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Why is inclusive digital marketing important?

06 Mar 2024

By Beth O’Sullivan, Group Digital Marketing Lead

In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever for businesses to consider inclusivity in their digital marketing efforts. With the growth of social media and online advertising, companies have the ability to reach a broader audience than ever before.

However, with this comes a responsibility to ensure that all individuals feel represented and included. IQ-EQ is an incredibly diverse business with 94 different nationalities and 41 languages spoken amongst our team – which is why we’re currently reviewing inclusivity in our marketing.

“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” – Verna Myers (Vice President of Inclusion Strategy at Netflix)

So why is inclusivity in digital marketing so important? Deloitte reports that consumers seek to support brands that reflect their identity and uphold their values. By creating a welcoming and representative environment, businesses can establish trust and solidify relationships with their audience. When individuals see themselves represented in a company’s marketing materials, they are more likely to feel valued and respected. It also aligns with our value of being authentic at IQ-EQ.

Using diverse imagery is one key way that businesses can make their digital marketing more inclusive. For example, a company that only uses images of young, thin, white individuals in their advertising is inherently excluding a large portion of the population. By incorporating diverse images of individuals of different genders, ethnicities, ages, and body types, businesses can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for their audience. Research shows that age is also playing a factor in the importance placed on diversity in content; brands that engaged in diverse marketing practices were found to be more trustworthy by 77% of Millennials.

Diversity is about respecting diverse belief systems, gender identity, sexual orientations, cognitive and physical abilities, and so on. That’s why it’s important for businesses to hear from different voices across the company. Individuals from a variety of backgrounds need to be included in the marketing decision-making process, from brainstorming sessions to final approval. By incorporating diverse voices, businesses can gain insights and perspectives that they may not have considered otherwise. This can lead to more effective and well-rounded campaigns that resonate globally.

So what can businesses do to be more inclusive in their digital marketing efforts? Here are a few tips to incorporate:

  • Evaluate current marketing materials for inclusivity, and make changes as needed
  • Incorporate diverse voices in the marketing decision-making process
  • Use a variety of images and content that reflects the diversity of the business and the audience
  • Educate team members on the importance of inclusivity in digital marketing
  • Inclusive language and messaging
  • Collaborate and partner with individuals and organisations who champion diversity and inclusion

The benefits of inclusivity extend beyond just the audience. By incorporating diverse perspectives and experiences in their marketing, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their audience and industry as a whole. This can lead to more innovative and effective campaigns, as well as increased cultural competency and awareness.

Working with IQ-EQ has been seamless – you and your team understand our business, advise us appropriately, and handle your side of our collective partnership so that we can focus on making good investment decisions. Evan Gibson SVP, Merchants Capital

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