Diversity in Advertising: Why It Can Benefit Your Business

Written by Nicola Wylie
Last updated October 30, 2023

Promoting diversity in advertising is an essential component of being a successful business in today’s market. If you are not actively showing potential clients, customers, and applicants that you are an inclusive company that cares about diversity and equality, you are missing a huge opportunity. 

The easiest way to show the world anything about your business is by advertising. Running diverse advertising campaigns for new products, services, job vacancies, changes and updates and so on, is a profitable and efficient way to get your diverse message access to many people at one time. 

In this blog, we will discuss why diversity in advertising is so important with individual positive outcomes of the process. We will also discuss why it is so important to get it right in this realm and how to do that.

Why Diversity in Advertising Works

Demonstrating diversity in advertising comes in two parts. Firstly, the adverts themselves show diversity via the people involved. In other words, there is a good mix of races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, backgrounds, and more, within any group shown in your visual adverts. Secondly, in the diversity that is being discussed within the campaign, i.e. the diversity that is within your company and that you want to share with the general public. For diversity in advertising to be successful, both of these components must exist at the same time. 

Effectiveness of Diversity in Advertising

Showing such diversity in advertising is effective for businesses because…

  • It shows potential customers that you care about people who look like them. This encourages empathy and cooperation with potential customers, leading to them engaging with your products or services. 
  • It puts your business in good stead with competitors. Many big businesses have embraced diversity by this point and so not doing so can put you behind. Many customers will choose the diverse option over the non-diverse option. So, so if you are the latter, you may be losing out on valuable business opportunities. 
  • It gives an image of good moral values and solid ethics to the general public. 
  • It encourages diverse people to apply for jobs and opportunities with your company. If diverse people can see themselves reflected in your job adverts and they hear that you care about treating diversity appropriately, they will be more likely to apply to your company and tell others to do the same. This means you will be attracting a variety of skilled workers who you may have missed out on in the past. 
  • If your advert is powerful and impactful, it is more likely to be shared and discussed online. This will increase awareness and visibility around your business and what you are talking about in the advert. 
  • It increases the chance of improved relationships and increased work with other businesses and companies. They will see you as a valuable potential partner with the same values as them.

How Diversity in Advertising Affects Your Business

Overall, diversity in advertising can benefit your business in terms of improved public presence, increased profit, and growing applications. It secures your place in the modern market, boosting your popularity with a wider, more diverse pool of consumers, clients and applicants. For instance, 70% of Gen Z are more likely to trust a brand that shows diversity in their advertising.

Missing out on diversity in advertising, on the flip side, can be a hugely negative force for your business. Not participating in diverse advertising puts you behind your competitors, causing you to miss out on potential opportunities and connections. Forgetting about or not prioritising diversity in this day and age is definitely an employer error. 

However, simply having diverse adverts and advertising campaigns isn’t enough. It is key that this advertising is done correctly. Let’s move on to talking about this important factor in our next section. 

How to Get it Right

It is important that the diversity you portray in advertising is portrayed correctly. There are certain dos and don’ts that you need to follow in order to get the desired effects of diverse advertising. If things aren’t done right, you may create the opposite effect of what you want entirely. 

The Dos

In order to use diversity in advertising to benefit your business, it is key to…

  • Avoid any stereotypes at all costs. If you are including women specifically, for example, make sure their inclusion isn’t patronising or relevant to any stereotype such as cleaning, home-making, or physical weakness. There is no benefit in running a diversity campaign, including women, but showing them to be the coffee-makers of the company. This is reductive and won’t provide the results you want. 
  • Consult diverse minds. If you are preparing a diverse advertising campaign, you need to meet with and listen to diverse people. Include as many people as you can from different genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, and so on, as you can. This will ensure that no offensive or stereotypical material slips past and that the content produced is of the highest quality possible. 
  • Follow the advertising with genuine in-company diversity. There is no point in running an excellent diversity campaign in advertising if your company itself is not genuinely diverse, inclusive, and equal. This would be incongruent and is bad practice for everyone involved. Try and focus any diverse campaign on the authentic protocols, principles and ethics that your company follows. 

The Don’ts

Running diverse ads filled with stereotypes and based on false premises would be detrimental to your organisation. Instead of the benefits we discussed above, you would see decreased profit and interest from all angles. 

With diversity, it is always important that things are handled in the right way and carried out by the right people. The best possible way to ensure this is by employing and/or working with a diverse advertising and marketing team. It should consist of people with different identities and backgrounds, as we mentioned above. The team behind your campaign hold critical power in its success. 

Internal diversity will lead to external diversity. Neither can work without the other. So start with the internal side of things first and hire some great diverse advertising minds.

Becoming a Diversity-Positive Employer 

Advertising is just one part of becoming a fully diversity-positive employer. If you are on a journey of becoming as inclusive and diverse as you can be in your own company, you might be feeling a little bogged down at how much information is out there and how many opinions you might be getting from others. 

At Aspiring to Include, we keep our guidance and support for employers simple. We have specific guidance for employers that helps you get up to date on all the topics you need to know, including inclusive recruitment, equal pay, and employee training and development. We also have employer-specific services through which you can get your business on the right track. Our services can help you with everything from your social media presence to your individual job adverts. 

Ultimately, you can become one of our diversity-positive employers on our directory of employers and post on our live inclusive job board. Through these channels, you will be able to connect with a wide range of diverse job seekers across the UK. Use this opportunity to show them how much you care about being an equal, inclusive, and diverse employer. 

Diversity holds all the power, so why not begin your diversity journey with us today?

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Last Updated: Wednesday February 28 2024
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