Is It Wrong to Market a Product/Service Based on a Disaster?
Jun 20, 2017
This is a tough one for me. I have a client whose whole business is developing contingency plans for businesses. (You know, those plans every business – and family, for that matter – is supposed to have for when a disaster or other emergency happens so to allow for minimal disruption in the workflow.) When I met with him, I pointed out that, given some of the horrible things going on in the world (both man-made and natural disasters), this is the time he’s got to reach out to every client and prospect and make sure they understand the advantages of being prepared and the probable consequences if they’re not.
As I was starting to say this, I hemmed and hawed and begged his forgiveness if I sounded crass. I assured him that I have nothing but the utmost compassion for the people who are injured, homeless, hungry, and missing their loved ones due to death or inability to locate them. That being said, I told him that, with this fresh on people’s minds, and seemingly playing non-stop on every news show out there, this is the time to make sure that everyone he knows is aware that there is a way to mitigate both their personal and professional circumstances in the event of any type of emergency or disaster happening to them.
Yes, some people will look on it in a negative way and consider it capitalizing on other’s misfortunes. I say, if you have the tools to help get a family and/or business back on track after this type of loss and heartbreak, then you are doing the right thing and possibly preventing them from more suffering than they need to have if such a thing happens to them.
That being said, I don't advocate selling based on creating or increasing fear. These types of products and services should be marketed in a way that increases peace-of-mind in the minds of their prospects.
If you still have any vestiges of guilt about it, then donate a portion of the proceeds to the cause that created the awareness. You’ll be doing good both on the front end and, if the worst should happen to your clients, on the back-end, too.