Marketing Campaigns: Guide To Inclusion And Diversity in Modern Advertising
Today, promoting brand image means defining and interacting with consumers as unique individuals – including people from all walks of life, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities, socio-economic classes, and more.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should cater to every single demographic. Rather, it’s all about identifying what groups are drawn to your brand and making sure that you connect with them on a deeper and more personal level.
In the US, almost 40% of people identify as racial or ethnic minorities, as you can see from the chart below:
However, our diverse population goes beyond skin color. We’re also talking about gender and sexuality, as well as disabilities.
This is where you make the most of inclusive and diversity marketing.
WHAT IS INCLUSIVE AND DIVERSITY MARKETING?
In a nutshell, inclusive and diversity marketing is a marketing effort that resonates with individuals coming from different backgrounds and cultures.
It creates content that reflects the diverse communities brands are trying to target.
Some of these campaigns aim to break norms and stereotypes, while others are created to elevate diverse voices and inspire positive social change. Then there are brands who utilize inclusive marketing to represent unique people in the real world.
For an inclusive ad to be successful, marketers highlight groups or individuals that are mis- or underrepresented, such as the LGBTQ+ community, POCs, those with disabilities, those who affiliate with various religions, and even those of certain ages.
Coming up with an inclusive and intriguing campaign requires a lot of time, effort, and meticulous planning. You gotta exert extra effort to include diverse individuals in your campaigns. You gotta think outside the box.
INCLUSIVE AND DIVERSITY MARKETING STATISTICS EVERY MARKETER SHOULD KNOW
It’s 2021 and almost every brand is calling for inclusion and diversity in their marketing.
It’s a no-brainer, actually. More and more consumers are leaning towards the idea of inclusive marketing because it reflects the actual world we live in, instead of having it filled with flawless models with perfect bodies.
For instance, a bikini line that features average and plus-sized models would definitely attract more customers than a brand that only has skinny women modeling for their ads.
Numerous studies have proven that inclusivity is really essential in the marketing world. Here are some stats to back it up: 61% of Americans find diversity in advertising important.
- 93% of marketers say that inclusive marketing is important for the business potential it represents.
- A recent Kantar study found that progressive ads are 25% more effective.
- Brands with the highest diversity scores see a higher consumer preference by 83%.
- 38% of consumers are more likely to trust brands that show diversity in their ads.
- 71% of LGBTQ+ consumers are more likely to interact with an online ad that shows an authentic representation of their sexual orientation.
- 82% of consumers find marketing efforts that promote the LGBTQ+ community reflective of a brand that values all forms of diversity.
- 69% of Black consumers are more likely to buy from a brand whose ad campaigns reflect their race/ethnicity in a positive manner.
What’s more, experts are predicting that by 2044, groups formerly considered as “minorities” in the US will reach majority status. This means that the groups currently underrepresented in advertising and marketing will make up the majority of your consumers in the coming years.
BENEFITS OF INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY IN MARKETING CAMPAIGNS
Now that you’re aware of how impactful inclusive ads are based on the stats, you might be wondering: Why’s that so?
Well, what if we told you that brands that invest in diversity marketing can reap a number of amazing benefits? If you decide to hop on the bandwagon, expect these perks coming your way:
You Reach a Wider Audience
Now this one’s a given.
Adopting the concept of inclusive and diversity marketing means being able to reach more people than ever.
You already know that people across different cultures, as well as those coming from minority groups, want to be able to relate to the products being featured on ads. These folks would love to see ad campaigns that are especially tailored for them – and that’s what you’re going to offer.
With your inclusive marketing campaign, you have the opportunity to demonstrate a more diverse application of your products, which in turn, can help you win the hearts of those from different demographics.
By winning their hearts, you’ll improve your overall brand appeal and increase your potential customer pool.
You Make a Good Name for Your Brand
People appreciate a brand that makes an effort to reach out to real-world demographics using their campaigns.
Take the case of Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, for example. The singer and her team of marketing experts decided to launch a brilliant ad campaign showing women of different races wearing the makeup based on their skin colors.
As expected, the ad generated nothing but positive reviews and applause by people in all parts of the globe. Not only did it make worldwide headlines, but it gained the company millions of new customers for the product.
You Form a Deeper Relationship with Your Audience
One of your priorities as a brand is to keep your audience as engaged as possible.
Chances are, some or many of them come from different cultures and underrepresented groups. Although they might have been loyal customers of yours for quite some time now, releasing an ad that speaks their language will definitely strengthen the relationship further.
You’re Making a Difference
Inclusive ads shine a spotlight on men and women of all sizes, colors, ages, sexual preferences, and backgrounds. They’re telling us two things: being different is always good and all of us deserve to be treated equally.
As a result, people start to realize that they should be kinder and more respectful to everyone they meet, despite their differences. Those from minority groups become more confident about themselves while developing a sense of belongingness at the same time.
BEST INCLUSIVE AND DIVERSITY MARKETING EXAMPLES
If you’re a brand having trouble incorporating inclusivity and diversity in your marketing campaigns, don’t worry. It’s not as complicated as it sounds.
You’ll only need a few marketing tips, and by that, we mean inspiration from brands that have come up with the most groundbreaking commercials and prints. Of course, you should have that genuine desire to bring people together through your messaging.
With that in mind, here are seven brands that took the world by storm with their one-of-a-kind ads:
While campaigns like this may not be as unique as they used to be anymore, Dove takes it to another level by having these women define their own search descriptions and tags for their images.
The company not only promotes the idea that beauty comes in all forms, but it also gives these women the freedom to express themselves and how they want to be perceived by others.
Reality and variety – that’s what people are looking for in today’s marketing age. ThirdLove shows us how it’s done.
The American lingerie company has one goal in mind: Sell lingerie for everybody.
ThirdLove also prides itself as the first ever lingerie company to introduce half-cup sizes for women outside the standard sizes.
One can already tell from the get-go that the company embraces diversity in its marketing efforts. You’ll see what we’re talking about when you check out their website and social media pages.
Their “To Each, Her Own” campaign is another reason why they always have new customers buying their products. Heidi Zak, the brand’s co-CEO and co-founder, said that the main idea behind the campaign was to have women see themselves depicted in it.
From a mother nursing her baby to a 60-something woman doing yoga, women will definitely feel like the video is made for them. Plus, the fact that it’s completely raw and unedited makes it even more realistic
You may watch the video here.
Gone are the days when beauty brands were exclusively made for women, and men were being ridiculed for using such products. With the LGBTQ+ community expanding day by day, it makes perfect sense that cosmetics companies are now including male models in their campaigns.
For instance, nail polish brand Essie made history when they named Queer Eye’s Jonathon Van Ness as its first male ambassador.
The company not only targets members of the LGBTQ+ audience, but also straight men who see nail polish as a form of self-expression. It goes without saying that Essie is breaking gender stereotypes with this marketing campaign.
Adidas: Modest Wear
Knowing that there are women who prefer to work out without showing too much skin, Adidas has come up with the perfect solution: Modest activewear.
What makes this ad even more inclusive is that the brand used a Muslim model to wear their tracksuit, along with a matching hijab. This is really appropriate since Muslim women are known for their modesty.
Thanks to Adidas, women who are conscious about their bodies no longer have to pause their workouts every now and then to fix their shirts, tank tops, or tights. They don’t have any reason to skip gym anymore.
The White Collection Bridal Boutique
While it’s not uncommon to see a bride in a wheelchair, seeing a mannequin bride in a wheelchair tells a different story.
Here’s a particular wedding shop in Portishead, England, the White Collection Bridal Boutique, catching the eyes of passersby with its disabled mannequin.
Google Pixel: The Picture-Perfect Life
Now here’s an inclusive ad by Google that might get you a bit emotional.
The commercial features a diverse group of actual Google Pixel users, along with shots and videos they took using their phones.
During the first half of the scene, we get a glimpse of their everyday lives, and they all look happy and contented. Little do we know, these people are actually battling suicidal thoughts and are seeking professional help.
Besides extending support to a segment of audience who might be going through the same experiences, the ad sheds light on the mental health crisis. Indeed, not every picture tells the entire story.
Microsoft: We All Win
After realizing that children with certain physical disabilities, missing limbs, or limited mobility were having difficulty playing games with their controllers, Microsoft decided to do something about it right away.
The company invented a special controller, the Xbox Adaptive Controller. It replaced buttons with touchpads and included bright colors for the visually impaired, creating an opportunity for all users, regardless of physical abilities, to play video games.
Microsoft launched the product during a Super Bowl commercial in 2019.
In the commercial, entitled “We All Win,” disabled kids were asked about how the controller was able to help make their gaming life more convenient. Quotes from the engineers behind the project were also included.
An inspirational line was used to close the commercial: “When everybody plays, we all win.”
The campaign shows just how far Microsoft is willing to provide prospects and customers of all types nothing but the best experience.
STEPS TO CREATE AN INCLUSIVE AND DIVERSITY MARKETING STRATEGY
Now, let’s dive into the specifics of how you can incorporate more inclusion and diversity into your marketing efforts.
Know Your Audience
Connecting with people is much easier when you have a clear idea of who you’re marketing to. There’s no point in making an inclusive campaign if you won’t be able to represent your customers and prospects accurately.
Make it a priority to learn more about your audience through extensive market research. It will take time and resources, so don’t expect to tick this off your list by the end of the day.
Targeting a group with whom you have no connection with in terms of ethnicity, cultural identity, or other areas requires commitment. Having little to no knowledge of them will only give your brand a bad rap.
Reflect the Reality
As mentioned earlier, 69% of Black consumers are more likely to buy from a brand whose advertising reflects their race. In other words, most of today’s consumers expect brands to show ads that reflect the reality of their lives.
So how do you get your target audience to develop a natural liking to your brand? Simply mirror their cultural values and beliefs.
Walk the Talk
You can’t just promote inclusivity in your marketing without implementing a portion of it into your own organization. Imagine how your audience would feel if they find out about it.
You’re not investing in diversity marketing just because you want to be part of the trend. Rather, you’re doing it because the movement means a lot to you, and because you don’t want any of your consumers feeling left out.
Hire more diverse members for your team. They can be content creators, contributors, or freelancers who can add a fresh and different perspective to the marketing efforts behind the brand.
Highlight Real Stories
Consumers relate more to an ad campaign that features real people and real stories. Seeing others like them provides them a sense of validation, giving them all the more reason to admire your brand and eventually becoming a customer.
If you have employees with unique backstories, or they’re of different cultures, you can offer them a role in one of your marketing campaigns. Or, you can take images of your customers and advocates, making them a vital part of your content marketing campaigns.
Modern consumers want to see people they can relate to in marketing campaigns, and that’s what you should be giving them. As a brand striving to be customer-centric and relevant to all sorts of individuals, inclusive and diversity marketing is the way to go.
Shay Berman is the founder and president of Digital Resource, a full-service digital marketing agency located in South Florida. Shay’s clear-cut approach to internet marketing has driven his clients’ businesses to new heights and landed Digital Resource on the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies in America for two consecutive years. Digital Resource provides custom solutions in social media marketing, search engine optimization, responsive website design, digital advertising, and more.
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