With February celebrating Black History Month followed by March as Women’s History Month, marketers have been busy to grab our attention with compelling content.
Google released an amazing Black History TV and digital ad, and similar to last year, Target created a special section of African-American apparel, literature and other pieces to celebrate the month. Similarly, Apple among a number of brands released special content for International Women’s Day in March.
This had me thinking for the past few weeks, are marketers staying authentic to themselves? Are they staying true to their target audience?
This is not to say that I believe these spots shouldn’t have been produced. I loved the Apple ad featuring so many diverse women creating on their Macbook or iPad. But why only that day or that specific timeframe?
Inclusive marketing has become more and more important in recent years as brands try to appeal to more consumers. This is especially true when it comes to one of several brands biggest targets – millennials.
Almost three-quarters of millennials are more likely to choose a brand showcasing a commitment to diversity and inclusion through its promotions and offers, according to the 2018 Accenture Holiday Shopping survey.
This also goes hand in hand with more brands beginning to take a stand in social issues (i.e. Nike and Colin Kapernick).
There are some brands doing it right, however.
Let’s return to my previous example of Target. Although their Black History Month section pops up in February and disappears March 1, they’ve begun to be more diverse in the types of products sold to customers, such as vendors as well as products for diverse audiences such as hair care.
In fact, the store has faced some harsh backlash over a recent ad featuring a black-owned business “Honey Pot” products. The brand stood behind the ad and the product and has continued to see sales grow.
In terms of inclusivity, brands should be cognizant of paying attention to these types of content and stories more than once a year and engaging with their diverse audiences throughout the year.
But at least we’re having the conversation of doing more – and not less.