Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Within Marketing

Company Culture

With the recent mess of the pandemic and everyone’s world quite literally flipped upside down, we as a society have had the opportunity to step back and think about how we can grow and become a better place for the people that will come after us. With that being said, the topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion have been at the forefront. Diversity, equity, and inclusion to some might be considered controversial topics, however, we will particularly be discussing the importance of these three elements within the digital marketing space and how they can improve your company, your results, and foster a safe and inviting community for you client/customer base.

Being Intentional About Change:

 Diversity, equity, and inclusion are all-encompassing when it comes to being customer-focused and meeting the needs of both consumers and clients. Companies that don’t find ways and take the initiative to be more diverse with their content, strategic approach, and overall goals will lose out on business and staying on top of trends; not just within the marketing space, but societal needs as a whole; allowing consumers to feel heard and included. An example that might help this concept make more sense is; Blockbuster and Netflix. These two essentially are the same type of company. However, you don’t want to be considered a Blockbuster. Meeting the needs, wants, goals, and expectations of the consumers of your content within today’s social climate is an absolute necessity when it comes to success. Gone are the days of typical and expected. Marketers must steer away from preconceived notions and begin to speak to a larger audience.

With that said, there is a greater expectation for inclusivity. People are no longer willing to accept the fact that they might be ignored or not completely served by a vast majority of brands. Now what’s different in comparison to other demographics, and other possible personas is that we’ve seen a shift in the connection needed to be felt by content consumers. This can be expanded further into shared values with the companies that they choose to buy from. If not taken into consideration, your company’s growth can be significantly impacted if an inclusive marketing approach isn’t adopted and not a substantial part of your campaign/brand. 

Be Genuine: Leave Superficiality at the Door:

Inclusive marketing, as well as diversity in marketing, should not be superficial. Customers, clients, and other stakeholders alike can sense if you are being genuine. Businesses that succeed and incorporate diversity and inclusivity within their marketing strategy work their strategies and practices at every single level of the process and are sound in their response to the real issues that are being addressed within the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here are some ways on how to make your marketing practices more diverse and inclusive moving forward:

  1. Hold Yourselves Accountable – Acknowledging that your business might have a problem or might be contributing in some way to the issue of lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion is always the first and most important step in the process. Take a look at the numbers and hard data. What portion of your team includes POC or any other marginalized groups? What strategies implemented within your campaigns feature groups of similar status. 
  2. Make Internal Changes – there are a large number of businesses and organizations that do in fact acknowledge that a change within their strategy and organization needs to change, however, they never truly dive in and create a real sustainable change within the infrastructure of the business. A great way to get the ball rolling would be to consider DEI-focused policies within your workplace in order to instill a more internal and deeper change from within. 
  3. Go Even Further And Be a Positive Influence – Setting goals for future campaigns and initiatives are a great way to continue efforts towards incorporating the best possible DEI practices when looking at creating more diversity in marketing and applying a much more inclusive approach down the line. Where do you hope to be within the next 1, 6, or even 12 months from now? Now having a more diverse team will not correct the decades of non-inclusive marketing in existence. You must ask yourselves and other members of your team the questions that truly matter to make the change. How will we create a strategy characteristic of marginalized groups? 

These Changes Won’t Happen Overnight:

Now, this is by no means a “fix-all” in terms of solving any issues both within your organization and society as a whole. However, making these changes and really diving into these questions to stimulate further conversations is a great way to put you and your team in the right mindset and off in the right direction. Don’t feel like you have to change everything all at once and do it all in one sitting. That isn’t the point. The point is to make a change. Even the smallest step in the right direction can be the start that you need to truly make a change towards more inclusive marketing practices and creating a healthy diversity in the marketing approach. With time, we might all be making a unified leap into a more diversified, equitable, and inclusive digital marketing landscape.