November 29, 2019

Stereotypes don’t sell.

Why inclusive marketing is powerful + lessons from Google.

Taking a quick scroll down the Instagram lane will say it all: picture-perfect smiles on the faces of attractive humans in some tropical paradise…yet here I am. Thankfully though, it seems that our self-esteem is not the only one who feels this isn’t right. Google’s chief marketer Lorraine Twohill has discovered the power of diversity and inclusive marketing.

“Over the years, I’ve received too many images with perfect, young hipsters in beautiful houses, living in cool cities. Our products are for everyone, but our images were not telling that story.”

Inclusive marketing can communicate to your audience that you care about them, and are considerate about the messages that you deliver as a company. It includes rather than excludes. Stereotyping will only show that you don’t understand the people you are trying to reach.

So as it turns out, advertising that reflects the real world, and might I add, real people, is better for business. So how can we go about this?

1. Work with diverse staff and clients

Who is in your team matters. Considering potential employees from a wide range of backgrounds can help in the hiring process. Having a variety of viewpoints can prevent single-sided, unchallenged group decisions. In addition, being mindful of your business partners means that your company can benefit from the influence of other perspectives. Note that diversity isn’t just about skin colour or gender, but other demographic factors such as geography or age.

2. It isn’t as simple as you think

Even Google didn’t get it 100% right… (it’s not just us). Racial diversity wasn’t enough for their advertising as people were all depicted as if they worked in tech and lived in certain areas. How can we more accurately echo the world we live in?

3. Tell real stories

If your team or customers have unique experiences or backstories, make the most of this and tell them. As an example, you could interview customers who enjoyed working with your brand and ask them to explain why.

There’s probably a lot more to it than what we’ve covered but at least this can be a starting point for you. Perhaps when it comes to inclusive marketing, we can take a leaf out of Nike’s book and Just Do It.