“Diversity” is more than a buzzword: How to incorporate DEI strategies into your marketing initiatives

After the death of George Floyd, protests erupted around the country which led to deep discussions around race, inequity and diversity. These discussions have also gained momentum in the workplace leaving many leaders, HR professionals and even marketers to grapple with the best way to broach the matter both internally and externally.

How can marketing professionals effectively continue marketing efforts for businesses and clients without seeming opportunistic?

Enter, diversity marketing. Diversity marketing (or inclusion marketing) is a subset of marketing that focuses on better connecting with potential consumers or clients in other cultures, sub-groups, etc. 

“Diversity has become such a buzzword, why should I incorporate it into our marketing?” 

Your marketing initiatives should represent the population at large. If you are selling within the United States, there are diverse types of people that live around the U.S. — this is even more important if you are planning to sell globally. Diversity marketing is also important because it normalizes the idea of marketing beyond the preconceived standards of beauty, desire, family, etc.

“Great! But HOW exactly can it benefit my business?”

Marketing is really all about selling a fantasy, but it’s easier to sell that fantasy if everyone can see themselves in the marketing efforts. Not only that, but it opens you up to newer clients and consumers who wouldn’t go for your product or service but now find it appealing.

“Well, how do I get started with a diverse marketing strategy?”

There are so many different ways to do this. For example, if you sell skincare or cosmetics, hire models with acne, with scarring, with different kinds of pigmentation and skin tones — models that look like the everyday people who will be purchasing your products. If you have a food delivery service, share Instagram videos of tagged accounts that feature single parents, LGBT parents, and even endorsements in Spanish.

Diversity marketing can seem daunting, but once you think about your mission, vision and values you will find ways to better incorporate it. Businesses seeking to incorporate diverse marketing strategies need to truly believe in the messaging. Don’t just hire plus size models, or models of color to fulfill some sort of diversity quota — hire them because you believe in their talent and the need to diversify marketing.

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