Dan Dryfhout is an avid digital marketer from Ontario. Dan loves snowboarding, mountain biking and in some occasions, long walks on the beach. He moved out west to better serve these passions, especially the beach walking...

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Embracing Inclusivity in Digital Marketing

Inclusivity has become a larger topic of effective marketing strategies in the last decade. Diversity and inclusivity is clearly desired and needed within marketing, yet advertisers and brands often struggle in how to integrate these elements into their current marketing initiatives successfully. With June being celebrated globally as Pride Month, it provides a prime opportunity for brands to authentically showcase their commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

The Importance of Inclusivity in Marketing

Inclusivity in marketing means ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or ability feel represented and valued. Research has shown that inclusive marketing not only promotes social good but also enhances brand loyalty and engagement. According to a report by Accenture, 41% of shoppers have shifted at least 10% of their business away from a retailer that does not reflect how important diversity and inclusion are to them. With buying power shifts like this, we can see how important it is to incorporate inclusivity within our advertising initiatives.

Key Strategies for Inclusive Marketing

As mentioned, a large challenge for marketers is how to execute inclusive advertising correctly.  Below are a few key strategies to ensure you’re on the right path.

  1. Authentic Representation
    • Avoid Tokenism: Genuine representation involves more than just featuring diverse individuals in your ads. It means showcasing authentic stories and experiences. Tokenism, or the superficial inclusion of minorities, can backfire and alienate your audience.
    • Use Inclusive Imagery: Select images and videos that reflect the diversity of your audience.
  2. Inclusive Language
    • Gender-Neutral Terms: Use language that does not exclude any gender. For instance, opt for “they/them” instead of “he/she,” and use terms like “partner” instead of “husband” or “wife.”
    • Avoid Stereotypes: Steer clear of language and scenarios that perpetuate stereotypes. Instead, highlight the uniqueness and individuality of different communities.
  3. Engage with the Community
    • Collaborate with LGBTQ2S+ Creators: Partnering with influencers and creators from the LGBTQ2S+ community can lend authenticity to your campaigns. These individuals can offer valuable insights and help your brand connect more deeply with their followers.
    • Support LGBTQ2S+ Causes: Demonstrate your commitment by supporting LGBTQ2S+ organizations and initiatives. This could involve donating a portion of your profits during Pride Month to relevant causes or participating in local Pride events.
  4. Inclusive Product and Service Offerings
    • Gender-Inclusive Products: Consider developing products or services that are not limited by traditional gender norms.
    • Accessible Services: Ensure that your digital platforms are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. This includes features like alt text for images, video captions, and user-friendly navigation.

A prime example that comes to my mind – and we will see the benefits in the following years to come – is professional women’s sports leagues, such as the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL), Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and the newly announced Northern Super League. In 2024, we have seen a large push to promote women’s professional leagues, and it has taken the media by storm. It’s exciting to see, and see brands come around and push their marketing dollars towards providing sponsorships towards these leagues. Beyond this, we have seen excitement from young women and kids alike rise, and this is because they can see themselves in those professional’s shoes. We can take this learning beyond professional sports, and make the same connection within our own marketing initiatives and ask ourselves; can all of our customer base see themselves within our brand, and are we aligned with this diversity and inclusivity and showcasing it within our advertising?

Measuring the Impact of Inclusive Marketing

To assess the effectiveness of your inclusive marketing efforts, it is crucial to track key metrics. It’s important to have a game plan set from the start on what is the main goal of your certain initiative. What do you expect to gain, what is the KPI, and how are we going to report and decide it was successful for our company? These could include engagement rates, customer feedback, and brand sentiment analysis. Tools like Google Analytics and social media insights can also provide valuable data on how well your campaigns are resonating with diverse audiences.


Inclusivity in marketing is not just a trend but a necessity in today’s diverse and interconnected world. By embracing inclusive practices, especially during significant times like Pride Month, brands can foster a sense of belonging and loyalty among their audience. While practicing inclusivity, it’s always important to remember that it is an ongoing commitment that requires continual learning, growth and adaptation.