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Inclusive Marketing

Diversity, equity, and inclusion usually refer to the initiatives rolled out by Human Resources or a chosen DEI department. A majority of the time, these initiatives focus on the internal workings of a company - creating an inclusive environment, increasing representation, etc.

On the other hand, “inclusive marketing” focuses on the external - making sure the advertising, marketing materials, and other communications all reflect the diversity of your consumer base. It’s important to realize that all these work together, and the internal aspects of DEI need to be there to create truly inclusive marketing.

It’s no secret that the global marketplace is getting more and more diverse each year. By using inclusive marketing, you are able to reach as many potential customers as possible. By incorporating DEI principles into your marketing strategy, you speak to your customers in a more meaningful way.

The Basics

Creating an inclusive marketing strategy takes time. You have to understand who your customers really are. What are your target audience’s demographics? Psychographics? Understanding your customers helps you better tailor your marketing strategy to their needs and wants.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. When selecting photos for your marketing efforts, make sure that you are showing a wide range of people. 64% of people are more likely to consider purchasing a product after seeing an ad that they consider to be diverse and inclusive¹.

Rather than explaining what you should do to create inclusive marketing material, let’s take a look at some examples of companies that got it right.

Companies Who Got It Right

Etsy: For the holidays, Etsy released multiple advertisements as part of their “Gift Like You Mean It” campaign. Some of the ads touched on having a hard-to-pronounce or spell name and feelings of being excluded because of that. One of the best examples of inclusive marketing for their campaign was of a sex-same couple celebrating the holidays for the first time. Not only did it show diversity and inclusion, but it did so in a way that made the situation relatable for everyone.

Nike: Nike is notorious for being an inclusive company. One of their ads that aired early this year, “The Toughest Athletes,” showed women and mothers training and exercising. It included actual athletes such as Serena Williams and also “normal” people of all ages, ethnicities, etc. A simple yet impactful ad.

Savage x Fenty: This is probably one of the most well-known examples of inclusive marketing. The Savage x Fenty fashion show showcased models of all different races, body types, and genders.

The biggest takeaway from these ads should be that you can tell universal stories while also being inclusive. Challenge assumptions and stereotypes, and make sure that your ads are reflective of your diverse audience.

If you need help aligning your brand strategy with your DEI efforts, call FIG Strategy & Consulting at 1-800-834-3936.

¹Zalis, Shelley. “Perceptions on Diversity & Inclusion - Think with Google.” Google, Google, Nov. 2019,


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