Growing a Diverse Audience

Take a moment to think about how you approach your marketing efforts. Are you possibly leaving out marginalized or underrepresented audiences?

During this month’s luncheon, Jeff Selby discussed the topic of growing a diverse audience. Jeff is the Communications Coordinator for The City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights. He also owns AIW Creative.March Luncheon Attendees

Understand implicit bias

Implicit bias is the process of associating stereotypes or attitudes towards categories of people without conscious awareness. Interested in learning more about implicit bias? Set aside a moment to take the Harvard Implicit Bias Test. It could be quite eye opening!

Below are a couple examples of brands that didn’t consider implicit bias when developing an advertisement. By overlooking implicit bias, they played into stereotypes that are associated with a specific race or culture.

Pop Chips Ad

Intel Ad

It’s important to avoid making such blunders as the ads above. You can do so by developing an equity lens and being inclusive with your marketing efforts.

Develop an equity lens

An equity lens is a list of questions before you perform a new initiative or task. When putting together a new marketing campaign, ask yourself the following:

  • How is implicit bias impacting how I think about this issue?
  • How will this issue impact communities of color?
  • How will this issue impact people with disabilities?
  • Is there an opportunity to reduce disparities?

Be inclusive with your marketing efforts

  • Start with a social justice frame of mind – equity should not be an afterthought.
  • Respect your audience. They can spot inauthenticity from a mile away.
  • Does your staff resemble your audience?

Do your homework

Make it a point to know your changing community and build relationships with key leaders and community organizations. It’s also important to build relationships with minority-owned media outlets.

Remember that it’s easy to miss something you’re not looking for. By understanding implicit bias and developing an equity lens, we can avoid leaving out segments of potential customers and clients. We can also be more inclusive marketers and discover new audiences.

A big thank you to Jeff Selby for his thought-provoking insights—be sure to follow him on Twitter. Shout out to Cinema 21 for supporting AMA PDX and donating free movie passes for luncheon attendees!

We hope to see you at our next event. Learn more here.

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