How can companies effectively tell the story of Black people across the globe and market to that demographic in a respectful way?
It starts with the leadership. From the C-Suite down, it is imperative that color is implemented on the employment roster. It is not enough to have one Black marketer who is not a manager or a director or a VP. We need Black marketers who have a voice and have the ability to make the tough decisions on behalf of the company’s marketing efforts. McDonald’s figured this out and added two Black marketing professionals to the team.
My rationale stems from the fact that only a Black person can truly understand and relate to other Black people. The same goes for Latinos and Asians… you name it. While research can show us trends and facts about our target demographics, having diversity in leadership roles can help bring that data to life.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that brands should actively seek out any person of color just to give them a title and have representation in their organization. What I contend is that having a well educated and experienced person of color in a marketing leadership role is what will prevent racially insensitive fiascos and allow a brand to be more in tune with the Black demographic.
So how do companies do this fairly and effectively? Create a diversity division. I believe that all organizations need a department that is dedicated to celebrating the diversity both internally and externally. I currently work at a university that does not have a diversity department and it is doing them an extreme disservice. Having professionals who understand and are passionate about effectively marketing to and educating people on other cultures is a solution that could solve certain gaps in an organization.
We all want to see the Black narrative being relayed in the best way possible. It starts with acknowledging that the problem is internal. Diversify your team and watch the perspective and insight benefit your brand in a new way.
How do you feel about it? Should companies work harder to make sure they have fully competent marketing leaders of color on their teams? Is there another solution? Let me know in the comments below.