It’s not enough to simply market inclusiveness or diversity. Consumers are savvy to the difference between talk and action, per a report.
Consumers want to support brands that represent their values. As the consumer population diversifies — by race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, or differences in ability, for example — brands must authentically reflect a range of backgrounds and experiences within their messaging, advertising and brand campaigns if they expect to effectively connect with future customers.
More than half (57%) of consumers surveyed are more loyal to brands that commit to actionably addressing social inequities.
Deloitte surveyed more than 1,000 executives and 11,500 consumers for the report.
Business and marketing leaders are at a tipping point in terms of customer experience and engagement, says Barbara Venneman, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and global advertising, marketing and commerce offering leader, Deloitte Digital.
“The macro trends unfolding in the market are only making the marketing function more complex,” Venneman says in a release. “Organizations must examine what comprises the basis of dynamic customer experience — people, data and experiences — and holistically rethink every engagement a brand has with their customer from start to finish.”
High-growth brands more frequently establish key performance metrics for diversity, equity and inclusion objectives than their lower-growth competitors. Simultaneously, the highest-growing brands are reducing the cultural and demographic distance between the makeup of their teams and the markets they aspire to reach.
When consumers were asked why they chose to purchase from a specific brand across eight different categories, price and quality were individually cited as top-three purchasing criteria anywhere between 61% and 86% of the time. Because all brands need to deliver on these two dimensions, other criteria, including purpose-related factors, then become competitive differentiators.
The report also highlights how the marketing profession, though historically pegged as a field for creatives, is becoming more analytical. With the rise in big data and AI, more than 550 global CMOs say the top skills of their highest performing direct reports feature analytical expertise.
With the sunset of third-party cookies, it’s no surprise that high-growth brands are taking the lead in the shift to a first-party environment. Marketing executives could benefit from investing in first-party data strategies, per the report.
More than half (61%) of high-growth companies are shifting to a first-party data strategy, while only 40% of negative-growth companies say the same. This may signal that high-growth organizations more often recognize the pressing need to get ahead of the consumer sentiment shift on data privacy.
CMOs from high-growth brands are also well ahead of negative-growth brands in deploying first-party data in more sophisticated ways, specifically in two key areas: delivering personalized content via dynamic creative optimization (51% versus 36%) and using data to serve ads to users via programmatic media (49% versus 29%).