The diversity and marketing question

The concept of diversity can be applied to many a business situation and is a central element of 21st century industry. When most people speak of diversity in the workplace they think of HR concepts of gender and ethnic balance, recruitment ratios or of diversification in the sense of using multiple platforms for selling a product and reaching audiences.

Yet recent research has shown that diversity should be seen as more than just a necessary HR or sales exercise, and that embracing diversity in an organisation’s culture can actually have a profound effect on marketing, innovation and growth.

DIVERSE AUDIENCE = IMPROVED ROI

Diversification in audience and market places can often be used as a strategy to lower risk in a business; by not putting all your eggs in one basket it is possible to create a wider portfolio which should be more robust in the face of marketplace difficulties and economic turmoil. Yet why not see diversification as more than merely a safety net, and embrace it as a chance to stimulate growth, boost revenues and improve your return on investment?

A recent article by Forbes has suggested you do just that by following the concept of ROI-based diversity. This simple proposition, that ‘the more audiences you market your services or products to, the more opportunities you create to generate revenue,’ is seen by Forbes as a crucial concept to remember when looking to diversify a marketing strategy.

By embracing diversity of marketplaces and demographics and integrating this into your marketing strategy, it is possible to make diversity a positive force from growth and development rather than simply a safety tool. Forbes argues ‘regardless of the channels you’re using, your marketing messages needs to be flexible and be designed for the cultural markets you are looking to attract.’

STAYING RELEVANT

Diversity in your marketing strategy and external communications needs to be backed up by diversity within your organisation’s culture and the essence of your brand. Without fully integrating diversity into the day-to-day fabric of a business, marketing yourself in this way to consumers could prove difficult.

Marketing Magazine has argued this in a recent article on the changing attitudes towards diversity in the work place and in marketing organisations specifically. It has been argued that rather than using diversity as a slogan or buzzword ‘it should be something tangible that consumers, clients and employees feel, at their core, is being delivered by brands, corporations and employers.’

Marketing Magazine has helpfully provided three practical steps which should be considered by marketing organisations seeking to really make a difference to their diversity policy; investment, role models and tracking. By working hard to attract a diverse employee network, leading by example in the workplace and tracking progress, Marketing Magazine argue it is possible to follow in the footsteps of marketing’s leading organisations such as Ogilvy and Mather, who have put diversity at the heart of their marketing and creativity cultures.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

An important element to remember when making the move towards diversity is that creativity and open-mindedness can often be the keys to creating a strategy which meets both your diversity and marketing needs. As an industry that prides itself on forward-thinking and always pushing boundaries and expectations, the link between diversity and marketing is a strong one.

Marketing industry professionals have come up with a wide range of creative solutions to tackling the diversity question. Marketing and innovation teams at RAMS, an Australian financial services company, have done just that by recognising that diversity is more than just a question of gender and race. In a bid to generate new ideas and add creativity to their marketing they regularly invite a range of their under-30 employees to senior leadership meetings so they can offer an alternative, fresh perspective and original way of thinking on important topics for the organisation.

It would seem that through embracing diversity and seeing it as a useful tool to integrate you’re your marketing strategy can have fantastic effects for putting creativity and new ideas at the heart of your organisation and boosting return on investment in marketing.

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