The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion Within Marketing
Diversity and inclusion is about creating an environment that encourages diverse teams and makes everyone feel included. Not just by having diverse workforce but also creating a
culture of being heard. The importance of diversity and inclusion is not lost on modern
marketers. To reach a wider audiences, brands need to pay closer attention to portraying
inclusivity in their message.
The diversity factor is not simply about creating advertisements or messaging that represent people from a variety of backgrounds, but also focusing specific characteristics of the target group.
However, the teams who are developing campaigns and messages, diversity is also
necessary. This broader spectrum of inclusion ensures that messages reflect and avoid
offensive references to race, gender, sexual orientation. Thereby, respondents for call to
action is increased. Meeting all those qualifications is a bigger job than making an effort to
feature more women and minorities. But as diversity in marketing gets more complicated, it also gets more interesting.
To understand how the lack of diversity is impacting the marketing, let’s take a look at some industry demographics. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, although women hold 72.8% of public relations management jobs overall, only 10.7% of roles are held by those who are black, 3.1% by Asians, and 3.1% by Hispanics or Latinos. Marketing and sales managers share similar demographics, with blacks making up 6.7%, Asians 5.4%, and Hispanics and Latinos 9.7%. Women managers, overall, make up 47.6% of the industry.
Because of the diversity shortage within these industries, the perspectives of various groups are not heard, resulting in ongoing, image-damaging blunders that hurt the brand’s bottom line.
PepsiCo also made a serious public relations (PR) gender blunder. In an interview, the
company’s CEO said that women and men didn’t eat Doritos the same way, and the
company was planning “male and female versions of chips.” “Lady Doritos” quickly received
a strong criticism.
As companies increasingly recognize the need to include diverse people and ideas in their
promotional activities, well-executed campaigns that promote inclusion are emerging. Wells
Fargo’s “Learning Sign Language Campaign” for example, conveys that no disability should
prevent someone from being able to communicate with others
Forward-thinking organizations like these recognize that if they are neglecting diversity in
their PR and marketing efforts, they may be alienating potential customers and brand
advocates, as well as jeopardizing their profits.
Small steps can result in a high positive Impact of improving diversity.
1. Plan a recruitment cycle, priorititsing diversity.
Most often than not, brands shift their focus of recruitment to creative individuals
forgetting creative ideas come through brainstorming sessions of diverse group in
the team. This effort of identifying, creating diversity, helps brands to gain respect in
2. Audit your marketing and PR teams.
Take a step back with your teams, and check to see if patterns of cognitive bias or
negative undertones appear in your campaigns. Eradicate them by listening to the
teams pain points.
3. Showcase diverse stories.
It can be hard to tell a story that everyone can relate to, in which everyone feels
included or represented. The immediate alternative, is to tell lots of different stories
so there’s something for everyone.
Toyota took a different approach when marketing the 2018 Camry, cramming as
much diversity as possible into one campaign. The automotive brand worked to
create eight unique films about the same car. Each spot features people of different
ethnicities, races, and lifestyles, and each is designed to tap into unique cultural
4. Adapt the message to the target market.
A truly effective diversity campaign starts with understanding your customers and
your marketplace audience first. conduct market research to initiate conversations
with individuals or groups who are representative of the people you are trying to
reach. Wide range of nuances exists within cultural groups, and brand’s goal should
be to listen and understand, not make assumptions.
According to Lorraine Twohill, senior vice president of global marketing for the tech
giant. In a blog post, she wrote, “Our products are for everyone, but our images
were not telling that story. Our images had lots of racial diversity. But everyone
looked like they worked in tech and lived in hip, urban neighborhoods.”
5. Widen the narratives about diversity
When planning an outreach or marketing campaigns, look for sources and
professionals who offer a diverse perspective. Include people and groups who have
been marginalized, and highlight the achievers.
Consumers and clients want to do business with companies that understand their unique
economic, political and cultural perspectives. Marketing and PR departments has the power
to shape new approaches, while at the same time, demonstrate that their organizations are
employers of choice and industry innovators.