People want easy solves. It’s not uncommon for companies and brands to retain the services of an expert in multicultural marketing or diversity and inclusion to be told what to do rather than coming to the table with what they want to do. You have to set the intention. While you may not know how to get there, doing the soul searching needed to uncover the vulnerabilities within your organization is a step in the right direction toward developing a more inclusive culture that impacts how you work, how you hire, and how you market.
Ironically, marketers turn to market research to give them insight into specific audiences. But the challenge within the research industry is its lack of diversity, and it can have a real impact on results. When there is a lack of representation when developing sample frames, for example, the questionnaires lack objectivity. And when you only pull in researchers of color when you want to run a multicultural campaign, your general market campaigns lack that perspective.
Researchers of color are first and foremost researchers and should be considered team members, not just leads on special projects or multicultural checkpoints. The industry needs more people of color to fill the vacancies on these teams. Essential to attracting diverse talent is an inclusive recruiting strategy.
Awareness of market research careers should be raised on the campuses of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and jobs posted on inclusive job boards like Mimconnect. When candidates are hired, they must see themselves growing at the company. If there isn’t representation at the top in key leadership positions, it sends the wrong message.
In this episode of The New Mainstream podcast, Whitney Dunlap Fowler, founder, A Touch of Whit and Insights In Color and Shazia Ginai, CEO, Neuro-Insight and board chair, Colour of Research (CORe), share their experiences in the market research industry, and how intentionality is key to driving diversity.