Diversity Is the 2021 Marketing Word of the Year | Marketing Maestros | Blogs | ANA

Diversity Is the 2021 Marketing Word of the Year

December 7, 2021

By Bill Duggan

It's an absolute landslide! Diversity has been chosen by ANA members as the ANA 2021 Marketing Word of the Year.

Since 2014, the ANA has surveyed our committee members to select the ANA Marketing Word of the Year. The ANA staff first identifies a list of finalists and then asks members to cast their votes to determine the winner. The survey has two questions: (1) What word should be the ANA Marketing Word of the Year? (2) Why did you vote for that word?

This year, voting was done online the week of November 29. In total, 205 ANA committee members participated. "Diversity" was selected by these members as the ANA 2021 Marketing Word of the Year. The voting wasn't even close as "Diversity" received almost twice as many votes as the runner-up.

Representative responses to "Why did you vote for 'Diversity' as the ANA 2021 Marketing Word of the Year?":

  • I believe the industry finally took notice of the present inequities and, collectively, across the entire ecosystem, are changing the way they hire, source, partner, and invest.
  • It is the future for business and an imperative for marketers and marketing as we set the pace for an inclusive world where representation matters.
  • Diversity has taken a different importance and relevance this year, for our customers and audiences.
  • Diversity is relevant in all facets of business today; we began to step in the right direction, but still have a way to go.
  • Corporate America is now making diversity a priority and this effort is showing up in communications.
  • This year we all had to consider whether our teams, our agencies, and content reflected our diverse culture and customers.
  • This was probably the most spoken-about topic across corporate America (inequities across: right-sizing pay, creating new functional management roles, hiring practices, media buys).
  • It's been a prolific movement by marketers to ensure they are meeting the expectations demanded by consumers, following the events of 2020 (and the historically underrepresented or underserved).
  • It's important to keep the focus on the desperate need to expand diversity and inclusion practices both within marketing teams and in the work we do as marketers.
  • Marketing at its best should be about connecting in inclusive and authentic ways that reaches audiences from many different backgrounds.
  • Diversity affects/touches everything.

The 2021 U.S. Census announced that America is now more diverse than ever. The multicultural population increased from 36.3 percent in 2010 to 42.2 percent in 2020.

Meanwhile, diversity has been a key focus of a substantial portfolio of ANA activity in 2021. That includes our annual report on diversity within the advertising/marketing industry, work on supplier diversity, a new report on LGBTQ+ marketing inclusion and initiatives from ANA's Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, SeeHer, and the ANA Educational Foundation. Much more here.

Other top choices in the ANA 2021 Marketing Word of the Year voting were cookieless, customer experience (CX), and metaverse. But again, the voting wasn't even close – it was diversity in a landslide.

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