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  • Jon Rivers

Inclusive Marketing: 6 Principles that every company can adopt

Business people with woman in wheelchair at meeting with others discussing marketing around a table.

Inclusiveness is an important topic that every business needs to be taking seriously.

But why is inclusive marketing so important?

Why should it number one on your list?

What is Inclusive Marketing?

A typical marketing campaign evolves around demographics. Whereas inclusive marketing doesn’t target one demographic, nor does it rely on traditional stereotypes. Inclusive marketing rises above stereotypes by allowing a brand to show it cares about all customers across every demographic.

It should not stop at just your customer base but include some of the following factors; sexually, income, race, age, gender, ethnicity, religion, language, and ability. By being more inclusive, you open up the opportunity for more customers as your brand will be seen as more open.

Everyone is allowed their own choices and beliefs in life. Therefore it necessary to have inclusive marketers create strategies that satisfy the customers but doesn’t leave anyone behind.

Should all brands be inclusive?

A study run by LinkedIn shows that 78% of companies prioritize diversity to improve culture and 62% do so to boost financial performance. With research like this we can see that Diversity is directly tied to company culture and financial performance.

Synchronously, Nielsen reports that “with 43% of the 75 million millennials in the U.S. identifying as African American, Hispanic, or Asian, if a brand doesn’t have a multicultural strategy, it doesn’t have a growth strategy.”

Inclusive Marketing: 6 Principles that every company can adopt

Inclusive Marketing content can be broken down into six fundamental principles as follows:


Have you ever found yourself annoyed by an email message? Think carefully about your subject, topic, message, and the over impact your content is going to have from a tone standpoint. Have others review and get their prospectives where possible.


When we think of language to describe things, we will use words, phrases, symbols, or metaphors to get our point across. Remember, language has immense power – it can easily strengthen a relationship, but at the same thing, it can confuse or harm. Its good practice to understand every word, symbol, or phrase and use them appropriately.


Representation is the visible presence of a variety of identities in a story, image, video, and more. There is unbelievable power in representation. When people see them represented in the media, they feel empowered. Think before publishing, are the images reflecting society.


Context can be defined as the circumstances that inform an event or piece of content.

When picking stock images, ask yourself does that image reflects society appropriately. For example, when we search “manager and employee,” we tend to get a white male employee standing over a women colleague implying certain powers. If you’re unable to find the images that show the necessary diversity or the subject in the best light, then you may have to look to employing a photographic to get the images you want.


Appropriation is often defined as taking or using an aspect from a minority culture without knowing or honoring the meaning behind it. Drawing from people’s cultures, traditions, and personal experiences can be both subjective and sensitive. We can all lead with cultural respect and awareness by being mindful of nuance and historical context, honoring and learning the culture, seeking guidance and diverse opinions, evaluating intent and impact, and elevating authentic voices.


Counter-stereotype is a phrase that means going against a standardized image that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment. Many of us have seen ads that play into harmful stereotypes but imagine a world where the marketing images around us shattered these stereotypes rather than emboldened them. This is where we, as marketers, have the power to change the society around us.

We could start reimagining . . .

What does your next customer look like?

Business people with colleague in wheelchair discussing at a meeting in the office


Make sure to implement a review process so that you catch all the concerns or even improvements to the marketing campaign before it goes out. First impression count and your brand is on the line, so get it right the first time!

About the Author

Jon Rivers – Jon has been recognized as a pioneer within the partner channel as a digital marketing expert for his leadership in helping partners develop social brands, marketing strategies, and content to drive successful marketing campaigns.

Before starting Marketing Monarchs, Jon spent many years working in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP ecosystem system. Jon serves on various boards, including Directions North America, IAMCP (International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners), and CMA (Channel Marketing Alliance).

When Jon is not busy running Marketing Monarchs, you can find him Co-Hosting Leadership Goes Beyond one of the fastest-growing virtual conferences for Leadership.



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