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While inclusion and diversity have always been important, the current pandemic and cultural climate of the industry have made them even more important to marketers. Simply put, we are facing two major problems: a people's crisis and an economic problem. By pursuing inclusion, equity and diversity, we can offer a powerful solution to both of the problems we face.
However, it isn't that easy to change a few guidelines and end the day. Instead, organizations must work to expand these efforts to include the challenges of work during a pandemic. We are at a crucial point where advertising, marketing and PR agencies can use the images they want to reflect the world they want to see, where social and gender roles are smashed, subcultures are celebrated and diversity be emphasized.
What is the definition of diversity and inclusion?
Understanding these two words is crucial if you are to include them in your marketing plan. To keep it simple, these terms are used to encompass a group of unique people who integrate with one another. It's about welcoming and welcoming people who have been excluded in the past because of their skills, sexuality, gender, or race.
When adding it to your marketing portfolio, make sure that the voice of everyone – regardless of cultural background, age, sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic or racial background – is heard.
What is the current marketing landscape like?
Over 92% of marketers agree that there are more opportunities for growth in marketing and advertising. But just because you agree with the statement doesn't mean that this idea will be openly accepted by all marketing and advertising agencies.
It is clear that there is a lack of inclusion and diversity in marketing campaigns by both small and large companies, which has resulted in a lot of people pointing these companies directly to these issues. Because of these issues and the current advertising climate, companies are working to find ways to incorporate inclusion and diversity into their campaigns.
But how exactly do you start? Your brand needs to find a way to become inclusive in their language, themes and imagery used during their campaigns. This work has a lot to do with the type of audience you want to advertise, regardless of their height, gender, race, or age.
Related: 3 Reasons Marketing Is The New Revenue
The statistics are on your side
Being more inclusive means your company is better known and shows your authentic culture. This can bring some amazing benefits. For example, more than 71% of LGBTQ consumers say they are likely to interact with or purchase an advertisement that represents their sexual orientation. Or consider the fact that 69% of black customers are more likely to buy products from a brand that is positive about their ethnicity or race.
Plus, these ideas of diversity and inclusion are going nowhere. By 2042, it is expected that more than 50% of the American population will be made up of minorities.
Embrace diversity and inclusion in your own organization
If you want to represent diversity and inclusivity, you need to start in your own organization. If your company doesn't involve the populations it is trying to represent, it will be difficult to connect with them. You have fewer options to execute when the market you want to reach and your team are bigger. Since none of us are completely unbiased, it is important to have culturally competent people on your team who will help influence the decisions you make in your company.
Similar: Hiring like a diversity expert: 5 key qualifications of inclusive employees
Understand your demographics
You need to know who your demographic is and how to get in touch with them. If that particular audience sees an ad or visits a website but is not represented in any way, they will not be attracted to your business.
To incorporate and create truly inclusive content, you need to do more than just post an image on a website. This effort needs to be reflected in your writing style, user experience, team structure, and the way you do business.
Be real with your intentions
If you just repeat what you think you should be saying, your customers will notice. You need to make sure that you are living your value proposition inside out if you want to drive change and truly embrace inclusion and diversity. Even if people want to see a reflection of themselves in your advertising, don't overdo it or make decisions that don't make sense just because you want to portray your brand as inclusive.
Brands that embrace diversity and inclusion
Many brands are already incorporating these ideas into their marketing campaigns. Some examples are:
- Overseer & Gambling: Although the company is best known for its toiletries and cleaning products, the company works hard to ensure inclusivity with its products and marketing campaigns by using its platforms to send strong messages on challenging topics related to diversity, identity and people with different backgrounds incorporate their advertisements. A great example is their Emmy-nominated commercial called The conversation.
- Microsoft: When Microsoft learned that children with physical disabilities were having difficulty using traditional controllers, they worked to solve that problem by developing alternative controllers that would make it easier for visually impaired or disabled children to play. They even gave disabled people the ability to communicate with the company to request adjustments. This eventually led to a campaign called "We All Win".
There are so many ways to incorporate diversity and inclusion into your marketing or advertising agency. However, it is important to remember that this is an ever evolving process. Your organization needs to consistently integrate these ideas into your marketing process, because there is always room for improvement.
Similarly, diversity and inclusion are the driving force behind the future of companies