06_May_US_The Intersectionality of Identity- Navigating Complexities in Marketing to Diverse Audiences (1)

Let’s Get Real about Marketing to Diverse Audiences

Leave a comment / / By Lindsey Giardino

As someone in the field of marketing, you know a thing or two about buzzwords — words that get floated around day in and day out. Deliverable. Ideation. Hyperlocal.  

But when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, words you hear often, they’re much more than a catchphrase.  

They’re key elements of a successful strategy.  

Yet, despite the growing awareness of their importance, many marketers still struggle to effectively implement diverse practices within their campaigns and teams.  

So, just how hard is it to be diverse in marketing, and what steps can marketers take to foster equity? Let’s explore. 

1. Acknowledge the challenges 
It’s OK to admit it: embracing diversity and fostering equity within your organizations can be a daunting task. You want to do it right, but how?  

And when faced with challenges like implicit biases, lack of diverse representation in leadership roles, ineffective communication and resistance to change, it’s no wonder tackling issues of DEI can be so tricky.  

But first things first: Acknowledge these challenges. Then you can start on the right path toward creating a more inclusive and equitable environment. 

2. Commit to change 
After you accept that making a change toward equity isn’t without its challenges, the next step is commitment. You’ve got to be all in. 

Creating a culture of inclusion within your organization is a commitment that should also come from top leadership and filter down through all levels of the organization. As marketers, we should especially embrace diversity as a strategic imperative and embed it into the core values and operations of our marketing functions. 

3. Educate and empower your team 
As marketers, our role in championing diversity goes beyond campaigns; it extends to the very fabric of our organizations. 

Empower your marketing team just like you do your target audience — with knowledge and tools.   

Provide training on unconscious bias, inclusive language and cultural competence. Encourage open dialogue and create safe spaces for discussions on diversity-related topics.  

By creating a culture of continuous learning and growth, we can drive positive change within our teams …. and even our consumer base.  

4. Embrace diverse perspectives 
We’ve been taught since elementary school that everyone is unique. No two people are exactly the same. Every crayon has a different color but is special in its own way.  

As grown adults, we seem to forget this.  

Here’s your reminder: everyone has a voice.  

Bring these diverse perspectives into your marketing strategies to create resonant and inclusive campaigns. Seek input from team members with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Encourage creativity and innovation by embracing the richness and diversity of ideas that come from a varied team. 

Make your elementary school teacher proud! 

5. Partner with diverse influencers 
When it comes to your marketing campaigns, collaborate with diverse influencers who reflect the diversity of your target audience.  

Partnering with influencers from different backgrounds can help amplify your brand’s message and reach new, underserved audiences.  

But you have to be intentional in your selection of influencers to ensure authentic and inclusive representations in your campaigns — because remember, consumers can spot a phony partnership from a looooong ways away.   

6. Hold yourself accountable 
As you’ve grown up, perhaps there’s no longer anyone in your ear saying, “You have to be accountable.” Or maybe that wasn’t everyone’s childhood experience …  

When it comes to your DEI initiatives, use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure their impact. Monitor metrics related to employee diversity, representation in leadership roles and the inclusivity of marketing campaigns.  

Regularly assessing your progress and identifying areas for improvement can help you hold yourself and your team accountable for driving positive change. 

7. Engage in advocacy and collaboration 
As marketers, we have a unique platform to advocate for DEI in our industry and beyond.  

We’re the ones making key decisions about who, what, why, where and how our message gets out. That’s a lot of power.  

So, do it right.  

Engage in industry initiatives, collaborate with like-minded organizations and amplify diverse voices through your marketing channels. By leveraging your influence and resources, you can drive systemic change and contribute to a more inclusive marketing ecosystem. 

Cut to the Chase

Marketers live at this meaningful crossroads where we can pave the way toward a more inclusive and equitable future. Through education, collaboration and advocacy, marketers have the power to be catalysts for positive change, driving meaningful impact within their organizations and the broader marketing community.  

Marketing is more than just kitschy campaigns and witty language. You have a real opportunity to make a difference.  

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