 is launched with a suit of high powered tier 1 and 2 JV partners and with a team of launch managers, copy optimisation, JV brokers and more participating.

The interest in launches has been heightened  by the fact that it became increasingly easy to produce 6 and 7 figure pay days.

In how many businesses are $1m+ transactions occur, with relative certainty?

The challenge is that, what was new and exciting, has become market standard.

The need for new launches to fuel this from the launcher’s perspective, has resulted in more and more “hype” and “false scarcity”. At worse this results in large refunds, cancellation policies, and damaged brands.

There are psychological factors that support the use of launches from the marketers perspective:

  • Social Proof – When you see all your “friends” talking about something it makes it credible (in perception”)
  • Fear of Loss – When everyone else is taking advantage and you are not, then the fear of loss is engaged, and this very primal human emotion is one of the core values that is very difficult to overcome.

In banking and business, this can often be seen as arbitrage vs business building.

Launches when successful, grow a larger customer base, and are used to launch a new product, service, brand into the market place, which plans for longevity.