Issue #105: Word of Mouth Ethics

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1> Ethics are easy
2> Three simple rules
3> There is no gray area

1> Ethics are easy 

Word of mouth marketing is all about honesty. It’s about earning the respect of your fans so they want to give you their recommendation. It doesn’t work if you trick them, lie to them, or engage in any sort of sleazery. True word of mouth marketers are always open, honest, and transparent about who they are and what they represent. 

2> Three simple rules 

Always follow the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s "Honesty ROI”: 

     a. Honesty of Relationship: Always disclose any relationship between the marketing and the talker, including incentives and participation in a formal word of mouth program. 

     b. Honesty of Opinion: Never ask someone to say something they don’t believe, or give a false positive recommendation, or recommend something they’ve never tried. 

     c. Honesty of Identity: Never lie about who you are or who you work for. Marketers should never impersonate consumers or fail to say that they are employees of a company or agency. 

Get full details from the WOMMA Practical Ethics Toolkit

3> There is no gray area 

Trust your gut if you get the slightest feeling that something isn’t honest. If you have to ask — don’t do it. Great word of mouth marketing is something that you should be proud to tell your mom about.


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