Recently, DEI leader and RPG partner, The Diversity Movement, hosted a webinar, “Tackling Multicultural Marketing Like a Pro.” The conversation featured Walk West’s Lizzie Newton and Sharon Delaney McCloud, The Diversity Movement’s Shelley Willingham, and Racepoint Global president, Bob Osmond. The one-hour session was filled with great insight. Below are three things brands should consider when evaluating their marketing initiatives through a multicultural lens.

Beyond Box Checking

When creating a marketing campaign, companies need to practice inclusion, not tokenism. It’s easy for companies to accomplish the bare minimum to check a box and move on. Brands need to be more authentic about inclusion and recognize that multicultural marketing is a process that has to be addressed from within—from product design to delivery to market to messaging. Appearing more diverse and inclusive is a start. Being a multicultural marketer requires fundamental work.

Accountability: Own Your Mistakes

Even with extensive research and multiple rounds of reviews, brands still stub their toes in attempting multicultural marketing. Tone-deaf choices can slip through the cracks during a campaign launch. Brands need to make corrections and admit their mistakes. During this era when digital marketing prevails, brands can’t just delete an ad and pretend it didn’t happen. Instead, brands must own up to their mistakes and take active steps to do better in the future.

Change Starts From Within

It’s important that the communities brands seek to serve and to connect with are reflected within the company – particularly within the marketing team. If a creative team doesn’t have someone that looks like the target demographic, how can that community’s story accurately be told? Instead of guessing, companies should widen their circle and engage third-party creative firms or focus groups that better represent their target audience.

In addition to thinking outside-in about their customer needs and society overall, companies need also to practice an inside-out approach, grounded in self-examination. Leadership teams need clearly to communicate to their employees what they stand for as a brand, how they want to be represented in the market and make sure that their employees recognize these standards and hold them accountable. Otherwise, these companies will continue to launch marketing campaigns with messaging disconnects rather than promoting authentic multicultural inclusion.

Watch the full webinar here.

About the Author

Emilie Kemp

Emilie has worked in the B2B and B2C technology spaces for over two years. She assists with media and analyst relations, reporting and administrative work.