When we talk about businesses, the topic of diversity marketing is now becoming common. In the past, marketing was only….well, marketing. Businesses didn’t have the time to pay proper attention to the right marketing. Marketing was made uniformed, generally targeted at the general market of white, (mostly) male, and older audience. There was no such a thing diversity marketing or promotion. Marketing was usually executed on one or two channels, and there were no personalized contents. All contents were the same – whether it was targeted for younger or older target, for female or male target, and so much more.
However, things have changed these days. Technologies are present. Innovations are made on daily basis. Developments are reinforced. There is no such thing as unified or uniformed marketing anymore. Manufacturers and producers have to be creative when they want to introduce and promote their brands. Aside from the facts that there are different channels for the promotion, there are also different target markets – and all of them have their signature style and characteristics. That’s why it is crucial to understand diversity marketing and how to implement it correctly.
Understanding Diversity Marketing Concept
So, what is diversity marketing? It is basically any (marketing) strategy recognizing and addressing differences in target market’s subgroups. It is based on the disability, ethnicity, educational attainment, age, sexual identity, gender, and religion. Still in those groupings and categories, there are still possible to divide the segment into more sections, including occupation, income, weight, and also marital status. In short, diversity in marketing means is the personalized or customized marketing campaign that enables the producers to connect to the widest and biggest different kind of people in the target market.
A proper diversity marketing attempt should (and can) consists of different messaging channels. In this modern era, offline channels like telemarketing, direct mail, print ads (flyers, brochures, etc), and TV ads are still common. But the channels have been expanded with technologies, enabling producers to make use of online means, such as content marketing, affiliate marketing, and email marketing.
However, diversity in marketing doesn’t exclusively refer to the message delivery mode. It is about the motivation and intention of the marketing message contents. It’s about the creativity of the marketing team to come up with ideas or methods to implement the plan. The main difference of regular and common marketing efforts with diversity marketing is the message. In the latter, the messages are fine-tuned for specific audience and then delivered through their favorite communication channels. To make it successful, the marketing effort should be authentic, culturally aware, and data-driven.
Let’s say that you are a manufacturer of kitchen utensils. If you want your promotion to work well and to reach the needed target, then you need to know who your market is. In your case, you want to focus on house moms or culinary establishment owners. After you know your target, you need to decide the proper ways to reach out to them. This is when data plays a crucial role. Should you reach out through social media? Do they spend a lot of time on their social media? Is it effective if you reach out through regular channels, like email or brochures?
If you are a game developer and you are working on gaming apps, then your target market would be different from the previous case. In this case, your target market would be gamers or IT enthusiasts. You need to come up with another plan on how to reach out to them. You may want to advertise through online app ads or such thing alike.
As you can see from these examples, different target market would lead to different approach, marketing channels, and attempts. It’s crucial to understand the marketing diversity because it helps you to reach out to the targeted market without spending a fortune. You won’t end up spending a lot of money and yet you can still enjoy a fruitful result.
About Ethnic Marketing
As it was mentioned before, diversity in marketing can divided into gender, education, religion, age, and ethnic. Yes, there are different markets, including ethnic market. The last one was included in cultural marketing, which all manufacturers should be aware and careful about. For this case, let’s take an example from Dolce & Gabbana.
The company issued a video campaign through social media platform, and it was aimed at Chinese market. The video displayed an Asian model trying to eat (traditional) Italian foods by using chopsticks – and the success degrees were various. The company used Weibo as the marketing channel. And the result? It caused outrage, especially from Asian market.
Here’s the analysis of the marketing attempt. Dolce & Gabbana has done a good work when they chose Weibo as their marketing channel. Chinese people use Weibo – they prefer it than regular apps, like WhatsApp and others. In fact, around a quarter of 1.3 billion of China’s residents use this app. This is a smart move from the company. However, they weren’t so smart when they chose the content for their (supposed to be their next) target market. The video depicted Chinese people as inferior and uncultured – and you aren’t not supposed to make your target feel that way. In this case, Dolce & Gabbana has done both smart and not-so-smart attempts. The message was culturally insensitive, ill-conceived, and inauthentic. It is offensive.
Basically, when a marketing diversity is done properly and correctly, it helps a brand build positive and good communication with the audience. And it can be done in a familiar, positive, and personal way. The result would be effective – and positive. However, when everything is done poorly, it would spectacularly backfire. And the brand would be left behind with scarred credentials and negative reputation.
Strategies for Effective Diversity Marketing Campaigns
As it was mentioned before, unified marketing method is no longer effective or working. Organic and personalized method is more suitable because you want to be able to reach specific targets effectively. There are several ways to do it.
- Embrace Diversity
How would you plan and develop diversity marketing if you don’t start from yourself? One way to start it out is to create diverse creative team. Only by doing so, you will be able to create authentic messages. Don’t underestimate or overstate this step. Embrace diversity practices by composing your team to start it out first. You should think about creating a team from various beliefs, philosophies, backgrounds, ethnicity, and religion. From there, you can move ahead and create solid marketing plans that would fit the specific target markets.
- Focus on Data
Do you know that data is the gold mine of modern times? If you want to develop and create effective marketing campaign, you need to turn to data. It will provide you with information and insight of everything. You learn about the subgroups. You learn about their habit. You learn about their values and cultures.
These days, we are pampered with many professional data analytics tools and techniques. You need to collect data and make use of those strategies, tools, and techniques to get the valuable information. Don’t ignore the data because it usually reflects what’s going on in real life. For instance, if only Dolce & Gabbana had done a (focus) group test, they would have avoided the campaign disaster. And if only they would have used some comprehensive researches (on the market) and had been patient not to rush things, they may have come up with better result, better approach, and more positive outcome.
In today’s modern world, there are many artificial intelligence and advanced marketing technologies every business owner can use to improve their marketing approach. With martech – marketing technologies – you should be able to gain better outcome.
- Personalized Effort
We can’t live in the shadow of the past where we completely depend on unified marketing. Today’s marketing team’s job is more difficult – they can’t just ‘copy (or cut) and paste’ the concept for every campaign launch they are about to do. Organic message is more preferred because each group and target market wants to have something different and unique. As the one doing the marketing and promotion, you need to recognize and understand each group’s desires, specific needs, and wants. Only by doing this, you should be able to create a connection with them.
- Inclusive Message
When you want to come up with diversity marketing, it’s crucial that you know the details of your target. Not only you should know your audience, but you also want to create messages that make everyone else left behind, especially those aren’t a part of the group. This is a tricky part because you need a detailed understanding of the proper language needed in the campaign. After all, you don’t want to ‘accidentally’ or unconsciously create biases. It would be worse if it creates barriers or side effects.
So, if you want to embrace total market, you need to use (and execute) inclusive language. Do it in every aspect of each of your campaign. It would be welcoming to others and it would be target-specific. It’s like throwing two birds with one stone, right? It is also the right time to hone your creative skill, by crafting a unique statement related to diversity.
- Hear Your Customers out
For whom you are creating or marketing the products? Yes, for your customers. That’s why getting their feedbacks and insight is crucial. Collect their feedback (and listen to them) during the campaign launch and also after, which would give you validation or even challenge about the campaign. Getting the customers’ feedback gets you precious real-world data that you can use for the upcoming and future campaigns.
Brands with Successful Diversity Marketing
It’s a good thing that there are several brands that are able to pull it off quite successfully when it comes to diversity marketing. Here are some of them.
Fenty isn’t only known because of the founder – Rihanna, the singer – but because they offer different products for different users. Fenty Beauty offers beauty products for EVERYONE. Whatever skin tone you have, eyes colors, hair colors, and others, they have just the right products for you. The marketing efforts are superb with wider scales, targeting different groups and markets at the same time. The advertisements include different women from different ethnic groups, skin conditions, condition, and so much more. The message is clear: Whether you are an African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Caucasian women with freckles, narrow eyes, wearing head scarf, with girly appearance, tomboyish look, and others, you can still be beautiful. You are unique. You are you! No wonder if the brand gain such positive acceptance and also review.
This is another brand that has embraced diversity marketing to the next level. They have released a clothing line for the disabled or those with sensory (processing) problems or sensitivities.
This is another clothing brand that embraces diversity in their marketing campaigns. Many of their ads showcased models – with different body types and ethnicities. The brand tries to show the world that they are inclusive and their products are for everyone.
The company may have a unique approach in their marketing attempts, but their efforts need to be praised. With their ads campaign of ‘Learning Sign Language’, they are sending subtle message that they want to reach out to audiences with hearing disabilities in order to build better communication with them. It sends out a specific message to specific target market without completely ignoring the others.
For many people, the company’s #HowWeFamily campaign is heartwarming and on-point. They send out a message that everyone has the right to – and they can – create a family, no matter of their sexual preferences, race, or gender. The company wants to show that individuality should be celebrated – and they are able to send a touching message resonating with the masses, especially on a bigger and higher scale. You should check these ads, and you will understand how these brands have nailed it in creating positive diversity marketing that is touching, heartwarming, and not offensive.
In the end, marketing attempts and methods also develop and change. You can’t stick to the old-school unified marketing strategy anymore. Diversity marketing is your modern way to deliver effective message and be successful.