I had never heard the term “inclusive marketing” until I was doing the research for my presentations at the recent Improving Disability Communications workshop hosted by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at ASU’s Cronkite School, Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council and Ability360.
Inclusive marketing is really just marketing. Or rather what real marketing should be -- creating a campaign that conveys that your brand is built for customers of all demographics. This includes gender, race, language, income, sexuality, age, religion, ability, and ethnicity. But it must also take into account the fact that people are individuals, and everybody is different. In today’s world, if a business markets to a narrow audience, customers can (and will) notice.
From a business perspective, inclusive marketing has become increasingly more important because the backlash that comes from not being inclusive is getting louder and louder. Inclusive marketing is the key to any successful campaign. This kind of marketing creates trust, which, in turn, creates confidence among your potential customers.
Inclusive marketing has a unique role to play in rewriting the rules on diversity in business.
It's not just about making sure campaigns feature different races, genders, ages and physical abilities; it's about making sure that different kinds of people are portrayed in a fair, accurate and realistic way. Inclusive marketing is advantageous to both the organization and the customer. For businesses, a wider audience results in campaigns reaching more potential customers. Additionally, the brand is seen in a positive light. Customers, in turn, feel represented and valued.
When it comes to inclusive marketing, we've come a long way -- but we still have a long way to go.
If you’re not sure what to do, consult experts, and question whether you are truly representing inclusiveness in your campaigns.