Why are diversity and inclusion important in marketing? Because it is simply the right thing to do. Historically, marginalized and racialized folks have been forgotten in marketing plans and campaigns. More consumers are seeking diversity and want to invest in brands that actively participate in inclusion. In the age of social media, consumers are more involved with the brands they enjoy. They are also more likely to hold brands accountable and stop purchasing from brands that do not uphold their values. 2020 served as an unfortunate catalyst in advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Since then, many have made it their mission to push toward inclusion and equity.
Research has shown that inclusive companies have higher retention rates, are innovative, have higher employee satisfaction, and reap financial rewards. Besides monetary gain, one of the essential reasons why diverse marketing is imperative is that it allows consumers to see themselves in their favorite brand. Consumers recognizing themselves in a brand helps build loyalty and lifelong brand advocates. It also provides a meaningful experience for the consumer and reiterates that their favorite brand sees them, which is essential when connecting with them. Customers want to feel seen, heard, and understood.
As stated previously, when individuals can connect with companies, they are more likely to engage with them. Diversity in marketing also gives organizations the chance to immerse themselves into the culture and experiences of their costumer. Two things happen when organizations do this, they allow themselves to learn about others and aim to represent these groups in their marketing campaigns accurately. The second thing is that they engage with a critical part of equity and inclusion work: sharing and amplifying the stories and voices of those historically marginalized. Not only can this action aid in connecting with customers, but it can also lead to conversations about social change. Additionally, being inclusive and diverse helps companies engage with broader markets.
As much as it is essential to know why diversity is vital in marketing, companies should also be just as invested in embracing the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We live in a diverse world, and the brands we choose to participate in should reflect that. Diversity, equity, and inclusion should be embodied by brands genuinely, as consumers know when brands are authentic in their approach to it. This authenticity is evident in the execution of marketing campaigns. Brands that participate in extensive market research and cultural awareness often have excellent execution. It is imperative also to note that even companies that do their research might sometimes get it wrong. A key component to mitigating this is hiring individuals who reflect the diversity of your customers.
To reiterate, embracing diversity and inclusion is just as important as knowing the value of diverse marketing. It is work that requires learning, and marketing teams must be willing to participate. While companies can reap financial rewards due to diverse marketing, the driving force should be the moral aspect of being diverse and inclusive.