Fostering Inclusive Marketing with Surveys

Inclusive marketing is a critical aspect in marketing, allowing brands to effectively connect and serve diverse communities. Given that a target market is made up of diverse demographics (and psychographics), it is a must for companies to make everyone feel included and valued. 

Inclusive marketing works towards achieving this end, along with cutting out cultural biases and stereotypes, so that all groups of people feel seen, heard, and valued by brands. 

Creating content, other marketing messaging and campaigns that reflect the diverse communities that companies cater to is a requisite, as 61% of Americans consider diversity in marketing important.

In addition, 38% of customers are more likely to trust businesses that show diversity in their marketing. As such, there is clear evidence that inclusive marketing is appreciated and impactful for companies. 

This article delves into inclusive marketing, its importance, current state, and how surveys foster inclusive marketing. 

Understanding Inclusive Marketing

Inclusive marketing refers to the messaging, imagery, processes, and technologies that consider and accommodate all groups of people, allowing them all to fully engage with businesses, in turn. This includes enabling marginalized and underrepresented groups to fully experience and connect with brands.

These marketing campaigns embrace diversity by including people from various backgrounds and the experiences they relate to. In doing so, this involves creating campaigns that break down barriers along with stereotypes

For marketing to be fully inclusive, it must consider all facets and layers of its target market’s identity. These include ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, culture, language, religion/spirituality, size, physical/mental ability, and socioeconomic status.

It should also account for the fact that one person may be a part of many identities and dimensions. Additionally, brands should acknowledge that nuances are inherent in all of their customer personas, including their personality and preferences.

Aside from marketing campaigns, inclusivity reckons forming all of a brand’s products, services, and experiences in ways that can resonate with a diverse swath of people and make them feel included.

The Importance of Inclusive Marketing

Inclusive marketing is ever-important in an increasingly diverse country and a globalized world. As such, businesses must tailor their marketing and business offerings at large to a wide pool of target market members. 

Brands must adhere to inclusive marketing practices, even in niche companies that have very specific target market segments. Doing so will ensure that all of their customers feel recognized and appreciated.

Another critical aspect of inclusive marketing is representation. Marketers must remember that as customers and as people, everyone wants to be represented. When people are not represented in any marketing messages or imagery, they understandably feel left out, as outliers and outsiders looking in, not encouraged to participate with others. In turn, they are being made to feel as the “other.” 

Brands should avoid this at all costs. It is difficult enough to entice customers to buy from them; when a brand doesn’t forge inclusive marketing, it adds another layer of difficulty for the business to appeal to its customers. It also makes a business appear negatively in comparison to its more inclusive competitors. 

It is not enough to declare acceptance of diversity and inclusivity. Businesses must practice what they preach by enacting inclusive marketing into all of their campaigns. 

Inclusive marketing is also important, in that it opens the door to visibly encourage equality in a particular niche or industry. It makes strides towards backing equality, as brands can feature people in non-traditional roles in their marketing deliverables. For example, women in a male-dominated field or hobby. 

In this regard, businesses can no longer be passive; they must actively show that they are inclusive to all identities and support participation from all, whether they are a B2B SaaS business or a sports equipment company.

When brands participate in inclusive practices, they satisfy consumer demands and create a vast amount of opportunities with all of their potential customers. Consequently, this will play a major role in building consumer loyalty.

Inclusive Marketing Versus Diversity and Inclusion

While both of these concepts are important for businesses and show appreciation and respect to a diverse group of people, they are not the same. Therefore, they should not be conflated or used interchangeably. 

The basis of these two concepts is fairly similar: that of fostering inclusivity among all. However, they refer to different areas of practice and have different end goals

Diversity and inclusion is a concept that typically refers to developing an inclusive culture within a workspace, whereas inclusive marketing involves stamping out exclusion via marketing efforts

Diversity and inclusion is predicated on a workplace with a diverse personnel, one in which everyone feels equally involved and supported in all areas of the workplace. 

Inclusive marketing, on the other hand, denotes marketing campaigns that take up diversity by including people from various backgrounds and displaying stories that are relatable to unique audiences

Inclusive marketing efforts should make an effort to break stereotypes and biases, in addition to embracing and reflecting a diverse target audience. This involves becoming better acquainted with different cultures and experiences. 

As such, diversity and inclusion practices have the end goal of diversifying a particular operation or institution, while inclusive marketing is inclined at providing representation and appreciation of a diverse marketplace. 

Both of these concepts are crucial to a business — but serve different areas. D&L is an HR matter, while inclusive marketing concerns marketing departments, along with advertising, PR, and creative departments, depending on the organizational structure of a business.

How Surveys Create Inclusive Marketing

There are many best practices for inclusive marketing. These practices make up the overall marketing process, embedding into the preliminary stages of a campaign up until the review of a campaign’s performance.

For example, businesses should use inclusive language and avoid resorting to stereotypical assertions or messaging. But more importantly, businesses should address the unique needs, perspectives, and issues across demographics, including people with disabilities and from different lifestyles. 

This is where survey research takes center stage. Surveys provide an invaluable method for deploying targeted questionnaires to a wide swath of audiences, extracting customer data in the process. This data represents a diverse range of consumers, allowing brands to tap into the minds of a diverse set of consumers. 

As such, surveys solve the major issue of adequately marketing and serving diverse audiences, given that businesses must understand their customers to satisfy them, and diverse audiences have unique needs and interests.

Surveys provide brands with an easy method of reaching their target market and understanding all of its concerns, requirements, desires, aversions, opinions, and more. Surveys are essentially instruments of data for decision-making, which is much-needed across all industries. 

Customer data carries massive value, as it drives a variety of business strategies and decisions. Without it, a business would be far less attuned to its customers and not be fully aware of how to serve them, including what to avoid.

Moreover, surveys are the most adept solution for inclusive marketing, as market researchers can set granular conditions in the screening section, dictating precisely who can take the survey. 

Researchers can include a wide variety of demographics and psychographics to take the survey, depending on the data filtering capabilities of the survey platform they use.  In this way, they will get easy, automated access to the group of respondents that they are seeking to study to then market to and serve. 

Surveys allow market researchers to assess the results of each demographic group via post-results filtering in their survey. Thus, they can easily reap and review the data on a diverse set of customers with surveys. 

Forging Inclusivity Across Campaigns

Inclusive marketing is no longer a nice-to-have option; it is the future of marketing. More and more brands are incorporating inclusivity into their marketing to avoid seeming non-inclusive, outdated and disrespectful.

Conducting market research is an apt way to become more accustomed with a diverse target market and its closely situated markets. Surveys provide the most potent way of extracting timely customer data, but the success of surveys is largely dependent on their online survey platform.  

A strong online survey platform makes it easy and practical to set up screeners, target respondents at granular levels, deploy the surveys to a vast network of high-trafficked websites and apps, offer various post-survey visualizations, and much more.

Therefore, businesses and market researchers should choose their online survey platform wisely; a valuable one will make it easy to foster inclusive marketing, cater to customers and so much more.