Inclusive Marketing for Your Business

by | Sep 1, 2020 | Business

Marketers across the country are looking to improve inclusivity in their marketing, but many aren’t sure how to approach the process. If you are among this group, there is no need to worry – it’s actually a very easy strategy and one that will help you reach a greater audience. If your goal is to make a commitment to equality in the community as well as in the workplace and implement strong values in the way you lead your team, the key is to create content that reflects the great diversity in the companies and communities that you serve. 


What Does Being More Inclusive Mean?

The basic premise of inclusivity in marketing is leading with diverse role models and voices, implementing positive social change by elevating respectful and well thought out content, and diminishing cultural bias. Your goal as a marketer is to reach a broad audience, and you do that by promoting your brand in a manner that is relatable to people of all ethnicities, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, religions, and age groups. Achieving positive social change is accomplished by emphasizing the voices and stories of people who are often underrepresented and marginalized. This serves as a means to make a deeper connection with customers and thereby increase your base.


Why Should You Focus on Inclusivity?

Not only is our country constantly becoming more diverse, but the entire world is becoming more connected by technology with every passing year. This is why it is essential for any successful company to be thoughtful about the way they represent their brand. This includes giving deliberate attention to the values, voices, images, and messages that send a message about your brand, what it stands for, and the impact you wish to make. As consumer focus leans evermore toward businesses that put the greater good of the world community ahead of profit and continuous multi-cultural growth in the United States, having an inclusive strategy is essential to growth.


How Diverse Is the Country?

Ethnic and racial minorities in the United States compose about 40% of the total population. This figure is also growing every day, as more than 50% of children under the age of fifteen in 2019 were considered to be part of a minority group. Other diverse populations in the country include its over 40 million disabled citizens and the 4.5% of American adults who identify as LGBTQ

When you consider your audience, it is crucial to be aware that a certain number of individuals you are trying to reach have unique attributes that contribute to the diversity in your market. Companies who successfully shatter barriers and include underrepresented and misrepresented groups have shown that these advertising campaigns are much more effective than the traditional models we all knew growing up. To achieve this same success, you must aim to properly represent diverse people in your campaigns, whether they are from different age groups, abilities, or socio-economic groups. It is about much more than simply including people of different races in your stock photos – though that’s an important first step. 


How Can You Implement Inclusivity in Your Marketing?

As you work toward making your company advertising and content more inclusive, it is vital to consider the impact that your actions will have. Your intention may be good but looking ahead to the potential outcome is the key to achieving success in inclusive marketing.

Consider these five guidelines as you begin to improve your campaigns.

  • Avoid stereotyping. We all basically know what stereotyping is, and we work to avoid prejudice and oversimplified biases that demean any particular group. The real key, however, is to counter-stereotype. Working against these antiquated stereotypes, while emboldening and promoting a true understanding of people who are from any minority group, is the way to break barriers with your marketing.


  • Don’t appropriate. When you attempt to use any marketing concept that relates to a particular minority culture, be sure you research and honor the meaning it carries. Be respectful and understand that there are cultural nuances involved that you may not be familiar with. If you need to ask for help or advice from someone with first-hand knowledge, do that rather than assuming that you know the specifics.


  • Represent. Carrying a visual representation of the full spectrum of your all-inclusive market is indisputably one of the ideals of diverse marketing. The folks who see your campaign want to see themselves IN your campaign. Representing marginalized groups creates a sense of empowerment and inspiration.


  • Use language to reinforce diversity. Anyone working in marketing knows the power of language. Use it wisely and use it for good. Absolutely refuse any wording that could potentially cause harm to any individual. Consider each word and phrase in your marketing – and how you place those words and phrases – before making anything public.


  • Never forget tone. “Tone” may seem like an abstract idea, but it is the feeling that your words create for anyone reading your advertising or content. The reason it seems abstract is that it is the sentiment, or feeling of the work, you are creating. Frankly, it is an abstract concept. Always consider the impact that your words and images will have on every demographic that will view them.

No matter how you decide to reach a higher level of inclusivity in your marketing, the important thing is that you are taking steps toward reaching a larger audience and maybe making the world a better place at the same time. It’s a win-win. It’s important that it comes from the heart as well, though. If you are trying to be more inclusive simply to make more money, people will see through your facade. If you are truly hoping to make a difference, you will reap the benefits of your efforts in every aspect of your business.

Transform Your Industry and Boost Your Audience

You have the opportunity to be a pioneer in your field. You have one moment in time, and the time is now. If you wish to deepen your connection with your community and your customer base, there is no alternative but to focus your marketing strategy on complete inclusivity to make a change in your business and a change in the world. This is history in the making. If you want to find success, be on the right side of it.

For help finding the right words for a more inclusive campaign, talk with BCM.

Jeremey Wilson

Jeremey Wilson

Jeremey Wilson lives in Rehoboth Beach, DE and works as the project manager for Better Content Matters. He has a BFA from Pace University and has worked as a writer and editor in the past. His varied interests include cooking, languages, art, travel, and music, just to name a few.