No business can afford to ignore how increasingly diverse we are and to thrive, we all need to get with that vibe. One of our Rockstar CMOs Wendy Bryant-Beswick, shares her experience of and approach to diversity marketing…


When you see brilliant marketing, it speaks to everyone. It’s real, and strikes a chord with the many instead of the few. Diversity is more than sex, race and gender – it encompasses a variety of life experiences including education, background, nationality and many other factors. To reach real people, marketers must stop using model-like imagery and cookie-cutter personas, and remember we are marketing to real people, who are extremely varied.

Here’s how I always think of diversity and inclusion: diversity is being invited to the party, and inclusion is being asked to plan the party.

Here’s how I always think of diversity and inclusion: diversity is being invited to the party, and inclusion is being asked to plan the party.

Marketing has become much more personalized and diverse but when you take a peek under the covers, how diverse is everything we’re doing? When you look at all the audiences and generations we are all now serving that adds another layer of complexity because each generation defines diversity and inclusion differently.

Talkin’ ‘bout my generation

Baby Boomers and Gen Xers see diversity as demographics – as long as various demographics are being represented, they think diversity and inclusion are being addressed. According to the Brookings Institute, the millennial generation is now 75 million strong and 44% minority, which makes it the most diverse generation in US history. Millennials look deeper. They are interested in beliefs, cultural differences and how people are represented through their values. That’s sometimes tough to represent in marketing. If you look at what you’re doing today and determine how you can infuse a more blended approach, you’ll be surprised at the results.

If you look at what you’re doing today and determine how you can infuse a more blended approach, you’ll be surprised at the results.

You talkin’ to me?

Language is obviously a huge barrier to being more inclusive. When I worked in a market that was predominantly Hispanic, we created a Spanish version of our website. The organization had Spanish-speaking representatives both in branches and in our call center to ensure we could help these customers. We started multi-language advertising and customized our messaging and strategy. Our Hispanic customers had needs and preferences that were different to those of other audiences. It took time to implement, but the results were impactful, and it was rewarding to see how we were helping people and speaking directly to them.

Knowing me, knowing you

Building a diverse team can really drive your efforts – what does your team look like today? Does your team represent the market you’re in? If not, how can you bring in others from the organization to aid in getting a more collective viewpoint? Having various experiences whether it is age, gender, culture, values, demographics and beliefs will greatly benefit how your marketing speaks to more people. It’s not an easy process to diversify to your team but it’s the single most important task if you expect to reach a diversified audience.

What can you do next? Ask yourself what you and your team are doing to be more inclusive. Get inspired by your customers — there’s a wealth of information they can convey. While it can take time to implement, your marketing is speaking to customers who are closely aligned to your messaging and imagery. Team diversity is critical – making diversity part of your hiring, and making inclusion part of your everyday practices will translate directly to improving your KPIs and connecting with your audience.

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