April 6, 2022 By mandrews

Why Diversity and Inclusion Are No Longer An Option For Marketers

Categorized in:

As marketers, we’re expected to wear many different hats. We’re constantly examining analytics, coordinating schedules, and creating content. But one role stands head and shoulders above the rest: we’re storytellers. 

Effective storytellers encourage conversation by sharing the thoughts, beliefs, and feelings of diverse individuals, communities, and cultures. We’re in a unique position as marketers to help shape how people think and can influence positive cultural change. The role of the storyteller has become more crucial than ever, as marketers no longer have the option to ignore diversity and inclusion. Here’s why you can’t afford not to embrace difference in your storytelling.

It Can Hurt Your Brand Image

Over the years, many brands have tried to appear more inclusive, but end up seeming inauthentic and ill-informed. You’ll often see a brand promote visible diversity in their literature or on their website, but they lack the awareness, processes, or personnel to back up the image they’re presenting. We all have unconscious biases and tend to draw on our personal experiences, which can create blind spots that impede our ability to communicate effectively.

Insensitive or inauthentic marketing and imagery can cause irreparable damage to a brand. If you get it wrong, it can be a public relations nightmare – ads pulled, apologies issued, and clients lost. Marketers must be aware of who their audience is, paying particular attention to gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, economic background, and ability.

It Will Cost You

More and more, customers are choosing to direct their spending to brands that have inclusive and diverse values. There’s a misconception that re-imagining your brand with diversity and inclusion in mind may bust your budget, and although there may be some additional costs, the investment in engaging in marketing that’s appealing to all is priceless. 

In 2019, The Female Quotient partnered with Google and Ipsos and found that 64% out of people surveyed took action after seeing a diverse and inclusive ad. Additionally, 69% of black consumers and 71% of LGBTQ participants said they were more likely to purchase or interact with a brand’s advertising. The bottom line: you’re leaving money on the table if you aren’t being authentically inclusive.

It’s What Your Customers Expect

Getting to know your target audience intimately takes time and effort, but it’s an investment that will soon pay off. As marketers, our job is not to talk but to truly converse with our target markets. We need to listen to their stories, understand how they communicate, and meet them where they are. 

It’s no surprise that customers may be wary of brands they don’t fully trust. By showing your customers that you’re listening to what they have to say, and putting it into action, you can expose your brand to an even larger market. When a brand takes a stand on diversity and inclusion, it can build a more positive perception of your brand. 

If you’re looking to serve a more inclusive and diverse market, you must start by embracing diversity and inclusion from within. Not sure where to start? We’re here to help. Contact us today!