A Day in the Adventures of an Online Entrepreneur
Conversations about Content Creators and Social Accountability in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is the driving force of e-commerce, and technology is more accessible than ever. This motivates people to market themselves and/or hire companies to market them. But not every deal is legit, so where do you draw the line?
Recently, a person contacted us for website design, but their company information was nowhere to be found.
They did not provide us with essential business information. And their terms of payment were a fast track to legal troubles. This is nothing new, it has been going on since the Internet went public.
What’s Happening to Digital Marketing?
Partner: “What the heck is the problem now-why do you keep talking about this?”
Me: This is my problem: the Internet is 20 years old, and many digital marketers are still trying to rip people off! Their marketing messaging hasn’t changed, but our society has.
Partner: I don’t see it this way. There have been many developments to improve the customers’ experience and security.
Me: I not talking about tech advancements. It’s about the online “wheelers and dealers” in the spotlight on center stage.
Partner: And that’s a problem because? There are many honest marketers online too.
Me: True. But how do people know if they are or not? With all the finger-pointing, information leaks, and lawsuits about privacy raging, content creators need to look at how to be responsible and accountable for what they do, just like other businesses.
What’s the Big Deal?
Partner: Oh, so we’re talking about ethics?
Me: Indeed we are. Social accountability in digital marketing is officially here—time to check ourselves. Someone who doesn’t know the tricks these scam artists play would have accepted that offer we just declined and been in a world of trouble.
Partner: People are in business for profit. They can market their company the way they want to.
Me: Yeah, they can within certain limits. But now the Federal Trade Commission is coming down hard on entrepreneurs who use misleading advertising online.
Partner: Well, some marketers believe that people don’t respond to “warm and fuzzy” marketing: they want to sell their product.
Me: That’s not the part of marketing I’m talking about. It’s the mindset and behavior piece. We’re all consumers, but we’re humans first. Digital media and marketing shape perceptions. Market stats about potential buyers doesn’t tell you what motivates them. If they did, people wouldn’t receive offers they have no use for. Some don’t deliver what the buyer paid for, or provide what they promised.
Partner: Well, marketing profiles sometimes miss the mark in the first case. But the second example, ripping people off, is not cool.
Me: Exactly my point, and this has happened to many people online. On top of the news headlines about how their information has been hacked, mistrust of the online world is high. It shouldn’t be surprising that most people now check business information and reviews before handing over their money.
Partner: And your proposal for this dilemma is…?