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Mark Graham Marketing

Online Marketing and Ethics

I wrote an article just the other day about a so-called watchdog site that reports on “scammers.” The name of the site, realscam.com.

Now, I for one do not think that the folks over at this particular site are really concerned about the public’s well-being.

Nor do I believe they are doing a service for anyone. As a matter of fact, I do think that the folks over at this site may be actually hindering a great number of people in their quest for opportunity and disguising their efforts as being a watchdog sort of site against all of the “evil” marketers, programs, opportunities and sites out there on the Internet today.

While I may share in some of these ideas about the need for marketers to be honest in their representations of their products, programs and anything else they are marketing, I’m not sure that these folks are really acting that ethically in the first place either.

I’m not going to get into any playful or not so playful banter with anyone over at RS, but all of this got me to thinking about the responsibilities that we have as marketers…and I mean responsibilities of an ethical nature.

online ethicsMarketing and Ethics 101

For whatever reason, we as an industry are constantly having to defend our positions to many people out there that wish to attack our integrity based on an assumption that because we are promoting a MLM program or some other type of business opportunity program then we must be scammers or at least in the business of talking people into things that they do not need.


Yep, so many people believe that if you are promoting a business model that they disapprove of (and I’m NOT talking about gifting here) that you must be in the business of lying and taking money from seniors that have saved all of their pocket change during their entire life.

The truth of the matter is rather different.

For the most part, the people that are here online trying to earn an extra bit of income or even replace their incomes entirely, are good people. These folks are typically hard working, they set and often times achieve goals, they are ambitious and enjoy helping others.

These types of marketers want to take responsibility for their own lives and for their own economic outcomes.

When it comes to online marketing and ethics, most of the people that fall within this category are spot on and possess high levels of honesty and integrity. We may join a program or business opportunity that some would see as a scam of some sort and make it work for us and help others make it work for them.

We will offer our services for free. We provide free training to those that get involved with us.

We know that the “best way” is by helping and serving others.

The only litmus test that is required here in terms of ethics is whether or not the marketer in question is living by the “Golden Rule,”

Treat others as you would have them treat you

Is there anything wrong with that?

Of course not.

It’s Really Pretty Easy When You Think About It

If we sign someone up into our business opportunity and they are not successful with the business, does that mean we have somehow scammed someone?

Is that person even a victim?

How much responsibility does the prospect own when it comes to their own success and failure?

I would say that they have quite a bit of responsibility as we all do…


…I also firmly believe that we, as marketers, have an obligation, an ethical obligation, to make sure that they prospect or new member gets honest information as well as the most up to date training that you can possibly give them.

In other words…

…people that join your team, your opportunity, your program have every right to expect good and honest information from you as a mentor.

After that, the burden of failure or success is with the prospect.

After all, you can drag a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink and while you may promote the best opportunity and provide the most comprehensive and accurate training ever developed, you will never be able to insure or guarantee the success of anyone else.

The only thing you can ever do is be as honest, up front and as helpful as anyone could possibly expect from you.

About the author: A passion for helping others, Mark started marketing on the Internet in 2005 with very little success, but with a little determination decided that he was going to go “all in” when it came to making money online. Since then he has been able to stay at home and build his Internet Empire from scratch. Mark enjoys helping other entrepreneurs be all they can be. Connect with mark on

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