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Navigating DEI in a Consumer-Conscious Market

The past two years have challenged brands and consumers to focus on what matters most, and diversity, equity, and inclusion are undeniable focal points. As consumers hold organizations to a higher standard for DEI efforts, brands need to effect change inside and out to be competitive. From company culture to products and services, what your brand puts into the world matters.

To make an impact, authenticity needs to be at the heart of your actions. Here are some tips for implementing DEI inside and out.

Inside: What are the benefits of a diverse workforce?

Workplace diversity is linked to sales revenue. Put simply, opening employment opportunities to people from all walks of life is good for business. There’s no reason to fit your talent source into a predetermined box. Diverse teams often encourage creativity, innovation, and outside-the-box thinking.

It gets better. Companies that practice ethnic diversity outperform their competitors by 30%. When your workforce reflects the diversity of real consumers, you’ll recruit top talent with exciting new perspectives on how to serve each customer's unique needs. Sixty-seven percent of workers consider diversity to be an important factor in choosing where to work. In today's job search, inclusive and safe work environments are expected by prospective employees.

DEI is just as important for employees as it is for consumers. Every employee is different and needs sufficient support to do their job well. Whether it's virtual work, competitive pay, racial equity, or accessibility, it pays to be accommodating.

Enter the perception gap. Ninety-eight percent of companies think they’re inclusive, while only 80% of employees actually feel included. Companies that close the perception gap and have inclusive and supportive cultures could see a 30% increase in profit.

Outside: Why should your brand offer inclusive services?

Consumers, especially those from Gen Z, expect media to reflect the authentic diversity of daily life. Start a multicultural marketing campaign strategy to broaden your reach. It’s important to remember that diversity is reality and that your customer base is full of unique cultures, languages, and habits. Embracing representation means embracing new customers.

Companies with actionable DEI are 70% more likely to capture a new market. So, if you’re looking to grow, put your money where your mouth is. Avoid performative allyship by increasing spending with minority businesses and tailoring your services to be inclusive of different backgrounds and identities. You’ll draw in a greater customer base.

Before conversion can happen, customers must interact with your ads. DEI generates clicks, as 64% of consumers act after seeing an inclusive ad. Consumers prefer to see diverse representation in advertising.

Leading brands have already taken steps towards effecting systemic change. Follow their lead by pledging to:

·       Spend with diverse suppliers, such as Black-owned businesses (Meta).

·       Spend with minority-owned media companies (Coca-Cola).

·       Change your product or service to be more inclusive, i.e., sizes, colors, or abilities (Aerie).

·       Increase media spend among historically excluded groups (Twitter).

Fulfilling the consumer demand for DEI means establishing honest and authentic structures, inside and out. Fortunately, effective DEI practices are beneficial for the brand, the workforce, and the customers. If your brand is looking to grow, align your objectives with your target audience and prioritize an effective and authentic DEI initiative. Representation is a two-way street.

If you’d like to learn more about DEI’s role in media, download our Q1 Media Insights Report.