Hire and retain people who look, sound and think like your audience.

If you are crafting a multicultural marketing campaign that’s designed to reach and engage BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) audiences, and doing it without the counsel of diverse internal stakeholders, it will likely fail. I know you’re thinking that’s just not easy to do. No worries, I got you. Before we start, let’s first establish some ground rules:

1.  Diversity and inclusion work is not the same as multicultural marketing. Please don’t try to make them become one.

2.  Your external multicultural marketing efforts won’t be successful if you haven’t laid the foundation for a solid Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusivity (DEA&I) internal mindset.

3.  The world where you want to sell your products, services or ideas is fast becoming minority-majority. So even if you do not want to have these conversations, if you want to build positive consumer revenue streams, you will eventually have to participate.

4.  Your marketing funnel doesn’t begin at the moment of consumer awareness–it begins with you, the marketer. The absolute beginning of that consumer journey is with the people and mindsets that make up your organization and the consumer connectivity they build.

Now let’s talk…
I’ve been in advertising for nearly three decades. There has never been a moment when diversity wasn’t a topic of conversation. Interestingly, when I began, there was more talk around diversity than multicultural marketing. And, 30 years later, the world is still talking.

What is new is that I see an industrywide increase in corporate marketing and media teams who want to integrate DEA&I into their workstream. Some are doing an amazing job, and some, not so much. For me, I think about three important ideas when crafting a strategy.

One, I am positive that building and empowering a more diverse and inclusive marketing team is an action every marketer must take. Two, encouraging those teams of people and their various mindsets to share honest reactions as they contribute to the company marketing mission and workstream is crucial. Three, if you allow the marketing work these teams create to be authentic and empathetic, it will generate any desired consumer response.

Allow me to dig a little deeper.

First, the most important lesson in using DEA&I as a foundation for great multicultural marketing is that you must empower your diverse teams, and their diverse ways of thinking, with a seat at the table. If the talent and qualified people you bring into your corporate family have no voice, their ideas and opportunities will be lost. This means you potentially continue to have flat, inauthentic and homogeneous conversations with scores of consumers, missing out on making connections and creating a customer. Leverage the rich mindset your team can weave, creating an integrated tapestry of marketing and media.