Discrimination, biases, and stereotypes have rooted in our society for as long as you can remember. It happens everywhere in the same or different forms. The death of George Floyd in May 2020 brings light to the long overlooking issues. You might have already known that more and more companies focus on being inclusive of everyone. The goal is to ensure equality for all and so the same thing goes for marketing. Marketing has been the main tool to divide and create an illusion of one type fit for all.
As a digital marketer, being inclusive is an essential part of making deeper connections with your customers. Inclusive marketing is the practice of improving representation and belonging within the marketing and advertising materials that an organization creates.
Why inclusive marketing matters
Traditional marketing campaigns often reinforce stereotypes and leave out the perspectives of underrepresented groups of people. In digital marketing, the creative choices a company makes can impact how people view themselves and how they view other people. Inclusive marketing seeks to represent a variety of perspectives, particularly those that have been marginalized in the past. By approaching marketing decisions with a focus on inclusion, a company can positively and authentically market to the diversity in the existing audience, and the world.
Making inclusive choices and avoiding stereotypes
Digital marketing requires getting to know your audience in a deeper way. With inclusive marketing, you can take this a step further by seeking to understand how parts of your target audience have been excluded, stereotyped, or misrepresented in the past.
Sometimes you might unintentionally overlook certain aspects of diversity, even if you remember to consider others. Here is a list of some identity traits that are helpful to keep in mind when you’re creating marketing or advertising materials for the people you’re trying to reach:
- Socioeconomic status
- Sexual orientation
- Geographic location
- Political perspective
- Military status
- Language spoken
Gathering information about your audience’s demographics can help you broaden your perspective. It’s also important to consider the demographics of people who are not currently customers. These people may not use or even know about the products or services your company provides because the company’s marketing efforts haven’t reached them. By understanding their needs and desires, you can find a way to reach this group of people in a way that matters to them.
As an example, at least one billion people in the world live with a disability. If your product or service isn’t accessible to these people, they likely don’t use or even know about your product or service. And if your company’s marketing efforts don’t feature people with disabilities or address their needs, they may not view your company’s products or services as relevant to them. It also creates a positive image of the company for being inclusive.
That’s why it’s important to think deeply about your audience and their needs and to make sure their perspectives and stories are brought to life through the company’s marketing and advertising materials.
Whether you’re developing marketing goals, researching your target audience, planning a marketing campaign, or analyzing data, keep in mind the principles of inclusive marketing. Maintaining a broader perspective of your audience will help you establish a deeper connection with your customers.
Find out more about inclusive marketing:
- Google Inclusive Marketing for tools and resources for inclusive marketing.
- The 6 essential principles of inclusive marekting every marketer should know