In a Twitter chat held on June 12, 2017, DIY Marketers and Tara Clapper (@irishtara) of Express Writers (@ExpWriters) discussed diversity and marketing. In particular, they discussed how to communicate in order to attract and connect with a diverse audience. (The replay is here: “Writing for Diversity: How to Attract & Connect with a Diverse Audience”)
The Twitter chat offered a lot of helpful insight about communicating with diverse audiences including:
- Recruiting a team that looks like your audience
- Being open to feedback and understanding where there’s room for improvement
- Being aware that diversity involves more language. It includes images as well
This article will go a little touch on a few more topics that expand on what was discussed in that EPIC Twitter chat meeting.
Here are some additional key pointers to keep in mind
- Your audience is bigger than market research As marketers and business owners, we do a lot of market research to identify the target market. The target market represents the group (or groups) of people that marketers will bring their biggest return on investment.This is important, but what’s equally important is to recognize the subtle bias in this approach. By focusing exclusively on your target market, you could be potentially missing out on new markets and new ways to approach your current market.
- Expand your definition of “diversity”. The concept of “diverse audiences” is often categorized into specific descriptions of people: men vs women, young vs old, etc. These categorizations are good for data analysis but they do not reflect reality. In truth, a person who fits into one category ( a young woman from the Midwest) may have more in common older than her from another country. As a result, she may use a product or service in a way that reflects that rather than what you would expect. If you don’t take the time to look outside the demographics, you won’t be able to see this.
- Be consistent internally and externally. One of the biggest hurdles to diversity is action. One of the key obstacles to action is culture. As a business owner, you have to do more than pay lip service to diversity, you have to back it up with action. This means facilitating inclusive language inside your business, not just outside. It also means not tolerating language that isn’t inclusive.
- Become aware of the subtle message your marketing communications send. As the world grows in complexity and diversity, businesses have to do a better job of understanding how bias, whether intentional or unintentional, influences your marketing. The more complex our world gets, the easier it gets for the intent of our messages to get misinterpreted. That’s why it’s important for everyone in your business to get training on identifying bias and strategies for addressing bias. (Some of the below resources might help.)
- Listen and learn. Writing for a diverse audience can be a very difficult subject for some people. It’s understandable because there are plenty of areas where things can go wrong, from using the wrong word in a different language to offending thousands (maybe more) with one commercial within seconds. This shouldn’t deter you from diving deeper into diversity. Learning to communicate with a diverse audience is a learning process and some mistakes will be made. At the end of the day it is worth it. As Tianna Winters pointed out during the chat:
At the end of the day, your job as a marketer is to communicate to a potential customer why your product or service is a perfect fit for their needs or wants. The best way to do that is by being open and flexible in your marketing communication. Learn who your audience and stay engaged with that audience. As you learn, adapt and evolve your marketing with that audience.
Amy Nowacoski had probably the best response on this. She said the following: .
Books that you might want to check out for additional information”
Writing Strategies: Reaching Diverse Audiences (Qualitative Research Methods)