By Olivia Rojas

There’s a demographic shift occurring — especially in the United States. Organizations are trying to meet a variety of demographics through relevant marketing and communications outreach towards diverse groups. To do so successfully, brands must first understand the role of inclusion in marketing.

When it comes to the industry, it is important to use strategies and tactics that are culturally sensitive to different groups to reach a variety of audiences. 

What exactly is diversity? 

Individuals experience different realities based on the type of diversity and identities present within a group. Diversity is a group characteristic, NOT an individual one. 

There are two types of factors when it comes to diversity: surface level and deep level. Surface level factors are visible characteristics. For example, gender, race, ethnicity and age. Deep level factors are characteristics that are not visible. These include values, personality and sexual orientation.  

How to acknowledge diversity 

Bridging differences starts with the person or team behind your organization’s outreach. Simply put, “Does my content marketing team mirror my audience or community?”  

According to Forbes, one of the biggest challenges brands have when it comes to producing effective inclusive marketing — particularly for diverse audiences, is the lack of cultural intelligence they have for the audience they are serving.

When creating messages, make sure to use inquiry vs. advocacy. These two are key communication behaviors which are important for connecting with audiences. Inquiry is taking interest. Advocacy refers to stating or inputting one’s views. 

Cognitive integration is the process of understanding knowledge as defined by psychology. It can be used to develop an understanding of another’s perspective through the use of language, understanding different ways of reasoning, and understanding others’ preferences and priorities. 

If you are learning cultural competency skills through cognitive integration, you will ensure your marketing messages are received accurately. 

Why this matters 

Consumers and audiences want to be able to relate to the content that is created by your organization. Simply operating from one persona does not lead to inclusive content. Demographics across the nation are evolving, and here is a need to reflect this shift in your content and messaging. 

Through data and research, you can grow your organization’s audience by effectively analyzing where representation is needed in your content. Inclusive content makes a difference by bridging the gaps between your audiences. By doing this, your organization will see better outcomes in business, relationship-building, and reputation.