media update’s Maryna Steyn is here to unwrap why your marketing team needs diversity.

But before we look at how your business can benefit from diversity, let’s look at what is meant by the term in the marketing industry.

When the workforce of a creative agency, or any work environment, is diverse, it means that such a company employs a variety of people. This includes individuals who are differently-abled or of different ethnicities, cultures, genders, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations as well as personalities — introverts, extroverts, creatives, analytical minds…you name it!

So why is diversity so important for brands? Well, did you know that employees feel more satisfied in a diverse work environment? It also makes clients feel more engaged. It’s true!

Keen to learn more? Here are five reasons why you need a diverse marketing team:

1. Diversity allows for better performance

Individuals who work in an environment where diversity and inclusivity is celebrated are more likely to perform better. This is because equality in the workplace motivates employees to achieve their best — which, in turn, allows them to feel more comfortable and confident in their abilities.

Inclusive marketing teams also attract more talent simply because individuals are seeking out those companies who prioritise diversity. This is because people, especially millennials and the younger workforce, understand the importance of diversity being a natural part of any team.

Productivity is also boosted due to the high team morale team members are feeling in an inclusive group. For example, if your group consists of people who all have differing skills, you can help teach each other what you know and take on new approaches together.

2. Diversity encourages creative innovation and problem-solving

Diversity creates a space where a team is more likely to generate more multidimensional ideas. It also means that, when faced with a problem, there is a bigger opportunity for solutions.

Take, for example, a team consisting of different age groups and genders. The females in the group will approach a problem differently than the males. The same goes for younger team members fresh out of university versus the veteran marketers with years of industry experience.

This isn’t to say that one is preferred over the other, but rather that the environment of varying ideas and solutions improves the quality of insights provided by each member.

3. Diversity creates a better brand reputation

Having diversity in your creative agency means that your business is seen as more ethically and socially responsible than those who aren’t inclusive.

It also gives an agency a competitive advantage because a more inclusive team equals a more relatable crew working on a brand’s marketing strategy. And relatability is important when you want to attract new business, and connect with your audience as a whole.

For example, having a team with different socioeconomic backgrounds provides your brand unique insights into what certain audiences truly want.

The marketing needs of a small startup from a rural community will not be the same as that of a giant corporation in the big city. Having this insight enables you to better assist your client and deliver a better product.

4. Diversity gives cultural and trend-worthy insight

Whether a creative agency is doing business on a global scale, or focusing on the local market, they are sure to encounter a variety of cultures.

You could argue that, in conducting thorough research, your team will have the same insight about a specific culture or practice — but what about trends that originated in specific communities? A team who is tuned into their culture can pick up on misinterpretations as well as misuses of slang / phrases or even advise their fellow marketers to steer clear of, or even add, certain elements to a campaign.

Each team member essentially acts as an ear on the ground. For instance, colours have different meanings in different cultures. Understanding what your campaign colours could be interpreted as can be the deciding factor between marketing success or campaign faux pas.

5. Diversity also means diverse skills

Clients are more likely to hire your brand if you have a diverse team. This is because they know the benefits of inclusivity; they will be reassured by the variety of skills your team is able to offer their business. Whether these are hard skills like being bilingual, or soft skills such as communication, an inclusive team also has unique talents that not all the other team members may have.

Just think about it: In a country such as South Africa, a diverse skill set is especially important — can you imagine a team of first language English speakers working on a multilingual campaign? That is a recipe for disaster (bring in the crisis management department). However, with an inclusive team, you’ll have more opportunities for multilingual campaigns, which, as we said before, reaches a wider audience and, who knows, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two!

Have you experienced the positive effects of diversity in your team? Let us know in the comments below.

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Want more reasons as to why inclusivity is important? Then be sure to read Why diversity helps creative agencies tell stories that are culturally relevant.
*Image courtesy of Canva