How marketing leaders can be catalysts for diversity, equity and inclusion

How marketing leaders can be catalysts for diversity, equity and inclusion

Guests
Nadine Spencer, President of the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) and CEO of BrandEQ Group Inc.
Kevin Johnson, CEO MediaCom Canada
Alyssa Whited, Head of YouTube Canada Marketing
Published
March 2021

Last year, many brands were quick to announce the importance of diversity in marketing and a commitment to action. This year, consumers are holding those brands accountable by shifting their dollars to support brands with diversity and inclusion at their core.

MediaCom Canada research found that 93% of racialized Canadians fully support brands that stand behind the Black Lives Matter movement, and that one-third are ready to change their purchase behaviour to brands that support the movement.1

We spoke to three Canadian marketing leaders: Nadine Spencer, president of the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) and CEO of BrandEQ Group Inc., Kevin Johnson, CEO of MediaCom Canada, and Alyssa Whited, Head of YouTube Canada Marketing, about what real action looks like. They shared ways leaders can open the door to authentic, diverse campaigns that drive results and prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion.

0:01

Nadine Spencer: I think people need to see themselves in marketing and ad campaigns.

0:04

Kevin Johnson: Let's start looking inside...

0:06

...inside to our people, inside to our practices and our process

0:10

and move out into the conversations that we're having with consumers and customers.

0:15

Alyssa Whited: I think first it's really about getting the biggest mirror possible

0:19

and taking a very, very hard look into that mirror

0:22

and recognizing your brand's goal in the conversation.

0:25

[Title Card] How Marketing Leaders can be a Catalyst for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

0:30

[Title Card] We spoke to three marketing leaders about what real action looks like, and how marketers can create authentic, diverse campaigns that drive results today

0:34

I encourage brands to take a step back, look in the mirror and say

0:38

"You know, I do want to be part of the conversation,

0:40

but is it more impactful to be immediate in that

0:44

and just be part of the bandwagon

0:46

or do I need to do the work internally first and then address

0:49

how that conversation should best come to life?"

0:52

Kevin Johnson: More and more consumers in Canada are beginning to shift their behaviour

0:57

and really making it clear to all of us

1:00

that diversity and inclusivity matter to them.

1:04

We found that 93% of our racialized communities in Canada

1:09

- fully stand behind brands that support Black Lives Matter

1:13

and that additionally over 35% are ready

1:17

to change their purchase behaviour

1:20

based on those brands that support Black Lives Matter

1:23

and so what the data is trying to tell us is that brands need to begin

1:28

to start walking the talk about--

1:31

when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

1:34

Nadine Spencer: Brands that walk the talk are going to be the ones that are building sustainability

1:39

within their organization because of how they look at their work force

1:43

that diverse workforce.

1:44

Innovation is inclusion and inclusion in all aspects.

1:48

It's being intentional about who you are and who we are as a global community.

1:53

And so as businesses are building and growing you want to build

1:57

an audience that you are tapping into one on one

2:01

and they will not only come, but they will bring their friends

2:03

they'll bring their families, they'll tag you and all of those things

2:05

that you want to drive your business success.

02:23

The work that we do, you know marketing or telling people's stories

2:27

it has to be more authentic.

2:28

Truth is looking at each and every person as they are and loving them

2:33

and allowing them to love themselves

2:35

in their own skin, whatever that looks like.

2:38

Alyssa Whited: If you're making this conversation a habit daily--

2:41

again, regardless of whatever that looks like for you,

2:43

that's what I would encourage everyone to do

2:45

and then it just becomes an automatic inherent part of your thought process

2:48

in your day.

2:49

Kevin Johnson: At the end of all of this, we all need to be in the mindset of delivering change.

2:55

Driving change to what we in the marketing community

2:59

call our consumers, but actually at the end of the day are people

3:03

and so this is why the work is really important

3:06

and this is why we need to act now.

Change is here. Marketing leaders must take real actions to show diversity matters, or risk brand erosion