Working with relevant creators to expand your DEI outreach is a first step, but you need to expand the engagement to consumers directly.
I attended the fantastic MAD Festival in London this week. What an amazing three days of talks, panels and innovation pitches.
But there was one key point that really permeated the festival — DEI.
From No7 Beauty to Diageo, from Twitch to Mr Porter, every brand at the event focused on their DEI efforts and how these efforts correlate with better brand equity and sales.
But what is it?
DEI is thrown around so much as a moniker that I want to start with defining what we mean by it. You will see a lot of people actually refer to it only partially.
When your marketing message and offer are designed to resonate with a diverse group of people, you’ve nailed it. Including diverse talent in your campaigns is a great start.
This relates to the diversity of your marketing channels so the same offer is visible to all of your diverse consumers. For instance, you can feature elderly people in your ads as much as you want, but if you solely advertise on TikTok, that consumer base won’t see it.
This permeates across your entire creative and is a measure of how inclusive your offer is. For instance, a video ad with no captions alienates hard-of-hearing consumers. Or an image featuring a cisgender couple will alienate a gay couple when all you want to get across is that you have a sale on cruises. It’s about being mindful in your creative so your diverse consumer base can relate to your campaign.
Avoid lip service
Munnawar Chishty, Global Vice President at No 7 Beauty said it best at MAD Festival.
Think about inclusivity across all your brand touch points and connections with consumers. An advert with a representative range of talent is not enough and consumers will spot this.
Don’t do token ads for DEI. They are so easy to spot.
This is where creators and influencer marketing fit in nicely.
Creators allow brands to reach diverse communities in an authentic way and complement a traditional campaign. They allow you to go beyond featuring diverse talent to engaging with diverse talent on multiple platforms.
As long as you find the right creators, you’re on your way to better DEI marketing.
So that’s not enough?
Adding influencer marketing to your overall activity is a great start, but it is not enough.
Once again, Ms Chishty says it well:
Listen to your consumers, they will help you on this journey.
Partnering with diverse creators is a wonderful start, but if you don’t use that opportunity to engage with their audience directly, you’re not maximising your potential.
If you want to do better in DEI, you need to hear back from that consumer base at every touch point.
You need to understand them and their circumstances better. So you can do better in product, marketing and elsewhere.
The beauty of working with creators is that they have an authentic and deep connection to their audience, where the audience feedback is reciprocally authentic and truthful.
Why not use that opportunity so their audience can provide feedback to you?
With the right creative experiences and tools at your disposal, you can elevate your influencer marketing campaign to also collect consumer insights for you that’s timely, relevant and actionable.
Let’s not just show ads and branded content for DEI.
Let’s engage with diverse consumers in a conversation so we open a feedback loop to do better every time.