I’ll be straight to the point here: if your brand is not committed to diversity plus inclusion, you are missing out on a lot. You are not just missing a chance to do the right thing in the direction of making the world more respectful and better. You are furthermore missing out on business and money.
I’ll soon get into the data, but before that I want you to definitely imagine some scenarios. First of all, think as a consumer: can you buy a product or service that was produced without considering you? That does not represent your needs or you can not imagine gaining value among your peers?
Now, think as a marketer or a salesman: why do you think your personality, target, or whatever, would buy something from you or else worried about talking to them, displaying that you can help them, and that you care about their issues?
Marketing is about having conversations. But , throughout history, this conversation was directed mostly to just one type of people: whitened, straight, married, with 2 kids, a great car, middle-class life, etc . I’m talking about standards. The advertisement, one essential Marketing tool, was mostly concerned about empowering these standards.
I’m talking about Coca-Cola’s commercial with the “perfect family” on Christmas, the fitness model in the news saying that you would buy no matter what she sells to have the same “beauty”, cleaning products marketed by portrayed submissive ladies devoted to taking care of kids, house, husband, and so on.
Take a look at these ads from 70, 80 years ago:
Possess we changed sufficiently these days? We’ll discuss this subject deeply in this article.
People are different and don’t recognize themselves in advertisements
Try to consider the ads above with nowadays eyes. These creatives are all about common sense and treating people in the same way people with specific lifestyles, characteristics and sexes. But people are different from each other in their traits and desires. And if you think our online marketers and publicists evolved a great deal, I’d like to give you a few bad news.
The majority of the people, 54%, don’t feel symbolized in advertisements, according to a Meta study . The sexism persists even in 2022: women have 14x greater chance of appearing in revealing clothing in these ads. Plus, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQIAP+ community almost do not can be found among them: just 1 . 1% in the first case plus 0. 3% in the 2nd.
Looking at other media, we all see the same problem. Within the gaming industry – that is gigantic today – just 18% of games launched in 2020 featured woman characters – and only 4. 2% of them had all of them as protagonists, according to the report from your World Economic Forum . For people of color, it had been even less: 3%.
In the movie industry, according to the same research, the scenario can be changing with the advent of loading technology: the whole industry, generally, has a 28% under-represented team as the protagonists of the movies. On Netflix, this amount is way higher: 36%. But even companies such as Netflix have issues to solve.
The company made a study on content launched in between 2018 and 2019. Even though the leading characters between men and women were similar, there was only one non-binary in the same circumstance. Plus: Netflix still has a long journey to go amongst people with disabilities and the LGBTQIAP+ community: representation is in the single digits for all films and original series launched in the period.
People need themselves represented in your brand
I’ll talk soon about the benefits for society by empowering diversity and inclusion. But , as a marketer, you will be thinking now: “Ok, yet I need to sell. I’m paid for that. ” Yes, this is one of the main reasons you should look a lot more into this question.
Based on the US Census , more than half of the American population will be part of some underrepresented group by 2042. Yes, you can think about the phrase “minorities”. But , together, they are going to represent the majority of the population. Therefore , representing your customer because white, straight, married people with two kids may not accept the results you are looking for.
Here’s a lot more data: a Google research showed that 69% associated with Black consumers prefer to buy from a brand that represents them. The LGBTQIAP+ community is definitely even greater: 71%.
Another big tech, Meta, did research on Facebook’s ads. The results showed that, in 90% of cases, diversity ads performed better than the traditional types that have been used since final century. Do you want more? In the same Meta research, 71% of the customers said that they expect brands to be committed to diversity in their ads.
Another study, today from Adobe , stated the contrary is also true. More than one-third of US grown ups said they would stop assisting brands that did not symbolize them. Among LGBTQIA (58%), Black people (53%), plus Latin people (40%), this percentage is even increased.
Make a difference in the world
Now, we are going to talk about the best part. Of course , getting a true purpose for your brand can help you to sell more even as we saw above. But the beauty of diversity and inclusion begs another question: why don’ t you use your brand name to help the world become a better place for all of us to live?
The impact is real. Procter & Bet did research among non-LGBTQIAP+ people in the US. According to the respondents, 80% who have been exposed to queer people within the media said they support equal rights for the LGBTQIAP+ community.
Plus: this media exposure made the girls more comfortable with having somebody LGBTQIAP+ as a family member (72%), compared to people who were not exposed at all (66%).
Furthermore: for 80% of these individuals, brands should have LGBTQIAP+ individuals in their advertisements as a way to enable the community.
How do you start?
I’m a Brazilian reporter and marketer, with nearly 15 years of experience in digital strategy. Almost 10 years ago, I started to feel that some ideas that I had concerning diversity would also help in my work. It was the time that Facebook was expanding a lot as a big social media marketing platform and we started to notice under-represented groups gaining the voice.
So , I’ll inform some stories of how diversity and inclusion helped me to be successful in my content strategy for you to understand that it’s not impossible to begin, measure, and understand your own public.
From patterns in order to diversity
When I think about some type of press that tries to say exactly how everybody needs to be to get society’ s approval, one of the first issues that comes to my mind can be fashion magazines. There, you have the fitness model on the cover, and tons of dos and don’ ts to place yourself inside or outside the trends.
If you look at the past, being “trendy” was clothing, acting, and even eating according to some type of recipe.
In 2013, I worked at the biggest magazine publishing company in Brazil, Editora Abril, as the professional responsible for digital channels, which means developing audience plus growth. I worked with the particular editorial and Marketing groups of 50 brands, like National Geographic , HuffPost , Men’s Health , and Playboy .
One of them, I was responsible for the electronic channels of the Brazilian edition of one of the most well-known women’ s dos and dont’s brands: Elle , Vogue ’s competitor.
Here in Brazil, the media of the magazine were discussing a lot about empowering underrepresented groups, but this was not clear on our website and electronic channels.
At the same time, we were having a hard time growing our audience, as our public was not showing a lot of interest in some of the traditional content that Elle used to publish: pricey jewelry, fashion tips, plus news about stylists.
There were some other huge brands within the company, like Cosmopolitan , and InStyle . However an internal one, MdeMulher , which was utilized in the past to publish beauty plus cooking tips, started to discuss women empowerment themes, like sexual harassment, inequalities within the job market, and the right to be yourself even if you are out-of-pattern. Result: the audience traffic has been doing great.
I did a benchmark among other Elles and Vogues around the world. I discovered great results in some of them employing this approach – but the majority were still using the conventional content on their digital stations. We decided to try different stuff, putting online the actual journalists were already discussing in the newsroom: diversity. It had been a huge success in our visitors.
These changes led the newsroom to start the first cover with a plus-size model in 2014, for example. It brought us great repercussions and, thinking about company, helped the brand to get awareness and more readers.
But it was even better for your world. You read above that the media helps society to accept the differences, right? Do you imagine the importance for people that are not “standard” to see somebody like themselves in a place where they always saw something unattainable?
Why don’ t you use a photo on your resumé?
When I left Editora Abril, in 2017, because of the experiments, I was very thinking about diversity and inclusion. I’m a bisexual person plus, during this time, I organized a digital community to talk with people like me. This gave me an opportunity to give a lecture on Social Media Week about the theme.
But , a lot more than that, I wanted to work for a tech company. Even more: I desired to work for a tech firm that had diversity as a pillar. What did I do? I updated my resumé with my experience in diversity and inserted an image of me with a t-shirt where you could read “Bicha Power” ( Fag Energy, in English ).
In the beginning, I was worried that no companies would call me for an interview. But I was wrong. Better than that: a few companies called me because they were trying to increase variety and were looking for people with exactly the same values.
If you read many items on ‘resumés greatest practices’ list, they inform you to not use photos of yourself on the resumé. However for me, it worked!
One more time: it was testing, measuring, and understanding the audience. If so, especially, I would not work in a company where my libido would be a problem. So , for me, it was also a great way to just scare the toxic types and attract the right ones.
Is car insurance just for middle-aged men?
I’m not saying to ignore market data. But , sometimes, it’s better to look for other sources that are not so traditional.
Between 2019 and 2021, I worked well as a Marketing Manager in an insurance tech company known as Thinkseg , one of the state-of-the-art worldwide . We were about to launch a disruptive type of car insurance where the user will pay per mile, not a fixed rate like other companies. It had been similar to Metromile and Lemonade in the US.
In the company, we also used to sell conventional car insurance. Some people said to me there at that time: “Women plus young people don’t buy car insurance, just middle-aged men. ” Also, looking at market data, I had the same answer.
But , making benchmarks with Metromile and Lemonade and also other troublesome insurtechs, I saw that they were empowering different personas. Traditional car insurance, for example , tries to make use of the fear of losing the car to sell. Also, they talk to vehicle lovers. The new ones had been using different approaches.
The question at that time: I had a different service that no one understood much about (which would bring more fear to the people who already had feared). The service was also created for people that have a car, but don’t use it very much. So , not car-dependant.
My standards showed that the public with this new service would be city people in big metropolitan areas that hate traffic plus prefer to use public transportation to reach their job faster, for example.
So , I went to coach terminals to talk to people that had a car but preferred to utilize public transportation daily. I discovered which they were not middle-aged men. Furthermore, they were younger, and most of them were women. They were diverse and defended a better city mobility system that does not have cars at its middle. Translation: totally different from what we should see in traditional auto insurance communication.
So , I tested a different approach, empowering variety, with lots of colors, genders, and sexual orientations, among others. Also, we talked about cycling, and the way to enjoy the city by strolling, for example. The result: our general public understood what we were marketing without the need of saying it: auto insurance for urban people that don’t use their vehicles a lot.
Of course , We tested many things. But , Also i studied a lot. And using an idea that I learned in college, inspired by Apple, We chose the slogan #ThinkDifferent to create different people to a different car insurance provider.
References are always important to help us to plan our strategy better. Referring to Apple, in 1984, they introduced Macintosh to the public. This is a masterclass about how to empower diversity and I highly recommend you to take a look to see that individuals are not just talking about something from today. 40 years back, there were people already discussing this topic!
Keep the conversation going on
Since last year, I’ ve been the Head of Content at Stone Content . As we really are a global company with more than four hundred Rockers in 20 countries (which means 20 different country cultures plus 400 different personas), diversity for all of us is a necessity, not just a desire.
Rock Content was founded nine years back to educate the market about Content material Marketing. We truly believe that, when you don’t interrupt people, as with the traditional tactics, you have better results and better Marketing itself.
So , education is a huge pillar for us. We have currently trained more than 500, 1000 people in Digital Marketing and gave scholarships to thousands of under-represented groups, like Dark people, women, and the LGBTQIAP+ community. That’s our mission.
So , in the one year that I’m here, I did not need to establish a diverse strategy. But , of course , we can constantly improve it. This year, for example , we re-organized our mission as a company: “Making Marketing better while having a positive impact in the world. ” Also, we are working on improving accessibility to our services to better attend all people.
Here at Rock and roll Content , we have Rock Content Mag , which used to be quarterly until 2020 and we chose to relaunch this year.
Therefore , we thought: “We used to talk a lot about diversity plus inclusion internally and externally. But why not reinforce this and help other marketers to achieve great results from it, while also bringing an excellent impact upon the world? ”
Of course , we have a long route ahead of continuous learning about this theme, but I want to announce to you that we made an excellent Rock Articles Magazine relaunch this week dedicated to the topic, along with great discussions and a modern approach to diversity, inclusion, and accessibility to help you guide your own strategies.
From brand name purpose to new consumer habits, and how important it is to have diversity not just being a word, but as a exercise. Everything is there in a gorgeous 64-page issue.
Our team proved helpful really hard on that and I would love to request you to download this amazing Rock and roll Content Magazine issue . It’s free .
This is a conversation, so , please, let me know your thoughts later. Hope you enjoy it.
The blog post Fostering Variety Can Help Your Brand Succeed. And It’s Also Perfect for Society appeared first on Rock Content .