1. Race to the Bottom:
A Look at the Abandonment of Marketing Ethics
and How to Come Back
2. Session Description
• What do you do when ethical business practices take a backseat to
deceptive marketing practices?
• This session explores how questionable digital marketing practices were
introduced at one company, and the game plan that turned it around. This
session will foster discussion about leadership and its role in ethical
practices in internet marketing and the greater contribution to brand
growth, reputation, and financial success.
• A detailed case study will illustrate how one treatment facility was
successful in moving from questionable online marketing ethics to
authentic and transparent strategies that increased results and changed
perceptions of the organization.
3. Session Objectives
① Define marketing and its role in the treatment industry.
② Recognize the motivations of unethical marketing practices.
③ Evaluate the impact these unethical practices have on the treatment
industry and consumer trust.
④ Identify the most prominent unethical practices in addiction treatment.
⑤ Recognize how leadership directly impacts the execution of marketing
⑥ Identify how a company can move from unethical practices to genuine
and transparent strategies that support a company and build reputation
and loyalty long term.
5. The vantage point of an agency
A deceptively simple topic
• Competitive pressure
• Organizational culture
• Personal bandwidth
Why Are We Here
6. • Ethos
• Guiding corporate & brand principles
• Ethics as brand – the consumer will judge…
• Legal checks and balances
• Review, Substantiation, & Challenges
• Who has time?
• Focus on product, consumer, margin
• M.A.D. (ethical practice is cheaper…)
Ethics Baked In
7. We all want to believe that we are good people
The work that we do is bigger than us
Why Should We Be Ethical In Our Marketing?
9. The Best Brands:
• Clear mission
• Employees are empowered
• “Numbers focused”
• Misaligned rewards systems/micromanagement
• Working strictly for the measurement system
• Weighing ends over means
1. Toxic Organizational Culture
10. Not knowing when a slump will end
Previously inconsiderable options
Fear can be a very powerful force
12. • Ethics in recovery – special relevance
• Family and patient BELIEF in care
– The ability and willingness to Believe is mission-critical…
• Distrust among providers =
– Fewer patient care options
– Fewer professional referrals
13. • Honesty
– “…I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which
stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows…” – Big Book, Step 7
– “…we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new
mistakes as we go along. We vigorously commenced this way of living as we
cleaned up the past. We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is
to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It
should continue for our lifetime…” – Big Book, Step 10
Please See Steps 7 & 10…
15. Marketing in the Addiction Treatment Industry
Marketing includes any strategy that will build positive name recognition and
awareness of your organization or company driving call volume and potential
• Business Development
• Brand Management
• Digital Marketing (Internet, PPC, Social Media)
• Print media
• Call Center (Admissions Department)
• Public Speaking/Conference Presentations
Are there other strategies?
19. • People: 33 %
• Product: 33%
• Process: 33%
Traditional Business Leadership Structure
20. Healthcare Business Leadership Structure
• People 70%
– Needs to be right first and foremost!
– Customize your leadership to the audience.
– Develop employees.
• Product (Service) 15%
• Process 15%
22. Traditional Leadership
• This is not a “wrong” style of leadership.
• It’s an option that might fit best for an organization.
• This style must tie back to the vision, values, and culture of the
• The evolution of an organization can help determine the style
of leadership that is most appropriate.
• Often it can be a combination of different styles based on the
culture/type of business.
24. What is Servant Leadership?
Servant leadership is both a leadership philosophy and set of leadership
The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first, and helps
people develop and perform at their best.
Patients and Families
25. Servant Leadership
Servant Leadership involves a CEO
or company owner decision to
achieve success for the company
and its employees by putting them
first, by expecting workers to put
customers and vendors first, and by
creating a culture of self-sacrifice
together for the ultimate good of the
Dale Buss, Chief Executive
CEO2CEO Digital Transformations
30. Positive Outcomes of
• Creates an atmosphere of accountability and ownership.
• Empowers staff to feel they help drive the direction of the
• Greater job satisfaction.
• Empowers staff to take care of patients and families.
• Increases patient and family treatment experience.
• Increases profitability.
41. A Bit Of The Black Hat
Some Black Hat Strategies Previously Utilized
• Keyword Stuffing
• Doorway Pages
• Fake Locations for Local SEO
• Purchasing Links
• Microsites Solely for Targeting Specific Keywords
• Bait and Switch
50. Heading In The Right Direction
• Elimination of Spam-Based Microsites
• Websites and Content Focused on the User
• Large Scale Backlink Cleanup
• Removal of Bait and Switch Tactics
51. Tips and Takeaways
Avoiding Search Engine Penalties
• Educate yourself prior to outsourcing or hiring internet marketers
• Stay up-to-date by subscribing to search engine blogs that publish timely
updates and information on the search industry
• Make your users the priority and not the search engines
• Read the search engine guidelines and abide by them
• Earn links to your site by producing valuable content and avoid purchasing
links or participating in any link schemes
• Put in place a process whereby your sites are reviewed at a minimum
quarterly to ensure everything is above water and there are no issues
• Do your due diligence on outsource partners and in-house hires
• Use website monitors to notify you of breaches and uptime issues
52. Tips and Takeaways
Some Questions to Ask Potential SEO Partners
• How long have you been doing SEO?
• What are some of the sites that you have worked on and what was the
scope of your work with them?
• Have you ever helped a site recover from a Google Panda penalty? What
did you do?
• Have you ever helped a site recover from a Google Penguin penalty? What
did you do?
• What strategies do you use to gain backlinks to client websites?
• Which SEO sites do you follow?
• Describe the results of your most success project and how you went about
• When was the last Google algorithm update and what was it all about?
53. Tips and Takeaways
Google Penalty Recovery Tips
• Review your analytics to determine when your site’s traffic to a nose dive.
• Compare this date/timeframe with Google’s updates. If they both happened
at the same time there is a good chance you were affected by that update.
• For Panda
• Ensure all your content is unique and valuable to users and doesn't
consist of shallow content.
• Read through Google’s quality guidelines and ensure your site adheres
• For Penguin
• Take inventory of all the links pointing to your website.
• Use one of the tools on the market to help you analyze the quality of
• Manually remove as many as you can and then disavow the rest.
55. A Center of Excellence
Ethical Marketing Practices
(Focusing On Doing What’s Right)
56. A Role Change Which Now Includes:
• Serve as support for other departments
– Business Office
– Client Services
– Intake Services
• Promote Lakeview Changes
• Promote Events
• Collaborate with other providers