If you’re anything like us, you’ve spent the last few weeks glued to the news in awe of the brave souls standing up for justice all over the world. We’ve been quietly listening, taking stock, and most importantly, considering how to be an ally. As we learn more, and our eyes are opened, we cannot begin to truly understand the experience of being subjected to systemic racism, but at Flinnwest we unequivocally condemn discrimination of any kind.
Our business is marketing, and successful marketing is all about embracing change. We wholeheartedly accept the challenge and stand with communities across our nation to inspire others to take action, starting with our small corner of the world.
At Flinnwest we create digital marketing solutions. Since inequality exists (even—and sometimes especially—in advertising), our goal is to focus our efforts on changing the digital marketing sphere, helping others to be diverse, and more inclusive in their campaigns moving forward.
IT STARTS WITH YOU!
If you’re a business owner looking to start a marketing campaign, do some preliminary research into the importance of diverse marketing. Read, listen, watch, and learn. Ask questions; there’s no such thing as a stupid one. After all, we don’t all have the same life experience. When you set out to market your business, be mindful of diversity and inclusion (no, they don’t mean the same thing).
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Who is your target audience? What are their needs? Do some market research, employ focus groups, and/or ask community members how you may better reach them. When directing your campaign at a specific community, ensure they’re well-represented. Don’t make assumptions.
CONSIDER YOUR IMAGERY
Is your imagery diverse and inclusive? People of colour are often underrepresented in marketing campaigns, so make sure you’re paying attention (or asking for a second opinion). At Flinnwest we’re taking a second look at our marketing campaigns, as well as those of our clients. We’re paying attention and vow to continue to do so to champion a more diverse online experience.
USE INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE
Words are powerful. According to the University of Victoria, “Inclusive communication that respects and includes all communities is free from sexist, racist and other discriminatory language. It does not inadvertently exclude groups and it avoids stereotypes, loaded words and patronizing descriptors.” Use your words wisely.
ASK FOR GUIDANCE
Diversity and inclusion in marketing are vital. So if you’re not sure where to start, conduct some research, or hire an expert to come in and suggest changes. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
THIS IS NOT THE END, BUT THE BEGINNING
Utilize the knowledge gained from this movement. Being more inclusive in your marketing efforts will not go unnoticed!. People want to see inclusive ads; they are ready for companies to stand up to racism—in any way they can. At Flinnwest, we pride ourselves on our diversity and the strength of our team, located in offices around the globe. We also recognize that now is our opportunity to take meaningful action, to look inward, both personally and professionally in an effort to fight against racism, however and wherever it exists. We are holding ourselves accountable, and challenge you to do the same.