It is very common for marketers to use images as a means of enhancing their advertising programs. In the right situation, this can be an effective tactic for connecting the consumer to the product or service, and compelling them to actually go further in the purchasing process. Effectiveness aside, diversity is one of the most important factors that needs to be considered when selecting images for advertising campaigns.
Making Assumptions Can Be Costly
Advertising is no longer confined to traditional channels like print, radio, and TV. Businesses of all sizes can pay for space online and market their products or services to a global audience. However, it is vital to understand that different cultures respond to advertising in different ways.
For instance, while recent data from comScore shows that Hispanics respond better to online ads than any other ethnicity in the United States, there is other research suggesting that these consumers may be more receptive to search and social-driven initiatives specifically.
While taking diversity into account is essential when it comes to images and advertising, one has to be careful not to fall into the trap of stereotyping. In fact, it is one of the biggest mistakes a marketer can ever make. For example, using an image in an advertisement that assumes Asians or Hispanics feel a certain way about a product could actually alienate potential customers who are members of those particular groups. When you make assumptions, you run the risk of offending, and this is perhaps the fastest way to ground your marketing efforts before they ever really take flight.
Where incorporating images into advertising is concerned, the importance of diversity goes beyond nationality and culture. Gender needs to be taken into account as well. As an example, a company selling products for men may think that using images featuring brown, black, or other perceived masculine colors may help an ad appeal to potential customers, but that may not be the case if it is women who are doing the buying. In a case such as this, the safest bet may be to takeaneutral approach and use colors that are more likely to appeal to both genders, opposed to one or the other. Above all, the main takeaway here is that it pays to know your target audience.
Different Folks, Different Strokes
Today’s digitally connected global world is more diverse than ever. Target audiences are now made up of a broad mix of ethnic groups and cultures. And while they consist of individuals who have their own personal desires, many of those individuals retain the identities and interests native to their background. Whether it is images, video, or the actual message itself, marketers must lean how to execute their advertising strategies in a way that aligns with the specific audience they are targeting. With the competition literally stationed just a click way, the importance of diversity can no longer be overlooked.