Posted: 15 Dec 2020 Contributor: Hannah OBrien
Diversity and Inclusion in Marketing: Learn About Consumer Behavior Trends in 2022
Back in 2014, Coca-Cola created an updated campaign of the 1980’s version, “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke.” The brand once again setting itself apart from the usual prominently white commercial’s developed in the industry, Coca-Cola took the time to create an extremely successful inclusion and diversity campaign titled, “Share A Coke”. Through beverage labeling, the brand printed individual names on each bottle inspired by names from around the world.
This campaign’s reach traveled across the globe with consumers heading to social media to post photos of people either finding their name on a bottle or giving a bottle to a friend with their name on it.
Fast forward to 2022, and the industry still faces the challenges, and it’s up to brands to drive a positive change. While we have seen many brands wok on diversifying the marketing strategy, we’re a long way from where we should be – and consumers are noticing this. So much so that 70% of the Gen Z audience will trust a brand more if their marketing efforts are of a diverse nature.
This should give you an idea of just how important diversity and inclusion in marketing is. But in case you need more information, this post will cover the marketing standards adapting and the shifting behavior in response.
Why is Diversity Important In Marketing?
Not all consumers fit one specific profile, which is why your marketing strategies need to reflect this. While marketers may have a particular target audience in mind, this should not disclude any race, ethnicity, age group, gender, or any other characteristic that sets people apart. What may confuse some businesses is that this does not mean marketers aren’t allowed to have a defined target audience.
Just because a brand is targeting a specific group of people does not mean any person outside of the desired audience can’t be interested in a company’s products or services.
Diversity is even more important in the wake of the ongoing pandemic that has created uncertainty for consumers. Simple necessities are now a customers main priority as is looking for a sense of belonging and trust from the brands they’re shopping with. With your own company needing to take this into consideration, there are many consumer trends in 2022 that can be followed to better include all people in a welcoming, safe environment.
Trends and Statistics On Consumer Behavior
At the end of the day, the aim of any marketing campaign is to appeal to the end users. This means that it needs to be diverse and inclusive, showing that the brand is about more than just a select few. It’s about building a community.
On that note, let’s take a look at a few consumer trends that need to be considered for your next campaign:
- Over half of all consumers have stopped supporting brands that lacked LGBTQ representation in their content
- Consumers expect to see diversity and inclusion in marketing – a whopping 71% to be exact
- Almost 70% of black consumers will support a brand if they promote diversity and inclusion
- For consistency, your team and consumers need to reflect your market and demographic, the societal and cultural links are what drive customer support
Inclusivity in Metaverse
When it comes to the impending metaverse boom, there are a few things brands need to consider when it comes to building these virtual worlds. This includes three things: prioritize inclusiveness, learn basic innovation, and embrace cooperation.
1. Inclusiveness from the beginning
We need to make sure that inclusiveness is front and center and not an impending nightmare in the metaverse.
Greater inclusion is a natural advantage in virtual environments where a person's location, gender, physical characteristics, or personal circumstances are less important than his or her ideas.
2. Basic initiatives
One way to ensure that the virtual environment is fully representative of the people who use it is to embark on the existing space of those who have been innovating from the beginning. Such basic initiatives can be learned and highlighted to the needs of those who are vulnerable to marginalization as the metaverse grows.
3. Collaborate to create a metaverse
No society, country or culture can build an honest and inclusive metaverse. The global IT community therefore needs to unite with the communities it serves to support open, secure, and reliable virtual environments. We now have the opportunity to reflect on and build the kind of metaverse we want, based on extensive experience and research.
5 Future Trends in Marketing
First things first, your brand will need to understand the question: what is the difference between inclusivity and diversity? Defined by ADP’s chief diversity and social responsibility officer Rita Mitjans, “Diversity is the ‘what’; inclusion is the ‘how’”. This means that inclusivity is defined by brands creating an environment where their content reflects the diverse identity that a company is serving, while diversity marketing is the actual makeup of the group being represented.
When your brand first goes about creating a diversity and inclusion strategy, your company should define its audience and the people that make up the group, followed by creating a voice for this specific group of people. This method is becoming highly successful amongst consumers and below is a compiled list of consumer behavior trends to look out for in 2022 that help to facilitate this:
1. Empathizing: Consumers are looking for brands that relate to their values and beliefs. Companies that empathize with their target audience are likely to develop loyal customers and potentially generate more conversions.
Back-end management restaurant assistant Resy took to an email campaign to help consumers empathize with their restaurant clientele. The email included a statement about all NYC restaurants suffering due to the pandemic and how Resy was setting up a delivery service to help keep these businesses alive. This example can be considered a good use of inclusivity and diversity as Resy defined its clientele clearly and used their platform to extend their clientele’s voice to the intended audience.
2. Value Spending: The pandemic has brought on new behaviors when it comes to consumers deciding whether or not purchases will be valuable to them. In 2022, brands will need to emphasize this value and learn how to persuade consumers regarding the importance of their products.
An example of this was when luxury clothing brand Burberry put out a statement of how they were donating masks and gowns to healthcare workers during the Coronavirus.
Burberry reaching out to their audience, illustrating that they are helping others during the pandemic brings value to the brand itself. Being compassionate to the crisis at hand helps consumers debating whether to buy from the brand due to the feeling of helping towards a cause.
3. Inclusion: A large trend growing in popularity is companies including their audience in their content. Consumers are looking to build relationships, so it’s important for businesses to find engaging ways to communicate and include their audience in their marketing strategies.
Makeup brand Glossier has worked at incorporating a diverse range of their consumers into their Instagram posts. Scrolling through Glossier’s feed, consumers are likely to stumble on a post with a woman that not only resembles herself, but shows how Glossier’s makeup is made for everyone.
4. Personalization: People are looking for personalized experiences, like the aforementioned Coke bottle, while they are shopping and this trend will continue to grow with consumers’ needs. Cosmetics company Sephora recently started offering quizzes to their customers with personalized results, meaning that no matter what someone’s skin type could possibly be, Sephora would produce a customized solution for any person that wanted it.
5. Trust In Others: Any consumer with an online presence is likely to research products, read reviews, and look up to influencers that may have an opinion on a brand. Companies putting part of their budget into influencer marketing is likely to become more prevalent in 2022 as this market becomes more important.
Brands who are collaborating with a diverse range of influencers will help themselves reach an extended group of consumers, who already trust the messenger. People are looking to influencers as reliable sources of information as they are becoming increasingly untrusting of companies, and conventional methods of advertising.
As 2022 approaches, businesses will be studying consumer behavior closely to provide consumers with the best possible shopping experience. People are looking for a more “human” touch when it comes to shopping online, also a concept only set to keep growing, and businesses will need to evolve and better create a voice for themselves, as well as emphasize the need for diversity and inclusive marketing methods. It will be the companies that adapt and define their audience, who create a voice that represents their consumers that will be the ones leading industries in the years to come.