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Reflective diversity in marketing

The best way to appeal to a diverse audience is to have diverse creators of the content they will consume. 

The best way to appeal to a diverse audience is to have diverse creators of the content they will consume. There are many benefits to having a diverse workforce, and in marketing it can impact the whole business if you’re not putting out content which speaks to different audiences.

What is diversity?

There are some who believe the word diversity has lost its original meaning, but when it comes to employment it’s vital that this isn’t the case. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, diversity is:

“The fact of many different types of things or people being included in something; a range of different things or people.”

If you aren’t doing so already, here are a few ways true diversity in marketing can be created:

Start with yourself – are you doing enough to represent people of colour, gender, minority sexualities, people with disabilities, or various age groups? Become more aware about how many types of people are missing from the media you consume and produce. How many white, male voices and images are filling your Twitter feed compared to others? Make an extra effort to recognise the biases or assumptions you make based on stereotypes. You need to develop the intention to actively include underrepresented people.

Create accessible content – make sure you adapt your content so it is easily consumed by all. It might be helpful to use a larger font for those who have trouble seeing. Alternatively, you could create content in different forms, such as providing audio options with text for people who are dyslexic or blind. Using captions in videos is beneficial for people who are hearing impaired and will not interrupt the viewing for those who aren’t.

Consider your impact – Everything you publish has an impact. You need to think about the message you are sending before you share anything; it’s not enough to have good intentions. It is possible to send negative messages with a seemingly harmless image. An image of a woman listening to a man speak can be viewed negatively, as this perpetuates the stereotype of women as inferior to men. Even if you don’t realise it can harm someone, it could.

Before circulating any content, you must ensure you’ve included different voices. Marketing teams tend use the same people to create content, but giving someone else a chance can make a huge difference. It reflects well on a company if they can demonstrate they value employees equally.

What are the benefits of diversity to the company?

A diverse team can have many benefits to a business, as a team full of people from different walks of life and backgrounds will have a wider variety of ideas. A marketing team producing content for a diverse audience will draw positive attention to a company.

Companies have been known to show a bare minimum effort and use token identities in their campaigns, i.e. using people for the sake of getting a better reputation but not actually making a difference. This tokenism can have an adverse effect and damage reputation. Businesses need to show their commitment to diversity in their everyday processes.

Workforce diversity will bring more talented people to a business, all of whom will have with different ideas and be able to relate to the general population.

Your audience needs to see brand consistency to make a difference and be considered truly diverse. By your audience seeing their culture, or other aspects they can relate to, in your content, engagement will increase. Social value is so important to  consumers – it’s the measure of how a company is contributing to society or its workforce.

If you are looking to recruit and create a diverse marketing team, or are looking for your next break in marketing, contact your nearest Reed Marketing & Creative office. 

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