Fostering Inclusive Marketing with Surveys

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.

Diving into the Diversity and Inclusion Survey

Diving into the Diversity and Inclusion Survey

Businesses conduct diversity and inclusion surveys to improve their work culture and the overall employee experience. They do this by gauging their staff’s perspectives and making possible improvements to the general company culture and structure. 

According to McKinsey, organizations within the top diversity quartile have 21% sound financial performance than organizations in the bottom quartile. Diversity also correlates with higher innovation rates.

A practical starting point to foster an inclusive and diverse environment within a workplace relies on conducting an organization-wide diversity and inclusion survey to gather the employees’ feedback on this matter. 

By garnering and analyzing this data, you can better comprehend the current organization status and create a clear path to cultivating D&I.

This article expounds on the key characteristics of diversity and inclusion surveys, their importance, and how to carry out one effectively.

Defining the Diversity and Inclusion Survey

The diversity and inclusion survey is a kind of employee feedback survey, part of the Voice of Employee (VoE) studies that assess employee groups and their experiences in their company. These surveys measure diversity, inclusion, and fairness at your workplace. 

With diversity and inclusion surveys, you can ensure that all people are treated justly and equally, regardless of their gender, age, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, religion, or other factors.

Ultimately, this helps build an inclusive culture that drives organizational effectiveness. Essentially, diversity and inclusion surveys enable you to:

  • Identify specific groups who aren’t getting the same experience as others
  • Take appropriate initiatives to promote inclusion and diversity
  • Review procedures and policies and set relevant groups as appropriate
  • Recognize if the bias is unconscious

All in all, diversity and inclusion surveys help you to track your company’s progress towards creating an environment where people are accepted for their beliefs and respected for their values. For example, if your survey shows that workplace sentiments have increased, that means positive progress has been made towards diversity and inclusivity at work. 

The Key Characteristics of the Diversity and Inclusion Survey

These surveys give companies an anonymous and accurate depiction of how fair and inclusive that employees feel about their organization’s culture and employee relations. 

Diversity and Inclusion is a sensitive topic that employees feel strongly about. For starters, your diversity and inclusion survey should include actionable, straightforward questions that help you gauge how different groups find your workplace culture and emphasize areas for improvement.

Some of the key characteristics of a diversity and inclusion survey include:

  • A clear objective for the survey
  • 3-6 questions in length
  • Periodic check-ins on the same audience
  • Use of simple language
  • Use close-ended or multiple-choice questions

The Importance of a Diversity and Inclusion Survey

It is implausible to address the problems of communication gaps and cultural misunderstandings if companies don't know they exist within the organization. While inclusion, equity, and diversity are not always visible and tangible aspects, surveys provide a viable solution to quantify and measure these immaterial concepts at the workplace. 

Most companies are paving the way to cultivating an inclusive environment at the workplace.  The diversity and inclusion survey initiatives are more crucial than ever to address disparity issues in the workplace. According to McKinsey's research, the lack of diversity could have significant financial consequences. 

Companies can achieve 50% higher profits and share performance if women employees are represented better at the company. Similarly, senior-level female employees have a more meaningful impact on the company’s culture. They are more likely to welcome employee-friendly policies and fight for gender and racial disparity. 

Additionally, 61% of the workforce consider inclusion and diversity necessary at the workplace. This further heightens the need to conduct a diversity and inclusion survey to ensure a healthy workplace.

Diversity and inclusion are intertwined, and a survey to assess it helps you cultivate employee engagement, empower innovation, and reduce attrition. Because if you aim to promote and support inclusion and diversity, it is imperative to track them. 

Furthermore, it also helps you build a great company culture that nurtures diversity and inclusion with similar deliberation as other organizational priorities.

Who are those people that contribute to your organization? Do they feel safe and supported? Do their answers change based on who is asking? Surveys allow you to turn inclusion and diversity and inclusion from principles into action.

Here is why running a diversity and inclusion survey is essential.

  • You get to listen to the experiences of people and whether it varies for different groups
  • Identify groups/individuals who feel less included. And if that’s the case, then why
  • Comprehend how well you can implement your initiatives 
  • Measure your results against the set benchmarks
  • Attain compelling evidence to propel change

The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Diversity and Inclusion Survey

The following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of diversity and inclusion surveys.

The Advantages

  • Diverse management increases revenue by 19%.
  • Diversity and inclusion surveys create a safe avenue and space for employees to share their feedback about the company culture, encouraging employees to perform better
  • More opportunities for a forward-thinking and innovative culture
  • Companies enjoy 41% higher revenue when they conduct diversity and inclusion surveys and make improvements to the culture
  • Organizations that promote diversity and inclusion surveys are more creative, engaged, and successful

The Disadvantages

  • The survey takes some time to implement
  • Conducting the survey is not enough; companies need to take the employees’ feedback as well
  • Some questions might paint a negative picture even if the sentiments behind them are not bad
  • Creating and analyzing surveys takes time and money
  • Incorrect interpretations of results

How to Conduct a Diversity and Inclusion Survey 

Conducting a diversity and inclusion survey may reveal challenges that alert businesses of any discrimination beforehand, helping companies take appropriate action and set policies, as needed, to address concerns and issues identified in the survey results. 

However, to do so, it is essential to conduct D&I surveys in a proper way to get accurate results.

Here is how you can conduct a diversity and inclusion survey effectively.

Step 1. Understand the Scope and Purpose of the Study

Before you begin to structure your survey, you need to have a straightforward research question to define what answers you’re looking for and what goals you expect to achieve. Then, based on your main question, you’ll be better able to determine who you need to target in the survey.

Do you want to see if your policies and set standards are adequate, or are you trying to figure out diversity and inclusion-related prominent issues?

Understanding the scope and purpose of your survey improves the quality of deductions. Make a list of the issues and questions in your research and prioritize it.

Step 2. Involve the Relevant Team

Once you fully understand the scope and purpose of your surveys, it is essential to communicate and create a team that recognizes its importance to ensure they prioritize it.

Give your team a presentation to describe the importance and meanings of inclusion and diversity. Ensure that there is room for discussion, concerns, and questions. Make them feel heard, involved, and valued in the process.

Step 3. Set Up a Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce

It is imperative to set up a small diversity and inclusion task force for your surveys — a group of employees that come together routinely to talk about the latest developments as in what is working and what is not going well. 

Step 4. Deploy the Surveys 

Before sending out and distributing surveys, create a clear roadmap for when, where, and with whom you’ll conduct the study. Determine the number of responses you'll need beforehand, as part of your survey response rate and how you’ll access and analyze the sample population.

When you create a robust research plan to get answers to your research questions, you will be satisfied

and confident about sending out the survey according to your preferred method of choice – online, in-person, or by mail.

Step 5. Measure the Results

No matter which method you choose to analyze your diversity and inclusion survey results, it is vital to process the information accurately. You can do this by leveraging software that helps you sort the responses according to specific requirements. 

You should refine the information by eliminating all the incorrect and incomplete responses. For instance, if you ask open-ended questions, it is essential to interpret the reactions by allotting labels to each respondent’s answers and structuring them into themes or categories. 

You can also leverage some qualitative methods and approaches, like thematic analysis, more suitable to analyze interviews. Typically, you can conduct statistical analysis leveraging programs such as SPSS. The same set of survey data can be subject to many pieces of research.

Diversity and Inclusion Survey Questions – Tips and Examples

To get the most out of your diversity and inclusion survey, you must ask the right questions from the right audience. Give you people the opportunity to share their observations and experiences with a combination of questions leveraging the Likert scale to measure opinion and satisfaction and opinion. 

Using the following questions for understanding employees' standpoint on fairness, respect, equity, diversity, and inclusion can help you gauge employee engagement and satisfaction.

  • Does everybody have an equal opportunity to succeed in this company?
  • Does the company leadership support the value of inclusion and diversity?
  • Do all the employees in the company receive fair treatment?
  • Does the company have a supportive environment for open and free expression of opinion, ideas, and beliefs?
  • Do you feel empowered to make work-related decisions?
  • Do you relate to any leaders in the organization?
  • Does the senior leadership team reflect a diverse organizational outlook?
  • Does your manager encourage all the employees to share different ideas, speak up, and be vocal about diversity and inclusion issues?
  • Does your company value diverse ideas and opinions?
  • Does your firm give raises, appraisals, and promotions equally and fairly to all employees?
  • How can we ensure all the team members feel valued and heard? 
  • How can you improve inclusion and diversity in the company? 

Measuring Diversity and Inclusion Using Survey Data

For some companies, mounting diverse and inclusive initiatives may seem like a multi-faceted endeavor. However, it is vital to pay attention to this aspect to ensure a healthy and motivating workplace for all employees alike.

Diversion and inclusion surveys are paramount to a company’s overall strategy. It helps reveal representation and unfairness gaps within your organization. 

Tailored surveys help organizations effectively reach their diversity and inclusion goals by garnering employee feedback and benchmarking the current status.

Tailored employee feedback surveys help organizations effectively reach their diversity and inclusion goals. Most importantly, they enable you to take a more meaningful approach to cultivate a more diversified culture.  

Along with this, you can conduct employee recognition surveys that boost employee morale, in turn, helping you scale your business.

With the help of a professional survey platform, it becomes easier to distribute the surveys to your employees. Moreover, by using an inclusive design for such research purposes, you can make your employees feel visible. Launch your survey today!