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Beyond BLM: Brands Must Widen the Aperture on Inclusion

Gartner 28 Jan 2021 05:03

The boiling over of racial tensions and resultant mainstreaming of the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020 has been a wake-up call for marketers.  In the wake of the protests immediately after the death of George Floyd, many brands quickly responded with messaging supporting the movement, and with good reason – 54% of US consumers say that brands should take the lead in solving key issues in culture and society today.  But while being part of the conversation and amplifying the message can be valuable contributions, the most common actions taken by marketing leaders are often misaligned with consumer expectations.  According to the Gartner CMO Strategic Priorities Survey (subscription required), marketing leaders of companies who have taken a stance on societal issues were most likely to have participated in events supporting the issue, called for policy change, and/or made donations.  From the consumer point of view though, the best thing companies can do to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t about messaging or financial contributions. Rather, consumers believe that companies can be most effective by focusing on their internal policies – instituting internal diversity and inclusion initiatives as a way to address systemic issues, rather than react to individual incidents.

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George FloydGartners Values and Lifestyle SurveyGartnerUS
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