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Ethical Marketing Angle?

Marketing, social media, advertising

AdamMaxum

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Not sure if this involves ethics but it sounded right.

Let's say ebates.com was blank, just starting out, and they wanted to populate their platform.

They begin adding businesses to their website without their consent/knowledge and associating rebates with them.

Example: Walmart - 2% cashback if you shop at Walmart . com

People shop at walmart, claim the 2% offer and ebates pays the 2% themselves direct to the customer.

They do this temporarily for several reasons:
a) to convince walmart (or whatever business it is) that their platform works and people are using it already. "hey, look people are buying things from you because of this/us. Want to join now?"
b) populate an empty website making it appear legit + scale platform larger faster.
c) attract the attention of customers/consumers to the website (build traffic, interest, etc)

Walmart in this scenario never approved this offer, but they are inherently benefiting from it (if ebates model works of course). The customer benefits from it. Ebates benefits from it long term.

Thoughts?
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Sounds like a WIN/WIN to me assuming you disclose that the rebate comes from you and not Walmart.

I did something similar when starting. I populated my directory with public information and did NOT get permission from any companies. Why would they object? Hey, you're giving me FREE advertising, STOP!

If I received leads for under-represented areas, I sent the lead to prospective company. Hey, can you help this guy out? They were happy to receive the lead and the business. Many times, they ultimately became paying customers.

Walmart - 2% cashback if you shop at Walmart . com

How are you checking? If I spend $200 at Walmart, how do you know I spent $200 to pay me $4?

In the end I don't see any problems with this assuming you are upfront and authentic.
 

AdamMaxum

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Sounds like a WIN/WIN to me assuming you disclose that the rebate comes from you and not Walmart.

I did something similar when starting. I populated my directory with public information and did NOT get permission from any companies. Why would they object? Hey, you're giving me FREE advertising, STOP!

If I received leads for under-represented areas, I sent the lead to prospective company. Hey, can you help this guy out? They were happy to receive the lead and the business. Many times, they ultimately became paying customers.



How are you checking? If I spend $200 at Walmart, how do you know I spent $200 to pay me $4?

In the end I don't see any problems with this assuming you are upfront and authentic.

Cool cool. Yeah, I know directory type sites do it a lot, but this added in an additional layer of actually giving something to customers who use the service which makes it a little more messy I guess.

I was thinking a company could complain stating it interferes with their branding or advertising. Say I promote an offer on social media and they don't like that I used their logo a certain way or something like that. That's the only thing I can think of. I guess you could get customers going into the business and mentioning the rebate to them and causing confusion that way as well (this assumes the customer doesn't understand how the redemption part works)

Ebates would do it by adding a cookie/code to track you if you went to walmart .com and bought anything.

I would do it by having the customer submit a photo receipt of proof verifying the purchase from their phone. Once verified, they get paid.
 

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