Are marketing tactics ethical?

I’ve probably opened up a can of worms with the question ‘Are marketing tactics ethical?’

Most of the heart-centered entrepreneurs that I know HATE marketing tactics.

And frankly, some of the tactics out there really annoy me.

Here is one:

“Only 11 left…” of a digital product.
Really? Last time I looked, we had no shortage of bytes and bits.

This is annoying to me partly because it just doesn’t make any sense. I don’t use it if it isn’t true.

But I’m going to suggest something radical: there are times when engaging fear IS a heart-centered, authentic marketing technique.

When people believe that there is an unlimited supply of something, and they have the ability to take forever to decide whether they should access that supply, they WILL procrastinate making the decision. So if they can get your program at the discount, at any time, they will probably wait, no matter how incredible your work is.

Why? Why would someone wait for transformation if it’s so important?

Because transformation is change, and change is hard. I’ve spent 20 years studying transformative techniques, and looking for ways to make them easier to do. And even when we have techniques as user-friendly and effective as EFT tapping, the fear of the change prior to transformation is always big. Unfortunately, most of the time these fears are hidden.

You need a marketing message that helps your ideal clients overcome their hidden fear of change.

Don’t underestimate how challenging this can be! To overcome one fear, you need one of two things:

  • A HUGE ‘why’. This is something like ‘I’m terrified to step out in front of this bully, but I’m willing to do it to protect my child.’
  • Another fear. This can be something like the fear of being left out, fear of missing out on an opportunity, or fear of losing something of value.

You may say ‘I don’t want to sell based on fear!’ and I sympathize with you.

But if you leave them without the transformation that you provide, they WILL be living in fear anyway. Just a different type. And you’re not creating fear that doesn’t exist, you’re just bringing it to their awareness in the moment.

It’s like this: if you go to the doctor to see what’s causing you pain when you move your arm, the doctor probably has to move your arm to help diagnose the pain. The doctor doesn’t cause the pain (except in the moment) but it’s a necessary part of getting on the path to recovery.

You have to be strong enough, and courageous enough, to hold the space for their fears, and support them in overcoming their fears to step into transformation. This often involves helping them see other fears that may be hidden.

Your ideal clients will be uncomfortable during marketing and sales conversations, because they are seeing the gap between where they are, and where they want to be. And it will stir up fear.

Some people do this for their friends when they stage an ‘intervention’ and tell their friends the truth about the road that they’re heading down. I believe we should be committed enough to our clients to do that for them.

The question is: Are you more committed to having them be comfortable in the moment, even if it means that they never get the transformation that you provide? Or are you willing to gently and lovingly tell the truth, and have the fear come up, so that they can get the help they need?

I’m guessing that because you’re reading this, you’re courageous. And the more you are courageous, the more you will make a difference.

What’s your biggest pet peeve about marketing tactics? Or what do you believe we SHOULD do with marketing? Share with me on FB here!