Over the last several decades, the world has evolved and progressed in marked ways. Particularly, the world has become more diverse, accepting, and welcoming to people from all walks of life. However, though significant advancements in attitudes and practices have been made, this doesn’t mean that certain industries should stop their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.
One industry that can have a manifestly impactful effect on attitudes around diversity and inclusion is marketing. Understanding how you can bolster inclusivity in your marketing strategies can make you more capable of making a sizeable impact on the world around you.
Here are five ways to incorporate diversity and inclusion in your marketing strategy.
1. Know Your Audiences
As someone who works in marketing, you know the importance of understanding your audience. Without this awareness, your marketing strategies will be aimless and, as a result, a gamble. When it comes to communicating effectively with a diverse range of people, the case is no different.
To truly make an impact with your marketing strategy, it’s key to understand the diverse audiences you wish to communicate to. By developing this understanding, you and your team will truly be capable of crafting an inclusive marketing strategy that actually resonates with various people with a diverse range of experiences.
Some practices you can take advantage of to gain a better understanding of diverse audiences include:
- Researching a variety of communities
- Understanding that different people experience the world differently
- Examining unconscious biases
- Crafting strategies with a diverse team
By taking a thorough and committed approach to understanding diverse groups of people, your team will be in a better place when it comes to crafting an effective strategy. As such, taking time to know your audiences is an effective way to incorporate diversity and inclusion into your marketing strategies.
2. Use Inclusive Language and Avoid Unconscious Biases
Throughout the 20th century, the majority of marketing efforts were catered toward a distinct type of audience that made up only a fraction of people. This alienated a tremendous number of people and spawned marketing campaigns that were only effective for a small number of audiences. One of the hallmarks of these marketing efforts was a lack of inclusive language and ideas.
While we’ve come a long way over the last few decades, it’s still incredibly important to be aware of the implicit biases that are still present in the marketing industry and the language that promotes them. To effectively incorporate diversity and inclusion in your marketing campaign, it’s key to utilize inclusive language in your marketing materials and evaluate your team’s unconscious biases.
The more you’re able to focus on utilizing language that includes everyone, the more receptive diverse individuals will be to your efforts. In addition, the more that you and your team are able to evaluate your unconscious biases, the more inclusive your marketing materials will be.
As such, taking the time to utilize inclusive language and explore your team’s unconscious biases is an amazing way to promote diversity and inclusion with your marketing efforts.
3. Diversify Your Marketing Team
In any work setting, having a diverse array of perspectives is both important and beneficial. However, in marketing, it is acutely valuable to have a diverse team because of the ways that this will inform marketing materials. Essentially, the more diverse your marketing team is, the easier it will be to engage in marketing efforts that truly cater to a diverse range of people and make them feel included.
By prioritizing a diverse marketing team, you ensure that you’ll have a range of input when creating and developing new marketing projects. This will ensure that your team isn’t inadvertently excluding certain audiences and only catering to a select few.
Some key practices you can engage in to diversify your marketing team include:
- Making diversity a priority in hiring practices
- Crafting an inclusive work environment where diverse individuals feel welcome
- Providing all employees with cultural competence and DEI training
- Recruiting from diverse pools of candidates
The more you’re able to diversify your marketing team, the higher the likelihood that you’ll craft inclusive marketing materials. This being the case, diversifying your marketing team is an effective way to make your marketing strategies more diverse and inclusive.
4. Increase Diverse Representation in Marketing Materials
While theorizing about diverse and inclusive practices is a great system to engage in when developing a marketing strategy, it shouldn’t replace the representation of diversity and inclusion in your marketing materials. The more you’re able to highlight diversity in your marketing efforts, the more it will resonate with diverse individuals.
Some keyways to increase representation include using images of diverse people, hiring diverse actors, and representing diverse voices. The more these become a staple in your marketing strategies, the more included diverse audiences will feel.
When individuals from marginalized groups see themselves represented in advertising and marketing materials, they’ll feel more included and inclined to listen. Consequently, bolstering representation in your marketing efforts can make your team more effective in incorporating diversity and inclusion into your marketing strategies.
5. Avoid Stereotypes and Offensive Representations of Diverse People
Though it’s disheartening to acknowledge, the history of marketing and advertising is plagued by stereotypical and offensive representations of diverse people. Obviously, these types of efforts weren’t perceived as inclusive by the diverse audiences who came into contact with them. Fortunately, by engaging in opposite efforts, you and your team can help ensure that diverse individuals aren’t being insulted or put off by your marketing strategies.
During the development stage of marketing strategies, it’s important to gain feedback from a wide array of people with differing perspectives. This gives you and your team an opportunity to uncover any inadvertent stereotypes or biases against certain groups of people that may have made their way into your marketing materials.
By engaging in this process consistently and avoiding hurtful representations of certain people, you can rest assured that you’re effectively promoting diversity and inclusion with your marketing strategies.
Diversity and Inclusion Should Be a Priority in Marketing
In today’s world, diversity and inclusion are taking their proper place as highly prioritized practices. While this is an amazing first step, it’s still important to promote these ideas whenever possible — especially in marketing and advertising. As such, you should strive to take advantage of these key practices to cater to a diverse range of people and market in a fashion that makes the world a better place.