Why Is Diversity Important in Marketing?

diversity, diversity in marketing, women of color, people of color

Take a good, hard look at the people in your marketing campaign: What do you see? A rainbow of skin tones? Or a homogeneity of homo sapiens? If it’s the latter, it’s time for a refresh — and not a performative refresh, either. The internet is an unforgiving place full of brand mistakes like cringe-worthy campaigns that nosedived even before they hit the airwaves. If there’s no diversity in your marketing consider it a
hashtag fail.
You’ve likely encountered tone-deaf ads that left you wondering why the suits in the boardroom couldn’t recognize the parallel meaning behind their messaging or any underlying cultural sensitivities. These gaffes can cost brands millions in revenue and can disenfranchise an entire cross-section of their customers — perhaps forever. Still, brands can take plenty of steps to avoid becoming a case study of how not to advertise. But first, let’s unpack why diversity matters now more than ever.

Diversity Matters. Period. 

Diversity affects marketing in many ways, and it all begins in the boardroom because studies show diverse teams lead to better business outcomes. According to research by McKinsey, companies with a diverse workforce are 35% more likely to financially outperform competitors. This isn’t merely a coincidence; diverse teams bring various perspectives and experiences to the table, fostering innovation and creativity in marketing campaigns. Savvy brands understand: The buying power of diverse communities is growing. To capitalize on this market growth, companies and their marketing teams must tailor their campaigns to resonate with diverse audiences. Understanding cultural nuances and preferences is key to effectively engaging with consumers in a meaningful way. 

Marketing to an Increasingly Diverse America

Ignoring the growing diversity of the consumer base is a missed financial opportunity for brands. According to a New York Times report that cited census data, between 2010 and 2020, the United States witnessed a demographic transformation powered by growth in minority populations. Black, Asian, and Hispanic people, and those who identified as more than one race were drivers for a population boom.
The Hispanic community now accounts for nearly 20% of the U.S. population. The Black community accounts for 14%. According to a report by NielsenIQ, the buying power of Black consumers is expected to reach $1.8 trillion in 2024. Meanwhile, analysts predict Hispanic buying power will grow to $2.4 trillion in 2024.

Consumer Values Shift

The marketplace is not just changing demographically but also in the values to which consumers hold tightly. A notable portion of consumers now factor social values into their shopping decisions, with a McKinsey report finding that 45% believe retailers should support Black-owned businesses. This shift towards value-conscious consumerism demands that brands not only acknowledge minorities in advertising, but actively support diversity through their products and business practices.

Brands That Are Effectively Channeling Diversity in Marketing

Several brands are leading the way in incorporating diversity into their marketing strategies, serving as real-world examples of how embracing inclusivity can enhance brand appeal, expand consumer reach, and contribute to societal change. 

Mattel’s Barbie Fashionistas Line reflects a broad spectrum of diversity, including skin tones, body types, and abilities, making the iconic doll more accessible and representative of the children who play with them.

Nike’s “Dream Crazy” Campaign featured diverse athletes and stories, including Colin Kaepernick, to inspire people of all backgrounds to pursue their dreams, showcasing the brand’s commitment to social issues and inclusivity.

The Fifteen Percent Pledge adopted by retailers like Sephora and Macy’s, this initiative commits shelf space to Black-owned businesses, promoting economic growth within minority communities and diversifying product offerings.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna launched an unprecedented range of foundation shades, addressing a significant gap in the beauty industry and setting a new standard for inclusivity in product development.

If you’re interested in diversifying your marketing campaign, Triple7Marketing, a Black-owned marketing firm, can help you strike a genuine tone. From harnessing diverse content creators and influencers to adapting marketing materials with a keen eye toward linguistic and cultural diversity, Triple7Marketing can ensure your message resonates with a global audience. 

For more insights, industry trends, and updates, follow Triple7Marketing on Instagram, Facebook, X and LinkedIn @TheTriple7Mark. Join our community of satisfied clients who have experienced success with Triple7Marketing. For a free consultation, contact us today!