From the inception of brands and advertising, most would try to appeal to an older, white audience. Of course, they represented most of the consumer market at the time, so it made sense. Times have changed, and today if a brand has the same approach as it did years ago, it can face severe backlash.
In today’s era, millennials make up the largest represented generation on the market, and most are coming into their prime spending years. Ignoring this change in the reality of today’s market can affect the brand. Even though they’re called the “snowflake” generation, many still care about sustainability, inclusion, and equal representation. Data suggests that a whopping 70% of millennials claim they’d choose a brand over another if they are more inclusive and diverse based on their promotions and offers. This is bringing a new trend in marketing called diversity marketing.
However, some brands are doing this very wrong. Since the people making decisions do not understand the struggles and problems of different cultures, races, and preferences correctly, it might be a desperate attempt to force sell. This is exactly what NOT to do while diversifying your market. An effective diversity marketing strategy does research in recognizing the differences within the subgroups of their TG. They find insights through research on the different genders, religions, ethnicity, sexual identity, disability, and so on.
In this manner, diversity marketing becomes a form of hyper-targeting. A marketing campaign connects a wide variety of people within its target market.
How is diversity marketing any different from the other forms of marketing?
In an increasingly digital world, there are more marketing forms than ever! From direct email marketing to television and advertising, the scope of getting a message across to the TG is immense. Diversity marketing has a philosophy behind it. It has the intent and motivation and carries a message for change.
What can be considered a “good” diversity marketing effort?
As mentioned above, the message should be shared through various channels so it reaches the people it can impact. The messaging is so fine-tuned that it matches the audience through their preferred communication channels. It must be well-researched, data-driven, authentic, and aware. When it’s not, it just looks like the brand is trying hard to sell. Here are some effective strategies to develop effective diversity marketing campaigns:
Embrace diversity in the team of decision-makers
Imagine a panel of all men talking about women-related problems such as menstruation or abortion. It does not even make sense because they do not even begin to understand it. Your campaign’s message can be compelling if your team reflects the market you’re trying to tap into. Embracing a diverse hiring culture can be a good start to providing the correct voice that can resonate with your audience. If you have diversity in your workplace, then diversity marketing will follow.
Be data-driven and make research your best friend.
Understanding your target subgroup can make your message that much more effective. Derive meaningful insights using modern-day data analytics tools. Get an accurate picture of your message by deploying different tactics to get accurate data. Data never lies.
Re-invent your brand and build from the ground up
Some brands try to force adapt their unified brand message into newer target groups. This sort of a “force-fit” will mostly fail due to how OBVIOUS it is. Try to build organic messaging that is unique for each group, send it via channels that these groups mostly follow, recognize the specific needs and issues faced by the subgroup and then connect with your brand. See the difference!
Learn and understand the language of inclusion
While you’re trying to be inclusive, let’s not try and exclude the others. Your messaging has to represent a community while speaking to the world. Doing this requires detailed knowledge of how messaging may create barriers or unconscious biases between two subgroups.
To avoid this, use target-specific language but welcomes others to stand up and support the cause. Equip yourself with research to craft a statement that is so diverse that it showcases the effort your brand is trying to make.
Give your customer a voice.
One of the best ways to ensure that your marketing campaign is authentic is to allow your customers to have a voice in it. Listen to the feedback you receive after the execution of every campaign to either validate or change the direction you’ve been taking. Try to encourage your customers to create content and tag your brand to reflect honestly what the brand stands for and what it means to them.
This not only increases authenticity but also provides a source of real-world data and experiences that you can use in your next campaign. This way, your brand can generate powerful messages that ensure the chosen target audience.
In conclusion, with diversity and individuality on the rise, the newer generation celebrates their most authentic selves. They are proud to be themselves and belong to specific groups. Marketing has to evolve in such a way that people everywhere feel included.