Do diverse marketing teams have a competitive edge?
The impressive results diverse teams achieve show that our differences really do make us stronger. And the numbers are there to prove it. Research shows that diverse teams saw a 30% increase in team performance and a 19% increase in revenue.
Companies must make fundamental changes in their management styles and hiring strategies to achieve that. True diversity and inclusion come from empowering participation from employees no matter their role or level of seniority, as well as intentionally building a team of people with different perspectives combining factors such as their age, gender, education, expertise, cultural background, socioeconomic status, and experiences, among other attributes.
With a varied pool of people, innovative ideas collide and develop, driving performance, revenue and business growth. In particular, diversity benefits marketing teams because their success relies on empathy, understanding and creativity. It’s especially crucial with the rise of personalised marketing through data-driven segmentation - rather than segmenting using demographics. This personalisation needs to capture the multifaceted nature of customers. As such, teams need to be able to come up with creative solutions for reaching, resonating with and converting customers using targeted marketing campaigns.
So why exactly does diversity make such an impact on marketing teams?
The power of diversity in marketing
In the information age, consumers are prone to be overwhelmed as they experience the oversaturation of marketing campaigns, whether scrolling on social media or searching for the answer to a question on Google. Diversity gives marketing teams the edge they need to stand out.
Empathy and understanding
Advancements in technology and data analytics have enabled marketing teams to launch substantially personalised and curated campaigns. This holds the potential to accelerate success, but only when leveraged correctly.
Segmentation identifies the characteristics, behaviours and preferences of the different target audiences. The marketing team needs to come up with campaigns to speak to each segment according to this information.
By crowdsourcing ideas from across the company for a diversity of perspectives, the marketing team can more effectively personalise marketing. Certain employees will be able to particularly empathise and understand certain target market segments due to their own perspectives. Insights like these can be utilised through crowdsourcing if employees across all departments are trained to problem-solve and connect with customers.
Data creates the most accurate possible picture of the segments of a target market. A diverse workforce relates to these different profiles and, therefore, can provide insights on how to better market to them. This is much more accurate than guessing or making assumptions.
Diversity of ideas
Marketing departments are often tasked with coming up with new ideas constantly. Not only do they need to market to all segments of the target audience, but in the digital world, marketing campaigns are fast-paced. For example, organic content on social media has the biggest impact within the first 24 hours, so it needs to be updated frequently.
A consistent creative flow is needed to produce a high volume of marketing ideas that resonate with different target audiences and stand out among the oversaturation of marketing consumers come across daily. Differences stimulate discussions and, therefore, creative ideas. By accumulating a diverse range of inputs through crowdsourcing insights company-wide, the range of outputs, i.e. innovative marketing ideas, increases.
Viability of ideas
It’s not just idea creation that is improved by diversity but the decision-making around which ideas are used and which are changed or even scrapped. Ideas must be developed and validated before they are given the green light.
A diverse team can discover the pros and cons of a marketing campaign from multiple perspectives. By leveraging crowdsourcing, ideas evolve in a diverse environment and are rigorously validated before they are considered for testing and implementation. This means that any issues surrounding the effectiveness of a marketing campaign are more likely to be flagged and the idea refined for maximum impact. For example, particular wording might appeal to one type of person but be misunderstood by another.
How to create a diverse workforce
With the benefits of building a diverse company to support the marketing team apparent, what does it take to foster diversity? The key is to hire a variety of employees by ensuring the recruitment process is inclusive. As data-driven segmentation has enhanced marketing efforts, it can also be applied to recruiting. For a range of candidates to apply for a job and be successful during the recruitment stages should be personalised to suit different people.
This requires the recruitment team to look beyond qualifications and focus on what will attract the right candidate. All stages of recruitment are dependent on the type of candidate the company wants to hire. This includes where the job vacancy is posted, the wording of the job description, the benefits of working at the company and anything else that would encourage a certain type of person to apply. For example, while remote working is very popular with many candidates, it is disproportionately attractive to people of a higher economic status because they have the resources to create a comfortable and equipped home office. To attract a diverse team, companies need to be attractive to a diverse range of people while hiring.
As technology powers personalised marketing, teams need people who can empathise and relate to the different segments of the target audience to take advantage of this detailed data. Without diversity of perspectives, an echo chamber is quickly established, stunting creativity and innovation. Differences allow teams to explore ideas they would never have thought of and create inspired marketing campaigns.
Keep in mind that diverse teams don’t form on their own. Intentional hiring is required to compose a team with broad experiences, perspectives and expertise. By segmenting the recruitment process, a candidate that will increase the company’s diversity is more likely to be hired.
So, how diverse are your teams?