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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

the market-place.

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.

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