For decades, marketing has been an issue of diversity and equality. But the recent influx in social media use may have given equal representation a new meaning as no one deserves to be excluded because of their skin color, gender, ethnicity, or education level.
In the last few years, there seems to be more awareness around racial inequality when it comes to advertising with many people from all backgrounds feeling like they are being left out on certain levels due mainly in part by lack of exposure over time that ultimately leads them not getting involved socially.
On the other hand, there’s inclusion, which is a concept that’s been thrown around a lot lately. This term is defined as an act or state of including or being included inside a group or organization.
Combining these two movements gives us a greater understanding of the “movement” that has become a trend in advertising, as we see it being used by every digital marketing company in a variety of marketing initiatives. Inclusivity gives brands and companies new opportunities to engage with a larger audience than traditional marketing can.
Inclusivity in a nutshell…
The majority of marketing efforts are focused on the target demographic for the products or services being promoted. Inclusive marketing does not focus on a single group. It makes an effort to avoid and overcome preconceptions. Inclusive marketing takes into account all of the communities it serves.
Diversity is influenced by factors such as ethnicity, language, culture, physical/mental ability, religion/spirituality, gender identity, age, body type, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and attitude.
It’s all too simple for a company to overlook one of these factors, resulting in a marketing disaster. Every brand must build up their communities, accept all of their differences, and assist individuals whose voices are frequently silenced in getting their voices heard. These actions will assist in bringing about positive change in your neighborhood.
There is a higher expectation for inclusivity.
Marketing to the “masses” or to what was previously regarded as “normal” will soon be a thing of the past. People are starting to recognize that they don’t have to just “accept” that the brands they want to engage with would neglect or underserve them as more brands start to effectively cater to the demands of different and niche consumers.
As the world continues to experience a racial awakening, an increasing number of customers are eager to match their spending habits with brands that align with their principles.
If inclusiveness isn’t a tangible aspect of your brand, as more customers are demanding and expecting it, your expansion goal for your business might not materialize.
A demand for receipts.
Customers are always on the lookout for any discrepancies between what a company says and how they act. When brand inclusivity is preached, customers want to see if it’s actually true by checking out who runs their business and where those employees stand.
The passage talks about people looking into businesses that preach diversity when they claim to care about inclusion but their actions don’t line up with these statements.
Know that customers now are no longer going to take your word for it. You must show proof that you are an inclusive business they can trust, rather than just a brand that is saying the correct things to capture their attention and hard-earned dollars, in addition to cooperating with a reliable digital marketing company or influencers for your advertising goals.
A snub to superficiality.
Consumers can tell the difference between something you believe in and something you do because it’s expected of you.
It’s the distinction between “I love you” and “I tolerate you.” One conveys belonging, whereas the other does not.
It’s all about belonging. Customers will reward you with their loyalty if they feel like they belong with you. When they don’t feel like they fit in, they look for another brand that will.
As the year progresses, it will be critical for you to ensure that your work isn’t superficial in terms of inclusivity. You can’t expect a revamp of your photography and the inclusion of more varied voices in your marketing to suffice.
At every level, truly inclusive brands practice what they preach. This entails cultivating an inclusive culture, forming inclusive teams, establishing deep levels of customer intimacy with the various customers you serve, and cultivating great relationships within their communities.
Accountability is demanded.
People make mistakes, and brands are no exception. This is especially true when you begin to interact with communities and customer segments that you haven’t previously engaged with.
Many brands have made culturally insensitive marketing mistakes. Others have experienced occasions where customers were treated unfairly because of their differences. Others have created products, services, and experiences that have fallen short of the mark for a wide range of customers.
And apologies abound in all of these cases, as well as many others.
Customers have had enough of apologies and promises to do better. They want to see tangible results. They want to believe that businesses are genuinely committed to improving, rather than merely paying lip service to avoid a public relations disaster.
The goal isn’t to achieve perfection. Mistakes are bound to happen. Consumers, on the other hand, want to see that you’ve done enough planning ahead of time to avoid typical blunders. And if you do falter, they want to know you’re working hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
In today’s society, we are all increasingly encouraged to create spaces that make everyone feel welcome. One way businesses can do this is by creating an inclusive brand and striving for inclusion in their everyday practices as a business owner or manager.
Through deliberate work like conscious hiring decisions, these types of brands will have the potential to positively affect not only those who identify with them but also anyone they interact with on a day-to-day basis through branding messages and products.
In terms of how your business can affect the lives of consumers who may not have been previously served and also what kind of influence this will wield on your industry, that effort proves worth its weight in gold.