Diversity And Inclusion in Marketing

Published on - September 28, 2020 by hesk-digital
Diversity and inclusion

Now more than ever, it is the responsibility of all businesses to prioritise diversity and inclusion throughout all business processes, but especially in marketing.

A 2019 consumer survey by Google and The Female Quotient revealed that 64% of all respondents took some action after seeing an ad they considered to be diverse or inclusive.

As marketers, we are trying to build loyal and engaged audiences, and this is done best when your audience can see themselves in your marketing, and therefore can feel like part of your community.

It’s important to note that diversity and inclusion should also be an ongoing practice within all businesses and should always be done with thoughtfulness and authenticity. We’ve outlined below some key considerations when discussing this topic and developing your marketing assets. 

Diversity considerations in marketing

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Sexuality
  • Age
  • Geography
  • Current state of affairs

Inclusion considerations in marketing

  • Acknowledging everyone’s perspectives
  • Creating a space for people to be heard
  • Building a community founded on respect

With that being said, we’ve put together three actionable steps that can help guide you in creating more diverse and inclusive marketing.

1. The Words You Choose To Use Are Impactful

It seems simple, but the words you choose can have a massive impact on the size of the audience you reach. This is why writing with a broad audience in mind is a crucial element to inclusive marketing. What voice and language are you using? What pop-culture elements are you referring to? Does it make sense for a potential audience member who doesn’t live in your country? Are you using gender-neutral pronouns? While every blog post, Instagram story or EDM can’t resonate with everyone, it’s important in the long-run to keep these diversity and inclusivity considerations front of mind when writing content.

2. The Visuals You Create Are Important

It’s imperative that your audience feels represented throughout your marketing visuals. But, as we mentioned earlier, it has to be done with authenticity and honesty. Gender and race are usually the first things we think about when talking about diversity and inclusion, and in video marketing, it’s important to also consider subtitles for people with hearing impairments. Furthermore, with a younger demographic taking over the digital space it’s important to question if the lifestyle you are portraying is attainable.

3. Monitor your interactions

It’s important to monitor your audience’s feedback on socials as they will likely be your sounding board when it comes to your own biases or missteps. It’s inevitable that we’ll make mistakes in life and on social media especially. What’s most important in this case is that you don’t take these messages personally. It might feel uncomfortable at times, but it’s essential to keep an open mind, empathise, learn and adapt to what your audience is telling you. 

Learning, Unlearning And A Lifetime Commitment To Continued Learning

“We all fall into particular biases. That’s why you need to have culturally competent people in the room who have the power to affect decisions. By bringing in the talents of those who have traditionally been overlooked, you unlock true creative expression — and build an organisation able to check its biases.” – Del Johnson, a principal at Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm specialising in companies founded by women, people of color, and LGBTQ entrepreneurs

Great marketing is showing your audience, not just telling your audience, and having a diverse marketing team and content will do just that and will result in more appropriate messaging when connecting with different demographics.

Marketers and businesses need to continue researching and educating themselves and their employees on diversity and inclusion, this is not a trend, it’s an ongoing process that takes time and intention. 

We encourage businesses to follow BIPOC leaders, authors, journalists, teachers, etc to keep up to date on the news and what is happening in the diversity and inclusion landscape and to put in the work when it comes to lifelong learning around this topic.

Most importantly, consumers and audiences look to brands that resonate with them, if you are consistent in your messaging and you use your authentic voice to support diversity and inclusion then you are certainly going to be moving in the right direction.

At Hesk Digital we pride ourselves on our diverse backgrounds and experiences. We would love to learn more about your small business, enterprise, NGO, trade, etc to see how we can help you reach and grow your audience. Give us a call for a free consultation, and we’ll be more than happy to help you out!

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