The world we are living in has become much more diverse in only a few generations.
Digital marketing and advertising have had to adapt to these changes and appeal to much wider audiences than in the past.
And, as younger, more diverse generations become part of your audience, it’s important to make sure your brand is reflecting their values and ethics.
Modern audiences, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, want to see diversity reflected in a brand’s advertisements, even if that diversity doesn’t directly represent them.
In fact, 70% of Millennials have indicated that they will choose a brand solely based on the inclusion and diversity that can be found in their advertising.
Even beyond closing more sales with younger audiences, representation is important for your brand as it’s morally the right thing to do.
The simple fact is that embracing diversity isn’t an optional choice anymore, it’s necessary in modern marketing. And that’s where diversity marketing comes into play.
Keep reading to learn more.
What is Diversity Marketing?
Diversity marketing is a marketing practice that involves recognizing different subgroups in your target audiences and being informed about different cultural and societal changes in your community and customers.
Diversity marketing sets the goals and intentions for the rest of your marketing campaigns.
It can be reflected both internally within your organization and externally in your messaging and advertisements. It impacts how you define your brand, your voice, and your story.
Different categories for diversity that you should take into consideration include:
- Personal identity
- Sexual orientation
- Socioeconomic status
- Geographic location
Why is Diversity Important in the Marketing World?
Diversity marketing is essential in today’s marketing world.
In the past, it was easy to avoid the complications and critical thinking involved in becoming more inclusive, as audiences didn’t expect or require their brands to reflect diversity. Now, that’s all changed.
Let’s take a look into a few of the major reasons why diversity marketing is important to include in your strategies.
Improves Your Brand’s Reputation
It’s very simple: brands that don’t embrace diversity marketing are doomed to fall into obscurity and damage their reputations.
Inclusivity and representation are important factors in maintaining a brand’s reputation and proving to your audiences that you care about all different kinds of people.
Brands that excel at diversity marketing make it a cornerstone of their brand and are easily recognizable as inclusive and diverse companies.
That helps them gain positive awareness and build their core brand message around acceptance.
Extends Your Reach and Audience
Diversity means variety, and that means that a wider variety of audiences are going to be interested in your brand if you can successfully represent them in your marketing and advertising efforts.
When people from different cultures and communities feel represented by your brand, they are more likely to engage with you.
Investing in diversity marketing also helps you extend your reach. By spreading into different groups, your new audiences will help to improve the visibility of your brand and spread word about your products or services.
Connects to Younger Audiences
Millennials and Gen Z are notoriously difficult to market to.
They are highly distrustful of brands in general, and that impacts the types of advertisements they respond to.
By including diversity and representation in your marketing efforts, you can appeal to these younger audiences and help increase your brand reputation among emerging buyers.
Younger audiences also have strong beliefs that impact their buying habits and brand loyalty.
Millennials and Gen Z tend to believe that everything should be inclusive for all audiences and reject many traditional advertising tactics like narrowing to a specific audience and excluding different ages, genders, or religions.
Helps to Create Change
While all brands want to grow their business and gain more revenue, there are also moral reasons for wanting to be a part of diversity and inclusion.
The world is becoming a more diverse place, and organizations should want to be a helpful part of the movement to open minds and include underrepresented groups.
Brands that embrace diversity marketing are part of a changing system that works to make life better for all people and improve the world we live in.
Brands in particular have the ability to impact a large number of people and can be major forces for change and inclusion on a global scale.
Diversity Marketing vs. Other Forms of Marketing
Because the term “diversity marketing” is formatted the same as marketing strategies like content marketing, email marketing, and SEO marketing, people often mistake it as a subset of the digital marketing umbrella.
However, diversity marketing is not a tactic of digital marketing at all, but a mindset that can drive all aspects of your brand’s marketing.
As a term, it refers to the overarching goals and message that you want your brand to represent.
A great tip to make sure that you keep diversity marketing part of your digital marketing efforts is to include a step in every strategy creation to reflect on the diversity and inclusion in your tactics.
That will allow you to respect the mindset of diversity marketing while building out other parts of your marketing.
Strategies to Develop Effective Diversity Marketing Campaigns
Now that you have a deeper understanding of what diversity marketing is and how it can benefit your brand and your community at large, let’s take a look into different strategies that you can use to implement it in your organization.
1. Start Internally
It’s hard to convince audiences that you care about diversity and inclusivity when your own team doesn’t reflect those values.
Start looking at your own organization and implement diversity hiring practices.
Not only is this a great best practice, but it helps you gather more insights and perspectives to correctly use diversity marketing strategies.
2. Use Inclusive Language and Images
The language and images you use in marketing campaigns have a huge impact on audiences and are essential to conveying your message of diversity.
By using inclusive language and finding images that represent different groups, you can make sure that you aren’t excluding anyone.
3. Listen to Customers
A big part of diversity marketing is listening to the customer feedback you receive.
Audiences will be able to tell you if they think you are being representative of different groups or if your efforts have missed the mark.
Audiences can also become part of your diversity messaging by being included in your marketing efforts.
4. Understand Different Types of Diversity
As mentioned above, there are many different categories of diversity that should be included in your strategies.
Rather than just trying to check a box for each category, make sure you really understand the types of diversity you want to represent.
Take time to deep dive into each category and listen to what those groups say matters to them in representation.
5. Avoid Tokenism
Tokenism is a term used to describe practices that are only making a surface-level, symbolic effort to be inclusive.
This can occur when you don’t take the time to understand the groups you are trying to represent and are making shallow efforts to appeal to new audiences, and is more harmful than helpful.
Take the time to educate yourself on how to be authentic in your diversity marketing efforts.
6. Create an Accountability Process
Saying you want to commit to diversity marketing and actually doing it are two different things.
Set up clear goals for what you want to accomplish with your diversity marketing and clearly communicate those goals to your internal teams.
Make sure there is accountability for your goals and know how to act if your benchmarks aren’t met.
7. Make Diversity a Priority
Diversity and inclusivity marketing won’t be successful unless your brand commits to making it a priority.
Half-hearted attempts to be inclusive and represent more groups won’t make an impact on audiences unless it becomes a core part of how you do business.
The world has changed and being representative and diverse in your marketing and advertising efforts is no longer optional.
It’s a necessary requirement to succeed with younger audiences and morally align your organization with today’s ethics.
That’s why diversity marketing strategies are key to growing your brand and creating an impactful message.
To learn more about how a brand can successfully create a diverse and inclusive workplace, check out our blog on diversity and inclusion in our company.
We’ll explain exactly why we at Rock Content believe so strongly in a diverse message and the steps we’ve taken to build a more inclusive workplace. We’ll also explain how to implement diversity principles and change your recruitment process to be more inclusive.