Why lack of diversity is damaging

Why lack of diversity is damaging

Today’s customers are savvy. They’re not afraid to speak out or fight for what they believe in. They’re installing ad blockers, creating their own brands, establishing themselves as influencers and becoming advocates for diversity, equality and a world without prejudice.

Ultimately, they’re smart and they know what they want. And if agencies don’t acknowledge this shift, there’s a risk that their advertising campaigns will be rejected all together.

Responding to customer nous

Naturally, many brands are evolving to meet these self-assured customers. They’re turning marketing into a service, taking steps to become more human and building ‘reciprocal relationships’ that keep customers engaged.

What does this look like? Think about a relationship you have – whether it’s with a friend or other half. You ultimately want to build trust, loyalty and love, right? Well, that’s exactly what brands are trying to do.

However, a problem there lies: if brands are to become more ‘real’, friendly, human-like (and be loved, followed and trusted in the process), they’ll have to prepare to be judged, just like people are, for the values that they portray.

An increased pressure on brands

In the wake of this evolving customer-marketer relationship, there’s increased pressure on brands, and their advertising campaigns, to take a stance on important issues – like diversity. If they don’t, they’ll end up communicating in a way that doesn’t align with people’s core values – leading to dissatisfaction, low loyalty levels and churn.

Missing the diversity mark

You don’t have to search too far to find brands that are falling short in terms of ‘getting the customer’. Every day, campaigns are thrown at us that contain an inaccurate representation of the Australian population (and it’s not always as overt as all-white, all-male talent).

These brands are blindly leaping in the wrong direction – missing their targets in terms of race, age, beliefs and socioeconomics.

Agencies need to adapt to Australia’s changing demographic footprint in order to remain relevant and keep savvy customers wanting more.

What can agencies do to resonate?

  1. Create a diverse environment

This is a sure-fire way to produce progressive, fresh work. Research has shown that diverse teams lead to more innovation, creativity and productivity in the workplace. Check the diversity within your own team and put together a diversity plan for hiring fresh creative talent.

  1. Weave diversity into creative strategy

Strategy is the beating heart of creative campaigns. If diversity is knitted in and thought through at this level, then the creative work that follows will be more progressive.

  1. Research your client’s customers

Who are they? What are they saying? What do they live by? Don’t just tick a campaign diversity box – listen to them and respond to their beliefs. This, in return, will strengthen your creative campaigns and create a reciprocal relationship between customer and brand.

 

Justine Murphy is the founder and director of boutique creative recruitment agency Beckon. You can visit her website,  follow Beckon or contact Justine directly at:Justine@beckon.net.au