How to unlock surprising benefits of inclusive marketing
We’ve talked about how to get your ideal client. Now we’re going to talk about being inclusive to everyone that fits your ideal criteria.
Diversity and inclusion often go hand-in-hand, but they are different concepts.
Diversity is about representing a variety of people.
Inclusion is about providing space and represnting the voice of as many different people as possible.
So what does that mean for your business?
It means when it comes to marketing, don’t be one-size-fits-all. Even your ideal client group contains a multitude of unique identities and perspectives. It’s your job to make sure that entire range is reflected and addressed.
In marketing we use a lot of visual media. For many companies showing an image like this (see right).
This is the gold standard for diverse marketing. There is a variety of people of different genders and races.
But when you look harder at the image there are still key demographics missing.
For instance, many companies use office related imagery when a large portion of the workforce doesn't work in traditional office spaces (think the service industry, retail, creative industries or factory workers).
This goes for other popularly overlooked inclusion factors like age or ability. Few companies think to include older clients or clients with physical disabilities in their content. That kind of oversight can leave some of your ideal clients feeling less than ideal.
I know it’s not realistic to capture every identity in a single image, but the images you include in your marketing can help expand your audience and further your commitment to your ideal client.
For example, do you consider how font size and certain color palettes may limit your audience? Busy or small fonts are challenging for older viewers or people with visual impairments. Even your color scheme won’t translate if you use color combinations that are unreadable to someone who is color blind.
Let's look at some examples:
We take a lot for granted with our visual media, but by aiming to be more inclusive we can gain rabidly loyal fans.
Inclusion is a factor in conscious capitalism and it pays off!
We’ve already proved that people want to give their business to businesses that care.
That means operating with a mission. What is yours? Write it out. This is your touchstone. All of your business’s marketing and messaging should reflect it.
How does inclusion fit in?
When polled people reacted favorably to inclusive marketing. That means even if they were seeing content that included people who were different from them, they still were inclined to support the business. Why? Because people want to know that the businesses they support are inclusive.
Consumers are more inclined to support businesses they feel engage with a broad range of people and provide space for a variety of identities and viewpoints.
This is to say there is a need and want for inclusive content that diverges from mainstream representation.
Does this mean I need to widen my ideal client range?
No. Like we’ve covered before, your ideal client should be narrow and specific. But that doesn’t mean you can’t look for ways to be inclusive within that range. In fact, there may be people that fit this ideal profile who you haven’t considered before.
Inclusivity is all about giving a voice rather than just representation.
Provide content that not only speaks to your ideal client, but provides space for them to speak. Make an effort to share or uplift content that reflects the audience you want to reach, but may not orginiate from a space you idenity with or have experience in.
Look for partnerships within these communities and find ways to support, engage, and pull from spaces and backgrounds that differ from your own. In our previous blog we talked about ways to be an inclusive leader, which included peer accountability. Within your marketing team consider a similar strategy where there you dedicate resources and energy to ensure your messaging is as inclusive as possible.
Putting it all together
Imagery: Make inclusive and informative media. Factor in ability and visibility. Experiment with different color palettes, fonts, and graphics. Your marketing is representative of your company’s mission. Make it an accurate depiction. Consult your team with different campaign options and try to target as much as your ideal client base as possible
Message: Source not only your own content, but share from a wide range of voices. The more you can share and absorb the better informed your own content will become!
Above all, keep trying! Marketing is all about getting your message out in the most effective way possible. This is a trial and error process. It will take time to balance all these factors. Once you get a grasp on it you will be able to effectively reach and motivate your ideal audience.
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