Do you find adverts that you’re exposed to from time to time relatable or are they worlds apart from your everyday reality? The conversation around inclusivity and diversity in marketing is giving rise to a movement that ensures no customer feels left out. In marketing, the customer is king, and creating content that people relate to has the potential to make a brand appear as allies in the eyes of the consumer. As brands strive to sustain growth and earn loyal customers, interweaving inclusivity is becoming not only a smart but respectable business move.
What is inclusive marketing?
Inclusive marketing is defined as creating content that truly reflects the diverse communities that brands serve. It’s connecting with an audience across a broad spectrum of class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and so forth. Running an inclusive marketing campaign elevates customer stories and leads positive social change; deepening connections with customers through the delivery of respectful content that speaks to them and celebrates who they are.
How can you create an inclusive marketing strategy?
Inclusivity in marketing does not just happen at a snap of a finger. It takes deliberate steps from marketers to be culturally aware and amplify marginalised voices.
Here’s how brands can get started.
Have a diverse team
Every piece of content created and released for public consumption begins with a team. Having a diverse team with employees from different backgrounds and ethnicities is good for business.
According to Busines.com, having a diverse marketing team makes it easier for brands to stay clear of stereotypes and create authentic and respectful messages that reflect different demographics. It’s also important for the creative team to consist of employees who reflect the audience that the brand is trying to reach. Companies should focus on becoming inclusive internally before looking to serve an external audience.
Listen to your customers
We understand the world around us much better when we take the time to listen. Through interactions with the group of people a brand is aiming to represent, marketing teams can better align messages to the campaign and create accurate narratives. Brands should do extensive research and gain insights into the target audience’s culture, personality, and interests. A winning move would be to consult with consumers from the specific cultural group the brand intends to represent on marketing projects. Brands can also listen to their audiences by or surveys to tell a compelling story.
Be intentional about the audience served
According to marketing strategist and CEO of Thompson Media Group, Sonia Thompson, marketers should not aim to serve everyone. Instead, marketers should be intentional in who they intend to represent, while also being mindful of the groups that will be repelled by the marketing campaign.
An iconic example of inclusive marketing
Rihanna’s cosmetic brand, Fenty Beauty has proved that inclusive marketing does not only have a societal impact but the effect trickles down to the company’s bottom line. When the brand was launched in 2017, it shattered social media glass ceilings and sold out at a record speed. How? The company journeyed on a road less travelled by the rest of the beauty industry with their “ marketing mission. With over 40 foundation shades, Fenty Beauty delivered beauty for women of all skin shades, leading the way for traditional beauty retailers to diversify their cosmetics range.
The onus lies on brands to deliver messaging that resonates with people from all backgrounds. Inclusive marketing helps brands create relatable messaging that relates to their customers and their world.
This marketing technique enables brands to reach new audiences and deepen connections with existing ones. Times are evolving and marketing is no longer a one-size-fits-all in terms of content delivery. Brands have a duty to society to represent the underserved and give a voice to the voiceless. To achieve this, marketers should consider incorporating diversity and inclusivity into the fabric of their marketing strategies.