Directors, Claire (left) and Anna (right).

Sensitive Marketing: Ways to Keep Your Campaigns Ethical

When it comes to behaviour change marketing, we are often working with sensitive topics. These topics require a delicate approach to ensure that the message is conveyed appropriately and effectively.

Marketing is an essential tool for companies and organisations to promote their products or services. However, when it comes to behaviour change marketing, we are often working with sensitive topics. These topics require a delicate approach to ensure that the message is conveyed appropriately and effectively, whilst not causing offence. 

Why is being socially responsible important?

Sensitive topics can evoke strong emotions in people, and it is important to be mindful of the impact of the subject whilst running your campaigns. They must be socially responsible and ensure that they are achieving your goals whilst targeting the right audience in the right way. Meaning your campaigns must be designed with sensitivity to the audience’s feelings and beliefs.

Marketing sensitive topics must be handled with care, as the message can have a profound impact on people’s lives. It is important to ensure that the campaign’s content is accurate, informative, and delivered in a manner that is respectful and appropriate.

How can organisations ethically market their campaigns on delicate subjects?

With sensitive marketing communications, it is important to use ethical marketing practices to ensure that your message is delivered appropriately. Here are some ways to ethically market campaigns covering delicate subjects:

  • Focus on the message: Your message should be the main focus of the campaign. If you’re highlighting a specific topic, your communication should be clear, concise, and crafted with careful content. The last thing you need is for the audience to misinterpret the piece and get the wrong information.
  • Be mindful of language: Language is so powerful and posting any old content, particularly when the subject is sensitive, can be received as lazy or offensive.
  • Be honest and transparent: Honesty and transparency are essential when it comes to sensitive marketing. Aim to be transparent about your goals and objectives and ensure that the message is truthful. This way the audience feels connected with your campaign and not mislead.
  • Show empathy: Marketing should always speak directly to people, and showing empathy shows an audience that you care. Before actioning your campaign, research and ensure you fully understand the audience’s emotions and concerns This will give you the tools to address them appropriately.
  • Use real-life stories: Real-life stories can be powerful in highlighting the impact of the issue on people’s lives. They ensure you are basing the campaigns on facts and genuine people’s issues.
  • Partner with credible organisations: Partnering with credible organisations can help you market campaigns ethically. These organisations can provide valuable insights into the target audience’s emotions and beliefs, ensuring that the campaign is authentic and addresses the right areas.

How can charities opt for sensitive marketing?

Charities and non-profit organisations often deal with sensitive topics like abuse, illness, discrimination, and more. These topics require a delicate approach, and charities must be sensitive to the audience’s emotions. Here are some ways charities can use marketing to discuss sensitive topics:

  • Focus on the impact: Charities should focus on the impact of the issue on people’s lives while marketing sensitive topics. The end goal might be to educate or incite change, so be certain your message gives accurate information and encourages action.
  • Highlight the charity’s mission: Highlight your mission and make sure the audience understands your purpose. You’ll gain more trust and can inform the audience of how you are working towards addressing the issue.
  • Provide resources: Giving your audience access to learn more is vital in spreading information and gaining the attention of audiences.

Next steps… 

Getting your marketing right, in both conveying a message and encouraging action, whilst being sensitive to vulnerable audiences can be a difficult balance to strike. However, it is also hugely important. By rushing in too quickly, you risk compromising the good work your charity is aiming to achieve. This might send out wrong messages and ultimately reduce audiences’ trust in you.

At MacMartin, we specialise in behaviour change marketing and can work alongside your business to ensure you are encouraging change ethically. With our 3-step marketing process; Investigate, initiate, and implement, we can take your campaign from the research phase into the action phase. Following this, we will monitor your contents’ performance and to ensure we deliver results.

Having worked with numerous not-for-profit businesses and high-profile organisations with reputations to up-hold, we are well accustomed to delivering sensitive marketing campaigns that work to achieve goals and convey messages effectively.

Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you.