While corporations may have noble goals in inclusion and diversity, it is essential to take action to transform the story from a marketing tool into something cultural. It is necessary to apply diversity and inclusion principles not only in their digital marketing but also in their daily goals and activities.
Others do it by establishing task forces dedicated to diversity and inclusion. Some companies incorporate these principles in their mission statements or business objectives. Others make it a part of their daily business, refusing to do business with companies that don’t follow these principles.
What can you do to promote diversity and inclusion in your organization? Here are five ways to encourage diversity and inclusion.
Digital marketers can use five methods to promote diversity and inclusion
Digital marketers can advocate diversity and inclusion to their clients by:
- Raising Awareness
- Understanding your audience
- Messages that need to be adjusted
- Gathering Insights
- Driving change
Digital marketers can be vital in raising awareness of diversity and inclusion. It can be done by including more diverse people in their advertisements or by creating ads targeting people previously excluded from mainstream advertising. Microsoft’s We All Win is an excellent example. The campaign focuses on the needs of disabled gamers and challenges stereotypes about gamers.
Microsoft’s budget for advertising is only available to some companies. Even small companies can begin discussing whether their advertising reflects societal diversity or perpetuates outdated stereotypes. The more diverse the advertising, the broader the appeal.
Ad Council recently ran a series of PSA videos demonstrating that loves have no labels. The Ad Council wanted to encourage people to look beyond the traditional notions of love and accept its diversity. Behind an x-ray, we are all very similar despite our differences. All people are included in love.
Understand your audience
The 20212 Bruce Springsteen Superbowl advertisement for Jeep split viewers. The Jeep ad appeals to Jeep’s audience with its rugged landscapes, folky feel, cowboy brilliance, and musings on “a chapel in Kansas,” which lies at the center of America. The symbols in the advertisement alienated some people who viewed them as symbols of bigotry and fear. The ad needed to be resonating with more people.
It would help if you were a digital marketing expert to know how to create a message that resonates with the audience you want to reach without alienating or excluding others. Marketing must go beyond the core audience to embrace new customers.
Your message has been adjusted
Companies often adjust their messages to reflect the changing demographics and times. For example, life coach Kara Lowentheil has advocated for human rights, social issues, and sexual abuse. She began to change her message in response to Black Lives Matter so that it resonated more with women. She includes them in the conversation and ensures that her news is relevant to them. She has created scholarships for Black Indigenous People of Color so they can be better advocates for themselves.
Here’s how a small company can be a leader in promoting inclusion and diversity.
Digital marketers may find it challenging to create diverse content if their biases are not recognized. It’s essential to become more self-aware to make more inclusive advertising.
It would help if you also gained a deeper understanding of the brand that you are promoting. What makes a brand so important? Search for universal characteristics that transcend color, race, gender, ability, and more. Think beyond labels to understand how the brand can appeal to everyone. How could Jeep, for example, have ensured its Super Bowl advertisement resonated with black working-class women in Florida?
Digital markets often respond quickly to changes, ensuring their messages remain timely and relevant. They can also influence social change by exposing their audience to new opinions and insights. Above, we saw how the Ad Council challenged peoples’ ideas about love.
You won’t send a message to that market if you don’t think the African American market is viable. To expand your business and reach more people, you must be prepared to make changes and bring them along. Your brand should reflect the diversity of our world.
Consider how many organizations have pushed forward social issues like Black Lives Matter and the pandemic while politicians clashed in recent years. Nike’s Do It was an excellent example. Many companies implemented and maintained policies that allowed employees to work from home.
Employees are the best resource for a company
Employees must also be made aware of certain uncomfortable truths. All of us have preconceptions and biases. We are all affected by messages we’ve been given from birth, our families, our environment, and everything else around us. How can we overcome our biases to embrace diversity?
Diversity can be promoted by employees in the following ways:
- Being aware
- Taking responsibility for their mistakes
- Diversity in culture: Embedding it into the culture
- Safe spaces: how to create them
- Education of others
Self-awareness plays a crucial role in this journey. How much do you gravitate toward people who are like you? Do you surround yourself with people who think differently and have different abilities? Be aware of the influence that the people you surround yourself with can have on your decisions.
It goes beyond a simple display of diversity (“Look how diverse my friends!”) or a casual adherence to company guidelines. It is reaching out to different people. Consider how your preconceptions make others feel. Be willing to be criticized and point out any behaviors that cause others discomfort. This is a journey that you must live every day.
You must own your mistakes
The majority of people do not deliberately try to upset other people. Most people are unaware of how their actions or words will affect others. It can take a long time to overcome biases formed over the years. In recent years, society has changed rapidly, and people need to adapt to the new norms. People will make unintentional mistakes.
When someone criticizes your inappropriate behavior or language, you must own up to it, apologize, and learn. You can’t just protest that you didn’t mean to offend. Accept that you offended someone, even if the offense was unintentional. Be open to learning.