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So, exactly what is inclusive marketing?

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

Caption: Three women of different skin tones sit close together and smile into the camera.

As businesses and consumers become more aware of the importance of diversity and inclusion, it's crucial for marketing efforts to reflect these values. Inclusive marketing and communications is about creating content and campaigns that not only resonate with a diverse audience, but that also celebrate and include people from all backgrounds.

Here are a few tips for creating more inclusive marketing:

  1. Use inclusive language: Avoid gender-specific language or language that could be perceived as insensitive or exclusionary. Instead, use language that is gender-neutral and inclusive of all people.

  2. Feature diverse images and videos: When choosing images or videos for your marketing materials, aim to represent a variety of ethnicities, ages, genders, and body types. This will help to ensure that all members of your audience feel seen and represented. However, if your organisation or brand isn't diverse, be prepared to admit this and explain why - no amount of spin will get you out of an inauthentic attempt to make you seem to be what you aren't.

  3. Celebrate diversity: Make a point to showcase and celebrate the diversity of your team, customers, and community in your marketing efforts. This could be through highlighting the achievements of diverse individuals, featuring customer success stories from different backgrounds, or sharing stories of how your company is actively working to promote diversity and inclusion.

  4. Be genuine: During BLM in 2020, numerous brands pledged to take action or posted the black square. Since then many brands have forgotten about their promises completely, and others even removed the black square from their Instagram grids. This kind of behaviour tells the public, who are watching closely, that you're not interested in supporting anti-racism. And they'll also be very slow to forgive if you change your approach for the better in the future. Final wise words? Think through everything you do carefully before you take any anti-racism action.

Screenshot of tweets

Caption: Two tweets by PG Tips and Yorkshire Tea standing up to tweets from people complaining about their support of BLM in 2020. Read them here.

By incorporating these ideas into your marketing strategies, you can create more inclusive and impactful campaigns that resonate with a much wider audience.

And remember, creating inclusive marketing and communications isn't just the right thing to do - it's also good for business.

Work with me for training and consultancy in anti-racist and EDI communications, sensitivity reading and a content audit:

Also, check out Aspire Black Suffolk, which is the company I founded. It was born out of the award-winning exhibition, Power of Stories - acclaimed in the national museums sector for its co-curation with the local Black community.

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