Marketers, how are you leveraging inclusive marketing to connect authentically and effectively with a diverse consumer base?

Recent studies underscore the importance of this approach. For instance, a new report by global market research agency Savanta revealed that 31% of consumers are prepared to boycott brands lacking commitment to diversity and inclusion.

This trend is particularly pronounced among Gen-Z, LGBTQIA+ communities, and other under-represented groups. These consumers champion ethical consumerism, with 37% ready to switch to brands aligning with their values.

Furthermore, Adobe’s research indicates the crucial role of diversity in marketing.  It found that 61% of Americans see diversity in marketing as essential, and 38% are more likely to trust brands that genuinely embrace diversity in their advertising campaigns.

These statistics represent a growing trend: consumers are increasingly seeking brands that not only advocate for ethical values but also implement them in their marketing practices. The key to success in this landscape? Authenticity.

Let’s delve into how a genuine and consistent application of inclusive marketing principles can transform modern marketing strategies. By embracing inclusivity, brands can create campaigns that resonate deeply with a broad audience spectrum, enhancing engagement and brand loyalty.

Inclusive Marketing: A New Standard in Modern Business

Inclusive marketing is an essential element of ethical business practices today. It’s about understanding and valuing the diverse experiences and perspectives of your audience. This approach extends beyond mere ethical considerations; it’s a reflection of real-world diversity, resonating with a broad spectrum of customers.

Think of it this way: inclusive marketing isn’t just about showing a range of faces in your ads. It’s about truly understanding and reflecting the different stories, cultures, and lifestyles that make up our world. It’s about marketing that speaks to everyone, that gets people nodding and thinking, “Hey, they get me!”

When you integrate inclusive marketing into your strategy, you’re doing more than just following the rules. You’re saying, “We see you, we respect you, and we value what you bring to the table.” It’s about making every customer feel like they’re part of your brand’s story, not just a bystander.

Inclusive marketing isn’t just a good move; it’s the smart move. It’s about making real connections, building a community, and showing that your brand isn’t just in the market – it’s a part of the diverse, vibrant life we all live in. That’s the kind of marketing that increasingly resonates with today’s consumers.

Let’s explore some benefits of embracing inclusive marketing strategies:

  • Reaching a Wider Audience – When you prioritise inclusivity in your marketing, you naturally engage a broader spectrum of consumers. This approach can uncover untapped market segments, ensuring your message resonates with a diverse range of potentially loyal customers.
  • Showcase your brand values – Active and visible inclusivity in your campaigns signals your brand’s genuine commitment to embracing diversity. In an era where consumers increasingly value brands that reflect their own ideals, this can forge stronger emotional connections, leading to a preference for your brand over competitors
  • Boosting Engagement – Audiences not only like seeing themselves represented, but they also like to see more than one type of person in marketing content. In 2019, Google and The Female Quotient conducted a survey that revealed 64% of all respondents took action after seeing an ad considered to be diverse or inclusive.
  • Engaging with the Next Generation – Embracing inclusivity is particularly crucial when targeting younger generations like Gen Z, known for their diversity and social awareness. Studies, including one  from Microsoft showed that 70% of Gen Z consumers are more trusting of brands that represent diversity in ads. This approach not only builds brand authenticity but also establishes long-term loyalty with the younger demographic.

The Danger of Inauthenticity

In today’s market, where 58% f consumers are swayed by a business’s values, authenticity isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s essential. Brands caught embellishing or manipulating their ethical stance face not just public backlash but also a loss of consumer trust.

This is particularly true in the realm of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I). Consumers are quick to detect and reject any semblance of tokenism or superficial efforts in this area. The impact of inauthenticity in inclusive marketing can be significant and damaging.

Take for instance the recent backlash against Victoria’s Secret’s pivot towards body positivity and diversity. The brand’s move to replace its iconic ‘angels’ with a more diverse range of models, including disabled, transgender, and plus-size individuals, was met with scepticism. Critics deemed it a belated and transparent effort to jump on the body positivity bandwagon, raising questions about the genuineness of their commitment.

In stark contrast, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign is a textbook example of authentic DE&I marketing. Launched years ago, it still resonates strongly with consumers and stands as a testament to the brand’s long-standing commitment to celebrating diverse beauty standards. The campaign’s enduring success underlines the importance of genuine, value-driven marketing efforts.

Incorporating Inclusivity into Marketing Strategies and Promotions

Let’s explore essential considerations that will ensure your marketing strategy is inclusive and resonates with everyone.

  • Authenticity is Key: Inclusive marketing must be genuine. Tokenistic or superficial diversity efforts can do more damage than not attempting them at all. Approach your campaigns with a sincere commitment to representation and inclusivity.
  • Celebrating Diverse Holidays: While traditional holidays like Christmas and the Fourth of July are popular, consider including other cultural and significant days such as Eid, Kwanzaa, or Juneteenth in your promotions. This shows your brand’s awareness and appreciation of different cultures and traditions, widening your consumer appeal.
  • Imagery That Speaks Volumes: Studies suggest that 80% of marketers see a positive brand impact when using imagery that features diverse groups. Aim for a blend of ages, body types, ethnicities, and abilities in your visuals. It’s crucial, however, to ensure these depictions are authentic and avoid reinforcing stereotypes.
  • Inclusive Language Matters: Use language that is inclusive and respectful. This means using gender-neutral terms where appropriate, being mindful of pronouns, and avoiding language that could be seen as offensive or exclusionary. Stay informed about how different communities prefer to be addressed.
  • Diversity in Insights and Team Composition: A diverse marketing team naturally brings varied perspectives, essential for inclusive marketing. A great quote to use as a compass here is from Jenny Hoffman, Senior Global Creative Strategist at Spotify. She once said, “If I’m not buying it, I shouldn’t be selling it.” Ensure that your team’s composition reflects the diversity of the audience you aim to reach.
  • Engage with Diverse Influencers and Collaborators: Partner with influencers and collaborators from a range of backgrounds. Their authentic connection with diverse audiences can help your brand reach and resonate with a wider demographic.
  • Real Stories, Real Impact: Sharing genuine customer stories and testimonials can significantly enhance trust in your brand. These narratives should reflect a spectrum of experiences, showing how your products or services impact people from various walks of life.

In each of these areas, the emphasis is on genuine, thoughtful inclusion, ensuring that your brand not only talks the talk but also walks the walk in inclusive marketing.

Championing Inclusivity and Fairness in Promotions

At the heart of ethical diversity in promotions lies the commitment to ensure that every individual, from all walks of life, has equitable access and opportunities to engage with and benefit from promotional campaigns.

As you plan your next marketing promotion, here are key areas to focus on:

  • Crystal Clear Terms and Conditions: Your promotion’s terms and conditions should be straightforward and easy to understand. Lose the complex legal terminology in favour of simple, clear language. This approach not only makes your promotions more accessible but also fosters trust through transparency. Read our post on why Clarity in your promotion communications is important.
  • Web Accessibility: Embrace inclusivity in your digital presence. Ensure your website and promotional platforms are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Implementing elements like image alt texts and video transcriptions can significantly improve the user experience for a diverse audience, thus expanding the reach and effectiveness of your promotions.
  • Inclusive Payment Options: If running cashback, rebate or monetary prize pay-out promotions, recognise the varied financial situations of your audience. Not everyone uses or has access to traditional banking services. Offering diverse payment methods, like prepaid cards or PayPal, ensures inclusivity in your promotions, catering to a wider range of participants.
  • Fair Play in Promotions: Whether it’s a skill-based competition or a random draw, the principle of equal opportunity should be paramount. Clearly outline your selection criteria for winners and ensure these guidelines are fair and transparent. This approach guarantees that every participant has an equal chance to succeed, irrespective of their background.

Incorporating these considerations into your promotional strategy not only aligns with ethical marketing principles but also significantly enhances the reach and impact of your campaigns.


Find the Perfect Fit For Your Brand


Why Does All This Matter to Marketers?

It’s not about creating a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. Embracing inclusive marketing acknowledges the diversity of your audience, ensuring your messages resonate broadly and authentically.

Inclusive marketing, when executed thoughtfully, fosters trust and credibility. It’s not just ticking boxes for diversity; it’s about weaving these values into the fabric of your brand, thereby solidifying lasting relationships with your customers. This commitment not only elevates your brand’s reputation but also secures a sustainable competitive edge.

Today’s consumers are discerning and value-driven. They gravitate towards brands that mirror their principles. By aligning your marketing strategies with inclusivity at their core, you’re not just marketing products; you’re championing a cause, contributing to societal progress, and making a tangible difference.

At Benamic we’re committed to help our clients deliver inclusive promotions. Whether you’re looking to deliver a can’t-miss-out cashback, a free gift with purchase that delights, or a longer-term loyalty programme that just keeps on giving, get in touch and let’s see what we can do together.