Sometimes new marketing ideas develop from and follow trends, sometimes marketing follows tradition and connects with consumer sentimentality—and sometimes marketing is born from a need to reflect the evolution of our modern world. Today’s world is wonderfully diverse and interconnected, which means that today’s marketing must embrace inclusivity to continue to connect with consumers.
According to a global Ipsos survey, 72% of consumers feel that most advertising does not reflect the world around them, and a shocking 63% do not see themselves represented in most advertising.
Yet progressive ads in which consumers regularly see themselves represented perform 25% better, which leads digital marketing agencies to encourage their clients to pivot messaging toward inclusivity.
Inclusive marketing is marketing that highlights all forms of diversity and speaks to all groups of people while also breaking wrong or hurtful stereotypes and societal biases. When executed well, inclusive marketing is an incredible opportunity for brands to evolve alongside our global society and give voice and representation to consumer groups that are excluded, underrepresented, or often ignored. Brands have a chance to affect positive change through inclusive marketing, but this change will not happen by accident. Inclusivity is a conscious decision, and as a marketer, it is wise to choose inclusivity.
Why Inclusive Marketing Matters
Your marketing materials should reflect the world we live in, and most importantly, the audience you are marketing to. Inclusive marketing recognizes that your audience is made up of people from all different walks of life and reflects the diversity of the real world. It shows your audience that you truly see them, have taken the time to understand them and want to connect with them through diverse representation. It ensures that your messaging connects with your largest possible global audience and can help your consumers develop a stronger bond with your brand values and increase loyalty to your products.
There is humanity in inclusion, and if you want your brand to be human-focused, inclusion is essential. According to a recent Ipsos survey, global consumers are excited to support brands that portray the modern world more authentically.
For example, 75% of consumers prefer brands that reflect gender equality in their messaging, and 53% of consumers prefer to buy from brands that frequently portray people from a wide variety of ethnicities and backgrounds in their ad campaigns.
Creating Inclusive Marketing
Inclusive marketing is not a simple box to be checked or a campaign goal to be achieved; it is a commitment to embrace and reflect diversity at every level. It includes so much more than hiring diverse actors for media spots or highlighting different ethnicities in campaign photo shoots. Yes, the most successful inclusive marketing campaigns do consistently represent diverse populations, but they also understand the importance of using their voice to promote positive social change toward inclusion. This might mean using your brand platform to encourage conversations about identity, diversity, or equality within our society. It could also look like promoting diversity within your brand itself by hiring a wide range of talent in your leadership and marketing teams and creating change at an internal level. Lastly, inclusive marketing requires your brand to recognize its own biases and stereotypes, as well as to identify any societal biases your brand may unconsciously be supporting.
When your brand can take a hard look at how it promotes inclusivity both internally and externally, you can be sure you’re on your way to creating marketing campaigns that truly reflect and include every member of your target audience. Here are 3 quick tips to help your marketing team create positive, inclusive marketing campaigns in 2023:
Constantly watching or interacting with tv shows, music, social media or advertising that tells the stories of people so different from yourself can be discouraging, frustrating and forgettable.
According to the 2021 US Census, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than 43% of the US population. But those populations aren’t always represented in media and advertising. Inclusive messages are rare, but memorable.
Inclusive messages stick with consumers when you highlight the stories of people who are often ignored, like those varying in physical abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, locations, ages, gender identities and ethnic background. When consumers feel included in your messaging, they will connect more deeply with your products.
But representation alone is not enough. Diversity isn’t just a box to check. Portrayals
should be authentic, thoughtful, and meaningful. Sincerity is what makes a message memorable.
There is a chance that a group of potential customers are hesitant simply because your brand is, or seems, inaccessible. Particularly if your brand is developing and marketing global products, you need to be sure you can reach a global audience.
So how can you make sure you connect with all potential customers and become more accessible? By listening to your audiences’ needs, wants, and struggles through focus groups, research and embracing inclusivity in your brand’s management and marketing teams. It may even benefit your team to bring on a cultural strategist — something (human)x is doing in our work for U-Pull-&-Pay.
Without first understanding the multiple perspectives of your entire consumer base through both user research and employee input, you run the risk of making incorrect or outdated assumptions about your consumers’ needs and therefore excluding a sizable portion of your audience.
3. Filling a Niche
The idea of filling a niche is fundamental to successful marketing. If you find a gap in the market, you fill it.
To identify marketing gaps and move forward with product development and marketing, apply user data and internal perspectives from your diverse team.
That data will help you identify which segments of your customer base are being ignored by your industry, as well as point you in the right direction toward connecting with them via inclusive marketing. You will be better equipped to identify any audiences that feel excluded and proactively pivot your products and messaging to fill a newfound niche and better connect with your entire consumer base.
Marketing should always reflect the modern world, and our modern world is full of incredibly beautiful diversity. Inclusive marketing embraces the diversity of your brand’s customer base with campaigns and materials that reflect the backgrounds and stories of your audience. Not only is it the morally right thing to do, but inclusive marketing is just smart business. If your brand wants to truly connect with every consumer base and create the most effective marketing campaigns possible, then connect your marketing team to a digital marketing agency like (human)x that can truly harness the power of inclusive marketing.