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Steps for Promoting Diversity & Inclusion Through Your Marketing

Erica Nash-Thomas

How does your company optimize diversity and inclusion in your storytelling and marketing efforts? Learn more about how prioritizing these values in executing your marketing strategy makes a profound difference.

Telling a story without saying a word. Storytelling is an important element of marketing strategies. What story are you telling your audiences with the vehicles your organizations use to drive that strategy? Failing to include values of diversity and inclusion in your marketing strategy may mean missing an opportunity to connect more fully with your audience.

At Yes&, we recognize that the values of diversity and inclusion are more important than ever before. We are guided by our commitment to making these values integral to what we do every day, pairing our company culture and corporate values with this ethos. 

Part of that commitment? Making sure diversity and inclusion is woven into how we do our work. 

Why is this important? These values are not merely nice to express, but essential. Keeping diversity and inclusion values top-of-mind in executing your marketing strategy is key to driving your organization’s innovation and effectiveness. As a recent Marketing Week post explained, “...[it’s] more important than ever to show empathy and reflect diverse consumer realities in your communications.” It’s the right thing to do—and it can also provide a competitive advantage.

How can this work for you? It starts by being keen and deliberate when developing marketing strategies and delivering tactics. At Yes&, we aim to provide strategic marketing solutions and ideas designed specifically for each of our clients. We tell stories with them, about them, and for them. And we want those stories to reflect the values of diversity and inclusion we hold ourselves to.

That said, every organization is unique. So instead of providing a broad set of recommendations for all marketers, we have outlined a 5-step process to determine how you can best optimize diversity and inclusion within your unique marketing efforts.

Step 1: Assess the Current Situation. This begins with knowing your audience--marketing lesson number one. A recent post by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) suggests examining data about your audience and “going deeper” to better understand those characteristics. After assessing your audience, audit your processes, materials, and communications. If needed, consider tapping expertise outside your organization to provide a fresh perspective.

Step 2: Open Up Internal Discussions. This is an opportunity for team members to come to the table--or to the Zoom breakout room--to share ideas freely. The discussion should be structured so that all team members can contribute and refine their ideas. It’s also a moment to examine challenges and identify opportunities.

Step 3: Assign a Task Force. Your plan to incorporate diversity and inclusion values can begin to take shape here. Examine website visuals and stock images that may be used. Are character designs for animated video content gender- and ethnicity-neutral? How your copy is presented matters, too. Evaluate the complexity of language that's used to consider non-native English speakers. Consider also your invitee roster for things like webinars and virtual events. Do they bring diverse perspectives? Assemble a small team to analyze information, establish goals, and make recommendations. 

Step 4: Prioritize and Operationalize. Include content and programming that speaks directly to the values of diversity and inclusion. Roadmap these recommendations based on the impact and resources required. Most importantly, establish and provide diversity and inclusion training so that ALL employees are equipped to promote these values.

Step 5: Communicate Progress. Remember this vital step. Report back on goals and updates internally to track progress. Make time to share success stories externally. Finally, evaluate and optimize this work based on feedback received. Incorporating values of diversity and inclusion is an ongoing opportunity to improve your organization’s marketing strategies and tactics.

Yes& is the Washington, DC-based marketing agency that brings commercial, association, and government clients the unlimited power of “&” – using a full suite of branding, digital, event, marketing, public relations, and creative capabilities to deliver meaningful and measurable results.

Let’s talk about what the power of "&" can do for you.

Erica Nash-Thomas
Erica Nash-Thomas
Strategist