How AIMM Is Helping Foster Inclusivity in Front & Behind the Camera | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

How AIMM Is Helping Foster Inclusivity in Front & Behind the Camera

By Dominick Fils-Aimé

At ANA's Multicultural and Diversity Conference in October, AIMM recently highlighted how its systemic interventions are driving change across the marketing ecosystem in respect to multicultural marketing and DEIB and shared the different resources its providing to support brands in their journey to be more inclusive. AIMM also created its GrowthFront initiative which provides minority-owned media companies with an opportunity to connect with brands that want to increase their investment in multicultural suppliers and audiences.

The Alliance for Inclusive Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) was established in 2016 to support marketers realize their full multicultural market growth potential, and achieve equity and diversity across the industry. AIMM's mission is to empower marketers to accurately portray cultural diversity in ads, reverse the downward trend of multicultural and inclusive marketing, and increase investments in multicultural suppliers and audiences.

AIMM has already impacted the marketing industry by:

  • Inverting the direction of multicultural and diverse marketing from rapidly losing the momentum garnered after the murder of George Floyd
  • Bringing multicultural and diverse marketing to the C-Suites
  • Prioritizing culture as a growth agent for companies and the most impactful way to relevantly connect with consumers
  • Addressing data challenges so that diverse segments can be counted and attribution goes to the right place
  • Conducting extensive and consistent research on multicultural marketing and inclusive marketing to quantify and qualify growth
  • Creating tools and resources to increase DEIB knowledge
  • Serving as a leader and a reassuring voice in the industry when the industry has been silent or afraid to move forward

A Pledge for Systemic Intervention

After the murder of George Floyd by police in 2020, the ANA and AIMM released a pledge establishing a commitment and highlighted seven systemic action steps to move the marketing industry forward in respect to DEIB. The pledge was signed by 300 corporations and 600 individuals whose signatures reflected a commitment to being accountable for creating a more inclusive industry. The ANA and AIMM audits the progress these brands are making in advancing these goals. The seven systemic interventions were later bucketed into three priorities which align with the ANA's global growth agenda:

  • Diversity in corporations: Achieve true diversity and inclusion in our organizations.
  • Equity in investment and data: Eliminate systemic investment inequalities in the media and creative supply chain.
  • Diversity in front and behind the camera: Eliminate bias and racism by accurately portraying all humanity in advertising, content, and media.

AIMM Growth Fronts: Addressing Industry Gaps

AIMM created its Diverse Media GrowthFront to help increase the marketing industry's investment in diverse owned and diver targeted media. The inaugural event hosted 40 Asian, Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ media entities for one-on-one meetings, networking sessions, and panel discussions with CMOs and industry leaders, enabling media buyers and companies to connect with minority suppliers.

According to some of the diverse media entities represented:

  • The event, "provided unprecedented access to high level client and agency meetings that would have taken months to organize," according to Fuse Media.
  • "The one-on-one meetings were leagues more efficient all-around than spending resources on cold outreach that ultimately end up...wasting more time," according to Asian Media Group.
  • "The GrowthFronts...provide meaningful connections to brands and advertisers that are committed to improve the way marketing dollars are spent," as said by REVOLT.

Moreover, on average each media entity completed eight meetings that day, with 70 percent of those meetings progressing to further dialogue, and 14 percent advancing to the negotiation stage.

For the second annual meeting, AIMM plans to double the amount of diverse media vendors invited from 40 to 80. The organization is also creating an online marketplace where media buyers and companies can connect with minority suppliers. Ultimately, the goal of AIMM's GrowthFronts is to increase spending with:

  • Diverse owned media (DOMs) companies from 1.8 percent to 6.5 percent by 2025
  • Diverse owned targeted media (DOTM) from 1.2 percent to 4.6 percent by 2025
  • DOM by 10.1 percent, and increase spending with DOTMs by 6.7 percent by 2028

The Cultural Toolbox

To help marketers foster better connections with multicultural consumers, AIMM created The Cultural Toolbox — the most comprehensive and actionable industry-wide blueprint for embedding cultural relevance and inclusion within the creative process. The online resource highlights effective drivers of culture, inclusive framework, and best practices, and more that brands, agencies, and organizations can leverage to build towards "culture-first" creative development.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Dominick Fils-Aimé is a manager of editorial and content development at ANA.