The business landscape will look dramatically different in coming decades. By embracing people’s differences, we can spark innovation, better understand and serve our customers and gain competitive advantage.
For marketing agencies, this provides a huge opportunity to seek to understand and engage groups of consumers that have previously gone unrecognised.

But embracing diversity and difference should be more than a campaign for marketers and the creative industry at large.

A key to creating true diversity and inclusion in the culture of a company stems from recruitment.
The biggest challenge for organisations is how they are going to shake up the foundations of their workplace philosophy. This can be overcome by ensuring inclusivity is something that is tangible for both employees and clients.
Diversity cannot simply be preached by agency leaders as a buzzword. Instead, a fundamental change in recruitment and in business leadership needs to happen.
The practical steps agencies can take to create a more diverse workforce can be summed up in three key areas: investment, role models and tracking.
Investment in creating employee networks, promoting diverse talent and developing a strategy to drive diversity. These three areas are important to attract and retain diverse staff and bring diversity branding to a company’s work.
Role models across all levels of an agency are needed to promote diversity.
The changing attitudes in society about what constitutes mainstream. Therefore recognition of the value of diversity, must be reflected in the lifeblood of your business.

Celebrate Difference

If you are committed to building a creative organisation, the first thing you need to do is embrace ideas and ways of thinking that are different to your own.
It is not just creative organisations that are recognising the benefits of diversity. For the past 20 years, the banking and legal sectors have invested heavily to ensure they employ a range of different people.
Marketing agencies need to reflect more the people in the markets in which they operate if they are to understand this shift in society.
Ogilvy’s mantra that “advertising reflects the mores of society” is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. This is particularly so with the rise of digital advertising, which allows for much greater targeted marketing. It’s almost as if digital marketing was conceived with diverse audiences in mind.
It’s important your business takes time to understand the differing cultural nuances that exist within a wide spread of different consumer groups. Ensure you reflect your findings in marketing content, as this is key to increasing effectiveness within communications.
With shifts in social attitudes, the considerable spending power of minority groups. The creativity that comes from recognising the variety within markets and the importance of supporting the confidence of all employees and drawing out the very best from them are fundamental to the success of business.
In order to do this, businesses must look to their recruitment, to their policies, to their culture and to their leadership.
For Marketing agencies in particular diversity has become more than just a buzzword. Has it for your industry?
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