Ethical Considerations in Marketing to Students: Balancing Profit and Responsibility

Apr, 2024 - by CMI

Ethical Considerations in Marketing to Students: Balancing Profit and Responsibility

Marketing is an essential part of a successful business strategy. It allows businesses to reach out to their target customers, boost revenue, and raise brand awareness. Besides, modern consumers are not simply buying products and services passively. They want to know as much as possible about the brand or company in question and make a purchase decision based on their values. It creates a challenge for some businesses as they try to balance profit and responsibility. In this article, we will focus on the ethics of marketing to students today and how it correlates to profit and responsibility.

Ethical Challenges Faced in Marketing to Students

When students are looking for a certain company or service, they want to be 100% sure they will be provided with the service requested, and their data won’t be compromised. For instance, students expect a service like to check their text for plagiarism, trace AI-generated content, and be sure that visiting this website is safe. Here are the main ethical issues faced in marketing that customers pay attention to:

  • Deceptive advertising. Misleading advertising is one of the most common problems in marketing. Many businesses are wired for success regardless of the tools and means used. Therefore, they use deceptive strategies to lure new customers and promise something they can’t deliver.
  • Privacy concerns. We live in a world where privacy is one of the most delicate issues. No one wants their private information to be stolen or misused. However, many companies sell client data to earn money. Zero transparency and using consumer data for marketing purposes create a serious ethical issue.
  • Targeting vulnerable audiences. For some businesses, it does not matter which strategies to use, and they are ready to market their products specifically to those susceptible groups, such as those with mental health issues or addictions. In general, customers tend to pay attention to such cases and won’t work with companies that tolerate exploitation and harmful practices.
  • Exploitation. Stories about big companies exploiting minors, seniors, or susceptible groups by paying lower wages while generating revenue have been an almost everyday occurrence. No matter how hard the company tries to hide these facts, they become apparent sooner or later. Company reputation is a significant factor in choosing where to spend money. More and more customers refuse to order products or services from companies that have been caught in exploitative practices.

Ethical Marketing Strategies

The field of marketing transforms every day. The evolution of ethics in marketing has proven that customers don’t just want to purchase a product or a service. They care about where the money goes. A business has to be responsible for a student to become its customer. Moreover, the values shared by the company should correlate with the student’s values and principles. To become a successful business with a favorable reputation and appeal to students, you can implement ethical marketing strategies, such as:

  • Transparency. If you want to attract more customers, be honest about what you can and can’t deliver. Provide customers with information about manufacturing or sourcing materials for the products you produce, share revenue data, and highlight your core values and data policies. Be open and have responsive customer service in case any questions arise.
  • Responsible targeting. Think your marketing campaigns through. Consider which marketing channels you are going to use, which aims you wish to achieve, and what groups you can potentially target. Avoid targeting vulnerable groups even if such a strategy seems successful economically. It may create a huge blow to your reputation.
  • Honor the commitments you give to customers. If you can’t complete an order on time, inform your customers and offer compensation. While no one is safe from mishaps, do your best to minimize such cases. If you declare a certain level of quality, delivery deadlines, or price range, do not backtrack. Providing excuses can work once. However, it won’t get you anywhere if it becomes a regular practice. Customers want to be treated with respect. Be the business they can rely on. Such a strategy will help you earn consumer trust and increase revenue in the long run.


Overall, creating an appealing business is not that hard. However, it calls for a number of unpopular decisions, such as deciding to choose ethical marketing instead of an aggressive or deceptive one, being honest with your target audience, and keeping all the promises you give. Students are a dynamic target group, and targeting such customers successfully is only possible when you share the same values. Yet, balancing profit and responsibility is a key factor. When you are true to your values, more and more customers will talk about your responsible business, creating buzz around the products or services you sell. This way, you will generate more revenue, increase your customer base, and have a clear conscience.