Inclusive marketing thrives with diversity

This week’s key takeaways:

  • Designing an inclusive marketing campaign is more successful when it is developed by diverse marketing teams.
  • Social media promotion doesn’t have to stay online. Using traditional marketing methods to bring awareness to digital can boost exposure.
  • The majority of word-of-mouth is still talking place off-line, despite Yelp and other online recommendation platforms. It’s important for companies to focus on driving these face-to-face consumer conversations.

Adidas boosts its influencer marketing strategy with offline elements

Before 2004, influencer marketing referred solely to traditional celebrities. As the Internet democratized the voice of the consumer, online personalities started to grow large followings. People began looking up to these social media influencers, trusting their taste and recommendations related to products and services. Social media word-of-mouth proved that engaging online influencers could be a legitimate marketing tool.

Approximately 40% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing strategies. This growing investment shows that influencers are key in raising awareness, increasing brand loyalty, and driving sales. Adidas recently went all in on influencers, even taking influencer marketing offline with billboards that featured Instagram handles of their most prominent influencers. The incorporation of traditional marketing was so successful that Adidas plans to expand its reach with new cities added over the summer, including Miami and Chicago.

Inclusive marketing strategies using art and technology

Using technology to improve the way we see art

While art covers a wide breadth of media, the conventional connotation surrounding traditional artistic expression is one that is tangible. Paint, watercolor, jewelry, sculpture…these media are timeless, existing for thousands of years. And while art certainly exists in the digital world, we often separate traditional methods from our newly-discovered digital forms of artistic expression.

But no longer. Organizations are beginning to use technology, such as augmented reality, to help people learn about and interact with traditional art forms in a richer way. How so? As this Forbes article explains, “One of the examples in which (AR) has already changed the gallery-visitor’s experience is that instead of the enormous and outdated audio guides upon which galleries have traditionally relied – and which many still cling on to – visitors can now navigate multi-sensory personalized experiences on their own mobile devices.” Interested? Read on.

How to drive offline conversations between your customers

Social proof is a powerful element to drive revenue for any brand. In fact, according to a recent survey cited in this Forbes article, “consumer conversations impact 19% of sales — or between $7 billion and $10 billion in revenue.” Driving word-of-mouth marketing is an important part of encouraging brand growth and increasing sales.

And when it comes to modern word-of-mouth, we often credit social media as the catalyst for most of these important consumer conversations. Yet, according to the same article, “Offline or face-to-face discussions are responsible for a little more than half of this impact, while social media accounts for slightly less.” People are still having face-to-face conversations, and they are more important than what they are saying online. So how can your company encourage more of these positive in-person interactions? Beauty brand Maybelline has recently seen success in this arena as well as with inclusive marketing, as Forbes lists lessons we can learn from the brand.

Inclusive marketing campaigns

Prioritizing inclusive marketing pays off

To expand their audiences, many brands are putting a focus on inclusive marketing and diversity, both among consumers and their internal staff. Research shows that more diverse creative teams make better marketing decisions nearly 90% of the time and create 30% higher revenue per employee than their counterparts. Inclusion often results in increased empathy when making campaign decisions, which directly impacts audience loyalty to a brand.

CoverGirl has found success in adopting an inclusive marketing approach. They are focusing on the diverse skin needs for people from multiple cultures and backgrounds. Their newest campaign even includes short films featuring new CoverGirl Issa Rae and a plethora of diverse women represented through the brand’s many shades of lipstick and foundation. The brand has also appointed women to lead the campaign, which has helped the “everywoman” concept feel even more authentic.

Netflix and Lyft promote GLOW on muscle beach with 80s-themed activation

In a 2016 marketing report, Event Track found that “98% of users feel more inclined to purchase after attending a (brand) activation.” The enormous impact of experiential marketing on driving sales means companies are working hard to create a high-impact experience. Often the best activations are compelling, while disrupting consumers’ natural environment and causing them to take notice. With consumers’ average attention span at only 6 seconds, experiential marketing campaigns must be instantly alluring.

One great example of a head-turning brand activation occurred recently, as Netflix and Lyft teamed up to create a mobile experience to promote the new Netflix series GLOW. An acronym for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, the show dramatizes the history of the women’s wrestling league. The activation took place in LA at muscle beach, where weightlifters and body builders abound, and featured a photo booth, Reebok pop-up, and trading cards. Cast members were on site to pose for photos while trainers offered attendees 80s-themed workouts on the beach.

Vegan sandwich

Going vegan: a disruption of food and beverage

If you’ve noticed colleagues or friends moving toward plant-based diets, it likely isn’t a coincidence or fad. As consumers have better information about the impact of their food choices, the global food market has seen a trend toward vegan/non-dairy/healthier food options. In fact, there’s been a 600% increase in American consumers identifying as vegans in the past three years alone. The cultural shift has even lead Walmart to ask for more plant-based products, citing that 36% of consumers buy plant-based ‘meats’ and 58% are drinking non-dairy ‘milks’.

This bigger push for healthy options and a sustainable brand approach is urging many food companies to take note and, more importantly, act. Paris-based dairy manufacturer Danone is introducing milk-free options to its yogurt brands, such as Activia and Actimel. The company’s North America division is investing up to $60 million to upgrade its flagship facility in Virginia to expand production of the Silk vegan brand. And while Danone’s competitor Chobani has not made such moves yet, it recently invested in vegan ice cream, demonstrating the industry-wide shift.

Brands can learn from festivals’ success in using tech to elevate consumer experience

Brand activation is a surefire way to create sustainable emotional connections with consumers. In fact, Event Track also reported that 70% of new users become loyal consumers after an experiential marketing event. Brand activation generates sales with such a high success rate that nearly 80% of marketers trust it to expand their audience.

Experiential marketing has increased in almost every industry and has become a mainstay at festivals across the world. Festivals events draw 32 million Americans to cities across the US, and are using technology and other methods to improve the customer experience. Brands and event marketers alike can learn from their success. For example, wristband ticketing is creating advanced user experiences with the use of RFID-technology. This tech allows attendees to not only enter the festival but participate in activities and purchase food and merchandise in an easy and secure way. This has provided a great opportunity in particular for financial brands, who have seen “a 100% adoption rate for those who register.”