COVID-19, anti-racism movements, and Brexit featured prominently in international news during 2020.
The Black Lives Matter and Stop Anti-Asian Hate movements cast renewed spotlights on sensitive subjects such as racism and inequalities.
These two movements instigated closer looks at how companies devise and implement diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) policies, with specific reference on how well these initiatives feature in their brand marketing and wider communications.
Shutterstock, an international company focusing on the provision of creative digital solutions, recently concluded global diversity research to determine how aptly DE&I policies are implemented in the marketing schemes.
This company’s research focused on the impacts that marketers experienced as a result of the mentioned events.
The stated research indicated that marketers displayed overall cognisance of the need to create diverse content.
Although Shutterstock’s findings displayed a rise in the worldwide demand for inclusive content, it also spotted discrepancies when it came to authenticity, which in turn limited the creation of diverse content.
In this study, 63% of marketers across the world and 62% in the UK stated that the Black Lives Matter and Stop Anti-Asian Hate movements affected their content marketing decisions over the past year.
An astounding 65% of the representative research population indicated agreement that both racial and ethnic diversity should surface when developing content for target audiences.
The majority of UK marketers reported that they seriously consider colourism during the planning and design of marketing campaigns.
Meeckel Beecher, Shutterstock’s international head of DE&I, found these results encouraging and went on to say: “… for many years now, marketers have been under necessary pressure to ensure their campaigns are representative of society, and it is extremely reassuring that 75% of marketers understand the importance of content that is created by the same audience it intends to reach.”
Negatives derived from the study indicated that brands incorporate unauthentic diversity content in attempts to further brand ideologies as opposed to embracing and answering the call of contemporary social concerns and political climes.
A significant 40% of marketers in the UK and 41% globally confirmed this notion and approach.
Less than a third of both UK and global marketers seriously explore ways to mirror political climes in their content.
Nearly 40% of UK marketers do, however, attempt to take social stands against the political landscape when creating marketing campaigns.
Despite these endeavours, closer investigations indicate that authenticity suffers because marketers just create for the sake of creating without duly considering the essence of matters.
The COVID-19 lockdowns also restricted travel and thereby curbed exposure to other cultural inputs and experiences.
The Shutterstock study further found that Brexit and the UK’s departure from the EU negatively impacted diverse content.
Almost 50% of UK marketers said that Brexit hobbled their leeway to appoint employees from diverse creative pools, which in turn adversely influences the creation of diverse content.
This analysis emphasised that marketers still have some way to go to create authentic and essential content.
Partner with a marketing expert on DE&I to convert your content and reach the diverse spectrum of your entire audience.