When it comes to diversity in marketing, brands are finally catching on to the fact that showcasing different perspectives and demographics is key. However, far too often what we see are brands simply replacing “diversity” with “minority”, putting on visual band-aids that miss the mark. 

Diversity in marketing goes far beyond just a splash of color here and there. It's about embracing unique perspectives and experiences to create truly impactful and culturally relevant content. Let's dive into how to make authentic connections that honor your audience and deepen relationships.

Diversity and the Bottom Line

Brands who authentically incorporate diversity in their marketing are seeing the results. According to a recent study, 64% of consumers took action with a brand because of seeing more diverse or inclusive marketing. 

Taking the time to understand who you’re reaching--and who’s interacting with your service--doesn't just make a difference in profits, but also speaks to the core of your brand identity. It helps you understand yourself and your mission better--further clarifying your “why”. After all, if you don’t understand who you’re trying to serve, how can you possibly understand why you’re in business at all?

What Is Not Diversity in Marketing?

In today's world, showcasing true diversity in marketing is no longer just a choice - it's a must! Consumers demand and appreciate authenticity. But simply looking at race as the end-all-be-all is as incomplete of a solution as assuming age or income captures the complete essence of your audience.

Diversity is not oversimplifying 

By reducing people down to just color - Sprinkling in different shades of people without considering their unique perspectives is lazy and counterproductive. Dig deeper to understand what makes the culture you are speaking to unique.

Diversity is not shallow pandering

Slapping on a temporary rainbow filter on your logo every June for Pride month, for example, can do more to aggravate your consumers than endear them. In fact, according to a recent study, 26% of U.S. adults are inclined to boycott brands they perceive are trying to be "woke".

Diversity is not trying to target “everyone” 

Just throwing the gates wide open - Instead of going wider, challenge yourself to dig deeper into your target audience. What are their beliefs / motivators / pain points?

What Is Diversity in Marketing?

“In a rush to gain the trendy label of being "socially conscious", many brands have lapsed into a color-focused, blackface of advertising.” 

However, true diversity in marketing goes beyond surface-level representation. It involves a deep understanding of the various dimensions of diversity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, abilities, socioeconomic status, and cultural backgrounds and belief systems. Aaaand--here's the important part--it's about how the message you are sharing relates to your audience specifically. 

Remember what we said above? True diversity in marketing isn't about throwing the floodgates wide to everyone. You have to dig deep to make a meaningful impact. Like the old saying, "a very large circulation, but very little influence. It is a mile wide and an inch deep.”

How to Shape Your Diversity Marketing Strategy

So, how can you do your audience justice? Remembering that your target audience could be a diverse mix of individuals from different backgrounds, locations, and lifestyles is a good place to begin. Here are 9 starter questions to help you develop a 3-dimensional persona and investigate your audience's cultural and community diversity.

  • Where are they from AND where do they currently live?
  • What is their belief system?
  • How do they communicate with those around them? (Tone and platform choice)
  • What’s a family cookout like?
  • Is it a patriarchal or matriarchal family structure?
  • What cultural traditions do they embrace?
  • Where are they spending their time outside of work?
  • What causes them anxiety?
  • What motivates them?

Responsibility and Diversity: Driving Social Change

The marketing we put out into the world is a powerful tool. The words we write and imagery we choose impact people of all ages, from all walks of life, throughout the globe. When done consciously these efforts can shape reality by helping the public see what's possible. 

Diversity-driven strategies lead you to gain valuable insights into your customers' needs, hopes, and dreams - connecting your brand’s mission with theirs more authentically. By embracing true diversity, brands gain a competitive edge and become trailblazers in driving positive social change.

Diversity in marketing is crucial, and that starts by understanding that it is more than skin-deep. Going beyond surface-level representation not only shows your audience that you're paying attention to the times, but also that you value their life and journey. Watch your marketing efforts shift and sharpen when you integrate diversity as a core principle, not just a trendy buzzword.