When it comes to marketing, “inclusivity” has become a popular buzzword, but let’s talk some more about what inclusive marketing means to remodelers.
Have you taken a good look at your marketing lately? Does it represent your company, our industry, your potential clients?
In the simplest terms, inclusivity is about making sure your marketing reflects the full spectrum of your clients and potential clients. Race and ethnicity get the most attention, but we’re also talking about marketing that takes into account gender, age, disabilities and the LGBTQ community.
Customers want to know you see them, that you understand them, that you are interested in serving them. No matter where you live, your clients are different from each other. People like to buy from companies where they see themselves represented.
Take, for example, older clients. Our industry is great at recognizing the different needs of that population. Remodelers market to Baby Boomers. Industry associations have created certifications that recognize their needs, like CAPS and UDCP.
Know your potential clients
Before you can market to them, you need to know who they are. It’s not just about the clients you have; it’s also about the clients you’re missing. Some of this is simple observation, but demographic information for most areas is easily available. Is there a segment of the population – such as age or race – that you’re missing?
The message you’re sending
Let’s say your area has a large Latino population that fits your sweet spot in other ways, such as household income, families with children, etc. Does your marketing make them feel welcome? Does it speak to their needs? If you have photos of happy homeowners (either stock photos or real clients) on your website, is there diversity?
That diversity can be shown in many ways. The quick fix a lot of companies use is to run out and grab that stock photo that says “Diversity!” Unfortunately, that can too often end up looking like this stock workplace photo.
You can almost hear the discussion when this photo was being shot: “Quick, we need diversity in there!” It is jarringly obvious. (As doctored as it looks, this really came up on a stock photo site with a search for “diversity.”)
Certainly we want to use a wide variety of people in our marketing, but it’s also important to do the hard work.
What do they care about?
Paying lip service to that population or throwing up some photos isn’t enough. What are their remodeling needs? Are they different than your current customer base?
As one example, some Asian cultures are more likely to have multi-generational households, with grandparents living in the home. That could open up an opportunity for more universal design options or master suites on the main floor than you might otherwise see.
The best way to find out about these customers is, of course, to talk to them. Reaching out to church groups or community associations can be a good place to start. Employees, subcontractors or other business partners can be helpful as well.
There are also plenty of online resources that can help you create more inclusive content. One useful resource is this guide from YouTube. Although it’s focused on video, the advice here can be helpful to anyone creating a marketing message.
We’re all guilty of seeing the world a certain way – and reaching new types of clients means changing how we think about our messaging. None of us want to leave business behind and making sure we market to everyone is a great way to stand out from the competition.