Diversity Marketing and Communication Today – by Anna Kucirkova

Five decades ago, the only consumer that brands cared about was the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs). The reason being that they represented the majority of the consumer market. Some years down the line, a few companies/brands realized that directing marketing material towards the African-American ethnic population has the potential to boom up their business. So, they devised multicultural marketing strategies.

But today, a few more years down the line, shows a different consumer picture. Now, the population of America has become progressively diverse. The mixed-race population and Asian people are the two fastest growing groups in the US. On the other hand, there is a lag of growth in the Non-Hispanic white segment of the US population. From July 2015 to July 2016, Asian and mixed-race population grew by 3% while Non-Hispanic whites grew by just 5,000. Research suggests that by 2040, the minority groups today would combine to attain a majority in the US population. So, the marketing strategies that used to work a few decades back would no longer work in the future. This has led to professionals diversifying their marketing procedures.

Diversity Marketing – the dawn of the new era of marketing strategies

The consumer market has diversified to a great extent today. A market has consumers from different countries and cultures with different expectations, values, and experiences, and communication techniques. Even when we look within a culture, there is a plethora of differences within a single culture. Some of the differentiating factors include age, profession, gender, beliefs, the standard of living, and many more.

Diversity marketers takes into account all the differences that occur in diverse groups. They acknowledge the opinions, beliefs, and expectations of these minority groups and try to design a marketing communication that resonates with them. By doing this, companies/brands are able to reach out to diverse people who earlier did not feel associated with the company/brand values. Once a customer sees the reflection of his own values in a brand, he/she will automatically become a consumer of that particular brand. And this is exactly what diversity marketing aims to achieve.

Numerous major brands have tried their hand at diversity marketing. Their main aim has been to attract new customers from diverse ethnic, social, and cultural groups. For example, Saturn Corporation has reached out to the LGBT community by sponsoring numerous events. Procter and Gamble has made huge investments in the African-American segment of the US population. Harley Davidson has devised a new marketing strategy where they offered riding classes for women. McDonald’s, Dominoes, and KFC has been constantly launching new products with ethnic flavors so that they cater to different ethnic groups and communities. One of the most famous and successful diversity marketing strategies was by Dove. Dove challenged the traditional beauty industry that gave the torch to just light-skinned and good looking women. Dove launched a campaign where they featured women of all ages, ethnicities, sizes, and shapes. The brand echoed with women around the world.

Incorporating diversity into an organization

Companies and brands should not limit their diversity concepts to just marketing and advertising. They should try to embrace them in their day-to-day life activities within the organization. They have to perceive the concept as an important element of their everyday existence. Only then can there be more innovation in the ideation process. The best way to do that is through workplace diversity. People from different geographics, ethnicities, and environments have the power to bring in diversified ideas to a workplace that numerous meetings and discussions cannot.

But corporate America has yet to embrace diversity in its workforce. In recent research, it was found that in America, less than 1% CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are Black. Only 4% of the total CEOs are women and even fewer are from the LGBT community. Its high time that American corporations realize that diversity marketing shouldn’t be limited to gaining new customers. They should also try to change their approach to hiring so that diverse people get the chance to be a part of the brand.

It’s high time that organizations across America realize the importance of a systemic approach to celebrating diversity in the workplaces. This would definitely set their brand apart. Now is the time to grasp on to diversity marketing because the future is all about that. This is the only way that brands can unlock innovative decisions and ideas that would help them to cause a disruption in the future markets.

Anna Kucirkova
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