According to a 2019 survey from Google and The Female Quotient, after seeing what they thought was genuine diversity and inclusion in an ad campaign, 64% of consumers took action. That’s a clear sign that focusing on diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do.
Since it’s a marketing team’s job to connect with and understand their target audience, it’s important to be thoughtful about the lived experience of those audience members. If a marketing team can do that, they’ll be more inclusive in the way they communicate.
The benefits of that approach are two-fold. First, it will help you outwardly demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and second, it’ll help you reach a wider audience. Making diversity and inclusion a core part of your marketing strategy shows that you’re communicating with – and listening to – everyone.
But how can you do that in an authentic way that shows your customers they can trust you? It’s a challenge, but it’s an essential one to tackle. Read on for five ways to take it on.
Actively listen to your customers
Learning how to ask the right questions of people and then truly listen to their answers is key. You’ll need to know what they’re hoping to get from your product or service, what they want from your brand as a whole, and how you can fit into their life. This can be done by engaging with people on social media, surveys in newsletters, post-purchase satisfaction surveys… the options are endless. But the most important thing is listening effectively. That will help you get a view of their world that’s as complete as possible.
Avoid making assumptions
Just because someone is from a particular demographic, it doesn’t mean they’ll feel the same way or want the same things as other people in that demographic. Get to know what kinds of things influence all demographics, customs, celebrations and gestures of goodwill. There can be so many things that influence one person’s perspective, from their race, gender, abilities, education, interests and experiences, and how each of those things intersect.
Make sure your team is diverse
This is probably the most important item on the list. Having a diverse internal perspective within your team will not only reflect your customers, but also strengthen your business. Since you reasonably can’t capture absolutely everyone’s perspective within just one team, be sure to engage with people outside of your team to check your strategy and messaging to help you avoid any unconscious bias. It should always be about learning and growing as a team.
Look beyond just your team
As with bringing in external perspectives on your messaging, you should make sure that messaging is relevant to the people you’re speaking to. That means you should do your best to look at the messaging from their view. Does the content you’re producing speak to them? Do the images in your branding represent them? Constantly ask yourself questions like this.
Keep using personalisation technology
There are so many ways to personalise your messaging with tech, and make each person you’re speaking to feel like the only one. Use that tech to deliver the right messages at the right time to the right people. That goes for both the words and imagery in your content, and any other media you’re using. You can also use personalisation tools on your website to identify visitors and target CTAs to them.
Through all these tips, the most important thing to do is always be transparent and authentic. If you’re genuinely trying to be inclusive, that will shine through in your marketing activities, and your customer base will see it.