B2B Insights

Professional insights and personal musings

Is It Ethical to Be Opportunistic during a National Crisis?

By Bob Rose, President

Leaving aside questions about taste and tone, is it moral, decent, principled to advertise a company’s products to a world reeling from a health crisis?

Is it okay for Netflix and Hulu to sell their streaming service to house-bound prospects? Is it fitting that Ameritrade and Citi market their expertise in financial management in a time of economic upheaval?

Of course it is. Not only is it ethically right, it is a moral imperative that they do. Connecting products and services to customers in need is the best thing about capitalism. When needs shift and some products become especially relevant, the best thing we can do is connect them to customers through marketing.

Okay that was easy. But what about something less clear.

Television and online usage is way up since everyone is locked up at home. This creates an opportunity for all marketers to reach unusually high levels of advertising visibility – for marketing effectiveness that hasn’t been available in decades.

Should, say for example, a Jelly Bean maker invest now in a big opportunistic marketing push? Is that un-principled?

Of course not. It is the responsibility of every organization to successfully compete in the environment in which they find themselves. With this line of thinking they’d be crazy not to seize the moment and make a big marketing investment.

Successful crisis marketing helps everyone in the eco-system of Jelly Bean creation – the workers, suppliers, the vendors, and even all of us stuck home watching the news and movies.

Not only is marketing during this time ethical, it is downright patriotic! So get out there and sell, thoughtfully, tastefully, sensitive to the real pain that is widespread across our world, but sell.

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