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Integrated Marketing Association

Diversity Marketing

Diversity marketing is about expanding the marketing lens to include the differences among consumers across all marketing activities. It extends beyond common demographic differences to help marketers focus on all the factors that make customers unique. For some businesses, the strategy may include a broad focus on inclusion. For others, it means developing smaller campaigns to highlight the uniqueness and similarities within a target market.

For example, the cosmetics/skincare and clothing companies are moving away from using one body type, height, and a set of features to model their products, in favor of more representative individuals. In many ways, the Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty” brought diversity marketing into the mainstream. Through several marketing activities, the brand showcased the differences in women’s bodies that stem from genetic makeup, life experiences, and other factors.

When brands prioritize diversity awareness, they automatically begin changing language choices, style decisions and messaging. Far from moving into a politically correct gray area, diversity marketing empowers brands to segment their marketing strategies into more meaningful campaigns. Some of the considerations brands may consider when developing a diversity-informed strategy include:

  • Basic differentiators including race, age, gender, and religion.
  • Experiential differentiators including whether a customer is married, has children, owns pets, or spends time outdoors.
  • Geographical differentiators including both local and regional differences.

Diversity marketing lets companies find similar patterns within groups of consumers and/or celebrate differences with new diversity campaigns. Harley-Davidson expanded its reputation as a “men only” brand when it appealed to females with new rider classes geared toward women.

Businesses use diversity marketing to grow their target markets, create brand communities, and create a better customer experience for all consumers. When a brand can appeal to an individual’s values and ideals, it can create an emotional connection and earn customer loyalty. In the future, diversity marketing will likely serve as a natural way of doing business, rather than a pointed strategy.

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