6 Ways to Create an Inclusive Marketing Strategy by Kat Sarmiento
In an increasingly socially aware and conscious world, marketers need to give much weight to incorporating inclusivity into their strategy. This would also equip them in attracting diverse audiences which would be beneficial for the brands they serve.
It is evident that brands today feature more inclusivity aspect in their content across media channels. Though, they must be extra careful to properly execute their inclusion marketing ideas in order not to drive unwanted PR crisis.
Before diving into the how’s, let us define first what inclusive marketing is. It deliberately considers and embraces diversity in all forms which include but are not limited to ethnicity, age, ability, and religion.
This allows marketers to be cognizant of the fact that their audiences have respective sub-groups who should be acknowledged. Moreover, they are real people who carry various backgrounds, stories, and even identities.
One of the common mistakes that marketers make is they view inclusivity as part of a grand to-do list that has diversity boxes to tick off. However, this part of the job must be viewed as something beyond profit because it would impact people’s perception of stereotypes either positively or negatively.
It requires a thoughtful process of truly understanding others and genuinely trying to connect with them. This is in hopes of helping them resonate with the brand you are trying to build. Now, let’s check some of the ways to create an inclusive marketing strategy.
1. Grasp the difference between diversity and inclusion.
These two concepts are closely related to one another and a clear demarcation between them should be made to avoid confusion. Diversity is what brands would like to achieve—the vision of a certain campaign that is focused on the makeup of a campaign or workforce, zeroing in on their demographics and psychographics.
On the other hand, inclusion is how you would make it happen through tactics that can drive perception and even culture change.
2. Start practicing inclusivity at home.
If you want consumers to buy your inclusivity campaign, you better practice what you preach by applying diversity and inclusion processes. You can diversify your team by hiring people from different walks of life who can offer various ideas and experiences. Don’t hesitate to use different channels as well when sharing your job postings but ensure that you use appropriate language.
They can even serve as your brand influencers for simply being part of your team. It would also help to foster valuable relationships with multicultural groups who can link you not only to potential candidates or influencers of color but also share with you insights about their culture from time to time.
3. Study current audiences.
Before changing or spicing up your marketing strategy, take a look at who you’re presently serving first. This will give you realizations on how you’re overall marketing approach is faring particularly on the inclusivity side. Take note of what is doing well and what needs to be improved or changed.
It would also be wise to further explore their sub-segments that you might be missing on targeting since you’ve been boxed in your initial target audience profile. Upon reviewing your customers, you should then update your content accordingly and make sure that they represent every audience segmentation.
4. Celebrate your audience’s important occasions.
Be grounded with the concept that it is not about your brand, it is always about your consumers. Allot time to track all the different holidays and events that matter to your patrons as this would only show that you care enough about them.
Offer support by tailoring your content to what is relevant to them at a certain period. Take this opportunity to highlight your brand’s inclusivity goals by backing up your optics with actual steps such as making donations to related organizations and practicing inclusive language among others.
5. Avoid cultural appropriation.
Never do a marketing campaign just for the sake of saying your brand is inclusive. Comprehensive research is important to both understand your audience and your limits as a marketer. Be extra mindful when incorporating elements coming from other cultures as this could reinforce stereotypes or further contribute to oppression, resulting in disrespect to their original meaning or purpose.
It is also imperative to give credit to whom it is due. Don’t go overboard with your marketing and be sensitive enough to avoid situations where you end up offending your audience, rather than enticing them.
6. Spark timely discussions.
With ample understanding of your audience and what matters to them, don’t be afraid to start discussions with them about the topics you’re still unfamiliar with. Your honesty can translate to being a brand that cares enough to improve its inclusivity campaigns. Stay open-minded to their feedback and corrections. It is perfectly fine to make mistakes as long as you own up to them and apologize.
Fostering a safe space to exchange ideas can help you do better as a brand which could also encourage them to continue supporting you. Other initiatives that you can do include focus group discussions, webinars, and online polls. Engage and educate your audience through worthwhile conversations!
Polishing an inclusive marketing strategy requires much time and effort. You need to reach out to diverse audiences so you won’t be trapped in your bubble. Remember that marketing is about connecting with people through the products and services that can help them solve problems. You can make this more effective by adding inclusivity into the equation where you bring different people together to contextualize how diversity can make a difference and prove it with your brand.