The business case for reaching and engaging with diverse communities

Over the last 12 months there have been a series of reports, surveys and white papers addressing the issue of diversity within the advertising and marketing industries. In the last few months alone there have been a number of articles addressing concern regarding the lack of diversity across a spectrum of sectors and industries. One article addressed the subject with the headline, ‘Marketing’s Diversity Problem’.

The biggest issue is that brands and marketers are failing to represent Britain in the 21st century in terms of diversity and inclusion. If we as marketers and communicators keep brushing ‘diversity’ under the carpet, hoping that it will go away or fix itself, well I am sorry to tell you that it will only get worse if we do not address and approach the issue now.

Has it ever crossed your mind that from a commercial perspective there is a big gap in the market to reach out to diverse communities? The demographics of the UK’s population are changing rapidly. Communities classed as minorities are and will soon be a majority. Bearing this in mind, you need to keep up with the times, trends and patterns of the UK’s diverse population. Doing the same old ‘marketing’ thing of just targeting what you know will eventually end up with poor results. The time is now to make that change and make ‘communication’ more inclusive and specific to reach all diverse audiences. The one-size-fits all approach has omitted a huge number of diverse communities.

Brands, marketers and businesses have to start thinking outside the box, looking at the trends and patterns of consumers from all walks of life. Companies and organisations throughout the UK are missing major opportunities to increase market share by overlooking the financial clout of diverse communities. As communicators the fear of the unknown has become a hindrance. After all we are innovative, creative and everyday our job is to come up with ideas, new concepts and strategies, where we shout and scream when we get that ‘eureka’ moment, so let’s not shy away and reach out to an untapped audience. To date, only a few brands and their communicators have caught on and are specifically and successfully targeting diverse communities to increase their clients market share!

The 2011 Census indicates that there has been an increase in the ethnic population, since the last census conducted in 2001. It has been approximately eight years since we first heard about the “brown pound” – the commercial and financial gains to be made from the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. With figures indicating that ethnic groups have a combined disposable income of £300 billion, and spending power of £46 billion, British businesses and multi-national brands can no longer afford to neglect this lucrative audience whose spending power and population is steadily growing.

A fine example of this can been seen with the four big supermarkets chains. Each of them are battling each day to increase their marketing efforts to be ahead of their competitors in the ethnic food arena by delivering key messages and designing specific creative to reach and engage with diverse/ethnic audiences during Ramadan, Diwali, Eid, Chinese New Year and beyond.

Let’s also look at the Pink Pound, the purchasing power of the LGBT community who represent 6% of the UK’s population whose spending power is around £6bn a year. Again consumer and food brands are seeing the value of the LGBT market and are developing special campaigns to appeal to this market.

You may ask where do I start? Well the first thing is to wake up and look around and see ‘diversity’ is right on your door step and it’s here to stay, diverse audiences are no longer a niche but an important audience/market that should not be ignored but tapped into and celebrated!

If you would like to know more about reaching, engaging and sustaining relationships with diverse audiences please contact diversity communications specialists Rich Visions. Our slogan ‘Reaching The Unreachable’ is a clear statement of intent to the client that we are able to reach diverse communities that are classed as hard to reach.

Our in-depth understanding of diverse communities allows us to develop workable strategies that enable brands, companies and organisations to engage with these audiences directly to achieve results.

If you need expert advice contact us for a free 30 minute consultation or to order your 2016 diversity calendar please contact us on 02031376033 or email enquiries@richvisons.co.uk you can also visit our website on www.richvisionsdc.co.uk.

Mavis Amankwah, CEO, Rich Visions

Tel: 020 3137 6033

Email: mavis@richvisions.co.uk

Web: www.richvisionsdc.co.uk

Twitter:@richvisionsdc

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