This is the time of year when marketers talk about trends. It goes on and on and can be a stretch even for marketers. But I was reading an article about Inclusion in 2015, and I think this is an issue which has come a long way and deserves some air time.
Inclusion: Race, class, sexuality, immigration status, religion, ethnicity. What do these have to do with marketing? A lot. Because marketing targets demographics. Groups of people based on characteristics—think babyboomers or working moms, for example.
Facilitating social change
Marketing professionals are increasingly aware of the diverse nature of their customers—and more aware of the social, political and cultural forces swirling around their brands. Some CMOs and PR managers are sensing a growing desire to use their platforms to facilitate social change. This is what they’re calling Inclusive Marketing. Crafting marketing messages that resonate with every demographic.
The challenge: a progressive stand on social justice
Marketing without relying on stereotypes. Creating a visual culture that is more representative, that strives to understand the history, yet the commonality that binds us. Inclusive Marketing takes a progressive stand on issues of social justice.
The article I was reading identified some examples of good Inclusive Marketing and others that missed the mark. A Facebook ad that blundered? Last summer, they did an ad that ran across the top of everyone’s newsfeeds, “On Aug. 26, 1920, women achieved the right to vote in the US”. As it turned out, as well intentioned as this ad may have been, not all women were given the right to vote, sadly it was just white women.
A good example of a big brand that’s doing something very sensitive in the area of Inclusive Marketing? Adidas’ Change the Mascot program. They’re donating free design resources to high schools looking to get rid of their Native American mascots and nicknames. Good luck to the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Redskins—I don’t see this happening any time soon.
You have to hand it to Google
Google’s the brand with whom we have a monstrous love/hate relationship, but they do put their money where their mouth is. They’re giving 2.35M in grants to community organizations working toward racial justice.
Inclusive Marketing is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Think about the subtleties of your messaging and the images you’re using. Your audience spans demographics—you want to reach them, not alienate them.
Are you struggling with your marketing plan for 2016? Talk to Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers, and we create online brands for our clients.