The Benefits Of Inclusive Marketing During The Holiday Season
The “buyer persona” in marketing based on demographics is outdated and obsolete. In order to succeed in today’s advertising world, inclusive marketing is essential.
This year, your holiday marketing campaign should be inclusive of all people and ideas. Inclusive marketing is an advantageous strategy to grow your customers, boost your sales, and gain greater brand visibility and reputation for months to come.
What is inclusive marketing?
Inclusive marketing doesn’t promote to a single demographic or “target.” Instead, it actively goes against the grain to attract underserved groups of people. It takes into account the uniqueness of every person, looking past the “factors” that make them a traditional buyer persona.
Inclusive marketing takes everything into account, including gender, race, age, ethnicity, income, sexuality, ability, religion, language, and culture. This helps serve as a foundation for your campaign. This strategy will allow you to treat each person as an individual, and attract all people equally.
Inclusive marketing allows you to reach more customers, show your business in a positive light, and make your customers feel represented and valued. It’s a smart way to market.
Learn more about inclusive marketing with the following resources:
Why is inclusive marketing important for the holidays?
1. You get a wider reach.
The holidays are the most competitive time of the year. The wider your audience, the more sales you can capture away from your competitors. If you have a narrow audience, you’ll get only a sliver of your potential revenue. But if you utilize inclusive marketing campaigns, you’ll have access to enhanced visibility, greater traffic, and more sales.
Don’t get crushed by the holiday competition. Use inclusive marketing to attract more customers than your non-inclusive competitors.
2. You can shape your brand image.
Your brand image is what will resonate with your customers. The image you portray can either make or break your holiday sales. If you show that you care about your customers in an inclusive way, they’ll respond with the same sentiment and emotion. If you’re too targeted in your marketing approach, your brand image can become narrowed or relegated to that demographic. This kind of “constricted” brand image excludes a lot of paying customers.
Holidays are a good time to show that you care about people. An inclusive brand image during the holidays can have positive effects on your brand’s image.
3. Social media spreads quickly.
Social media makes your reach wider and more expansive than ever. That also means that you can’t just target one audience anymore. Even if you have a targeted marketing campaign, others on the platform can see your content and advertisements. If you’re too targeted, you could start alienating others who are seeing your content but don’t feel like it relates to them—even if your brand is relevant to them.
For example, let’s say you sell dark roast coffee. You’ve decided to market to a male consumer because you presume that only men like dark coffee. So you create a male-oriented advertisement and blast it on social media. But women start to see your coffee ads and think it’s only for men, so they don’t buy your coffee—even though they also love dark roast coffee. They might even start to bash your brand because you’re only advertising to a male customer when coffee is a universal love.
You want to be careful how your brand comes off on social media. You don’t want to distance customers from your brand, and you don’t want to give yourself an inadvertent bad reputation.
4. You will avoid a PR nightmare.
Not only does inclusive marketing have a lot of benefits, but it also helps you prevent disaster as well. If you aren’t fully aware of your audience, it can create a negative reputation for your brand. Today’s culture is highly attuned to inclusion. And if your brand isn’t aligned with society’s needs, you could have a PR nightmare on your hand.
Think about some of the recent mishaps we’ve seen from major brands, and the impact these ads have had on society’s conversation.
· Uber’s Wife Appreciation, where they inadvertently said a woman’s place is in the kitchen
· Dove’s borderline racist body wash ad
· Pepsi’s all-too-easy solution to protests with Kendall Jenner
· Bic’s“For Her” pens that were just like “male” pens
· H&M’s racist jungle shirt
None of these marketers meant to have a negative reaction. They likely didn’t put out controversial ads for the sake of controversy. But they didn’t have the right creative team to ensure that the ad wouldn’t create any problems for their audience, keeping in mind that their audience is everyone and anyone who sees the ad.
That’s why it’s so important to have a diverse marketing team. You want to make sure that your team knows how to create and innovate in an inclusive way. We’re all guilty of seeing life through our own lens. The more perspectives you have on your team, the more inclusive the overall campaign.
5. It will emphasize your mission.
The most successful businesses today have some sort of social mission. Whether that’s to save the planet, to encourage weight loss, or to educate your audience about the benefits of rock music, every company has some purpose for being in business. Inclusive marketing can help spread your mission to a wider audience—even if you have a specific target that you sell to.
For example, your company only sells 100% ethically-sourced coffee. You want everyone—not just your current customers— to know about the importance of ethical coffee. The more you educate the wider audience, the more customers you’ll attract and the greater your mission will be known.
So you need an inclusive holiday marketing campaign that will spread your brand mission to as wide an audience as possible.
How do you use inclusive marketing?
1. Bring in a diverse team of talent. Diversity in the creation phase will translate to a wider net to cast when it’s time to implement your strategy.
2. Offer diversity training programs regularly. Make training mandatory, but also make them fun and interactive. Explain to your teams the importance and value of inclusion.
3. Create an approval process for all marketing campaigns. Make sure someone who isn’t on the creative team “okays” the campaign before going to print. Oftentimes, a third-party marketing agency is the best way to do a check-and-balance for your ads. This improves accountability for individuals as well as the overall team.
4. Tell a story. The goal of marketing is to communicate your brand’s values to your audience. Make sure you’re telling the right story by focusing on strategic inclusion.
5. Outsource your marketing. Companies are realizing that in-house marketing can sometimes be “too close to home". An outside marketing agency not only knows how to create beautiful campaigns and track productive metrics, but they can also add a new layer of ideas and diversity to your existing marketing team.
Make sure you choose your marketers wisely. Choose the Seller’s Choice.
Your audience isn’t a single demographic. They’re made up of unique experiences and opinions that your brand needs to be aware of. Inclusive marketing ensures you don’t have a negative brand image while also opening up your business to a wider audience of potential customers.
How do you use inclusive marketing in your business’s campaigns?