Not Just A Marketing Word: Brands Need To Walk The Walk On Inclusion

Throughout my career, I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to lead marketing efforts for several incredible, world-class, global brands - from Nike and Gap to Visa and Amazon, to my current role as CMO of Intuit, the global financial technology platform that makes TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp.

As marketers, there’s a real business benefit to embracing inclusion. After all, we want every one of our customers to see themselves using our products. Being inclusive in marketing lets our customers feel seen and valued by our brand.

As words like “diversity” and “inclusion” become buzzworthy, it’s important to not just check the box. Inclusive marketing starts with what’s happening inside your own walls: is inclusion a priority? Once it’s a priority, employees can bring their ideas– rooted in their unique experiences and identities- to the table. And then they’ll begin to create an inclusive marketing engine representative of all customers.



At Intuit, our commitment to support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is taken into account at every step in the employee journey, starting before we even speak with potential candidates and continuing from employee onboarding throughout their tenure with us. The goal is to ensure employees can bring their whole selves to work, where everyone benefits from diverse perspectives and talents. This empowers employees to do the best work of their lives, while making an impact, learning and developing, and feeling connected.

A diverse and inclusive environment starts with representation. We achieve this by increasing our talent pipeline, which leads to representation across all levels of the organization. We also focus on equitable talent practices and policies, which address pay equity, performance management, and promotions. Throughout their Intuit journey, we also support our employees by providing equity training to continuously foster a more inclusive and engaged culture.

Making diversity, inclusion and representation priorities across the organization lets new ideas that help target diverse customers rise to the top. We’ve seen this play out at Intuit time and time again.

For example, our LGBTQ employee resource group brought new ideas for helping same-sex couples file their taxes to our product team. And more recently, neurodivergent employees voiced the need for us to make changes to the layout and visual component of our products to assist in their ability to focus. 

The ANA’s recent selection of “Inclusion” as its marketing word of the year points to the importance of the industry’s ongoing efforts to champion diversity, equity and inclusion in marketing and beyond.

Inclusion is an engine. If you bring in diverse thought through your talent, and foster an inclusive environment, it will in turn lead to stronger ideas that solve the problems for all of your customers.

And as marketers this provides a more powerful, realistic view into the steps in every customer journey.


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