Diversity and inclusion isn't a topic that many people associate with product marketing; it's something we'd expect to see in HR or sales. However, as marketers, we set the tone for every brand experience. Because of this, diversity and inclusion is a crucial topic for us—because if we aren't aware of the needs and desires of our audience (and their allies), how can we serve them well?
In this article, I'll walk you through what diversity and inclusion mean to me as a marketer.
We've seen the data.
Diversity and inclusion are important to us because we've seen the data. Women are not just a demographic. They are a market. And this market is under-served.
Women make up more than 50% of the U.S. population and control 70% of consumer purchasing decisions. They also represent 60 percent of all college graduates in this country—a higher number than men—and account for 47 percent of all managers (compared to 38 percent in 2000). Women hold more jobs than men do—52 percent vs. 48 percent—and earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared with their male counterparts in similar positions; when controlling for factors like hours worked and education level.
More diverse teams are more innovative.
In addition to the obvious benefits of a diverse workforce, like the ability to better understand your customers' needs and cultures, it also helps you innovate. Diversity of thought is vital for innovation, which can be defined as "the successful application of creative ideas or processes that lead to new products or services." The best way for teams at every level (including leadership) to achieve this is by including people who bring different perspectives and experiences into the room.
When you say "diverse team members will help you innovate," it sounds like an easy thing to do: just add more women into your organization! But many other factors contribute toward creating a truly inclusive company culture—and one of them is making sure everyone feels welcome at work regardless of their race, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation/preference, or physical disability status - not just because they're perceived as being inclusive but because they're actually inclusive. When everyone feels included in decisions, they are empowered through inclusion. When everyone feels heard, they feel valued, which leads them back again and again because they know their voice matters after all.
A diverse team can better understand its customer base.
As a marketer, you must understand your target audience and their needs. Understanding various groups' demographics and cultural backgrounds within the customer base will help you craft a more effective message. Additionally, you'll be able to identify pain points unique to each demographic better so that they can be addressed in your marketing efforts.
A diverse team helps with this understanding because each member brings a different perspective to the table—they'll see things that others might not notice or might not think of as an issue. This makes them better at identifying areas where improvement is needed within their organization and in the products/services they offer.
A diverse marketing team can make a more significant impact on your company's bottom line.
A more diverse team will be more innovative. Researchers from Harvard Business School found that businesses with ethnically diverse teams were 40% more likely to outperform their competition. They also found that companies with four or more women on their executive boards generated 12% higher returns than comparable firms.
Diverse teams better understand their customers and markets because they have a more comprehensive range of perspectives and experiences at the table. This can help you create a better customer experience, which is key to any business's success: a recent study showed that marketing campaigns created by more diverse groups yielded higher brand equity scores than those created by less diverse groups—and brands saw an increase of 5% in market share overall!
Diverse teams also have more members in general with fewer leaves, sabbaticals, etc.
The other benefit of having a diverse team is that more people are available to do the work. We're working in a world where knowledge workers can be anywhere and can work from anywhere. If you have a team of all women, or all men, or all white people, or something else, your pool of potential employees is smaller than if you were open about who you are looking for.
It's also important because it means when someone takes time off (for example, maternity leave), there will be fewer people on whom you can depend for tasks like training new hires or covering them when they're on vacation.
Diverse teams perform better and create a better experience for the customer.
Diversity of thought improves creativity.
When you have a diverse team, there's more than one way to solve a problem or create an idea. It allows each individual on the team to add their unique perspective and constraints, which leads to better problem-solving. Diversity of thought also helps teams make better decisions by providing multiple views on an issue. If everyone has the same opinion about something, it can be challenging for them to feel like they've been heard—but when there are different perspectives present at the table, all voices are heard and considered fairly. When people are able to communicate openly about their thoughts and ideas without fear of judgment or criticism from others with opposing viewpoints (which often happens in homogenous workplaces), this fosters trust among colleagues that can lead directly back into better teamwork overall—and ultimately improve customer experience as well!
Product marketing is a team effort, and each team member contributes differently. Although the roles and responsibilities of a PMM may seem similar across various organizations, it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to product marketing. The best way for a company to succeed in this competitive landscape is by creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels empowered to do their best work. PMMs are responsible for connecting the dots both internally (between teams) and externally (with customers), so they should be able to relate effectively with people from varying backgrounds and cultures. To achieve success as a PMM, your ability to communicate well will depend on how much diversity exists within your organization--and that means making sure every employee feels accepted regardless of their differences!