I’m back to share some more expertise, this time from Sonia Thompson, Customer Experience Strategist and Consultant. I recently came across a webinar she gave for LaterCon, a virtual social media conference by Later. In this webinar, titled “How To Create A More Inclusive Marketing Strategy”, Sonia gives actionable steps on how to do just that - I will be summing them up in this post and sharing my thoughts!
You can watch her video here:
Sonia’s overarching point is that, “Business is about belonging - the signals we send tell people whether or not they belong with us.”
There are a number of stores I can think of - that I intentionally don’t shop at - because their business’s primary demographic doesn’t include people who look like me. Historically, not a lot of diverse identities are represented in the mainstream media, which makes diverse people feel like they don’t belong in certain spaces.
Brands whose marketing is inclusive of different body types, gender identities, ethnicities, etc., show to the world that they are not one size fits all, but that they care about the nuance that is characteristic of humanity.
Here is Sonia’s step by step advice for how to make sure that even when we do have a target audience in mind, we’re still making an effort to be inclusive of identities outside of that:
Expand your circle of influence
Diversify your following - listen to people who see the world and approach it in a different way because they can teach you a lot
Re-evaluate your buyer personas
Don't make them look too much like yourself, because you might leave out a lot of people
Include identities different form your own
The goal: “to help you serve a specific group of customers more in depth
Make representation a priority
"The people you're engaging with need to see themselves or who they aspire to be in the visual imagery that your brand produces."
Make sure visuals represent the people you want to serve
Showcase people you have authentic relationships with
Don't just use stock photos of diverse people
Commit to cultural intelligence
Increase your level of customer intimacy - understand more about what to say and what not to say by spending time listening to diverse customers
Ditch the superficial - don’t just say you stand for certain causes, showcase that you have a long commitment to want to serve these communities
Audit your customer experience
Look at the data for customer experience (bio, captions, links sent out, etc.) and ask if it’s the experience you want to deliver
Find out where you’re performing well and where you can do better
She says to build a plan to get to a place where you are delivering the right signals
It’s 2021 y’all - if we aren’t creating marketing strategies that include the diverse and rich identities that surround us, we’re falling short.
I’ll leave y’all with a final note from Sonia:
"You'll see positive results when those diverse people, who so many brands ignore, feel they do belong with you."