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Over the years, the digital landscape has transformed itself to include and give a voice to under-represented individuals and marginalized groups. Due to this shift, businesses are slowly realizing that catering to a more inclusive group of customers boosts the venture’s brand awareness and sales.
These days, surface level inclusion makes no real difference in effective marketing campaigns and customer perception. Businesses are expected to have a deep understanding of both inclusivity and diversity in order to create an appealing image that will actually demonstrate the company’s commitment to diversity and the inclusion of all. In this article, we delve into the meaning of inclusive marketing and why it matters to businesses all across the globe.
What is Inclusive Marketing?
Inclusive marketing is a marketing strategy that targets communication and advertising campaigns to under-represented, or neglected groups that are predominantly minorities. These groups include women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ individuals, and those with disabilities. Inclusive marketing considers all aspects of individuals and groups including, but not limited to, gender identity, skin tone, socio-economic status, body type, and neurotypical or atypical status.
Campaigns like these understand the depth of the human psyche and the nuance of what makes us different or similar to each other. A business that is inclusive is able to resonate and appeal to various groups on a personal level, making the brand accessible to a larger market.
Why should marketers care?
Simply put, inclusive marketing matters because consumers want inclusivity. Businesses and marketers are both known to always put the customer first, and this is no exception. Companies that engage in serious inclusivity campaigns are rewarded by their customers with increased sales, brand loyalty, and a better reputation overall. Genuine and thoughtful campaigns are received much better than surface level content. Businesses that create half-baked campaigns just to get popular and not because they actually want to be inclusive to their diverse customer based are heavily criticized against, losing customer trust and forfeiting any chance to reach a broader audience.
Your company’s inclusive marketing campaign should be a reflection of your business’ makeup of individuals and business values and philosophies. Claiming that your company is diverse but not including diverse groups of individuals in positions of power for reasons unrelated to capability is a great example of how a business can claim diversity but not actually be inclusive at all. Every individual within a business, regardless of position, must reflect the company’s promise for diversity. Your business’ work culture, policies and regulations, and overall attitude all contribute to the organization’s commitment to inclusivity. Customers look both outside and inside a company to determine whether the company is inclusive or not.
All in all, inclusive marketing comes from an understanding of your customers and your business itself. Customers want companies who resonate with their personal values and cultural perspectives, among other factors. Apart from understanding these aspects of your customer base, your business must bridge the gap between what your brand portrays in its inclusivity drive and what it internally believes in. In this case, actions speak louder than words. Empty promises of diversity will drive customers away.
Hiring a diverse range of individuals that can represent the needs of marginalized groups is important for companies to get the full picture when it comes to product development and marketing strategies. Companies are now beginning to understand that the ultimate way to achieve long term success is to shift their marketing resources to include and not exclude, both in their products and services, and in their internal work culture, environment, and practices.
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