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Brand Purpose and Diversity


Pursuing diversity is an increasingly urgent area of focus for many companies. However, how to champion the cause effectively and ultimately reap its benefits can be mysterious. To guide organizations in these efforts, guests of the ANA Center for Brand Purpose's Beyond Profit podcast shared three tips.

Leverage your influence in the industry. "We've started writing into a lot of our contracts commitments to diverse investments. It's a purposeful choice. Yes, Google is obviously a big driver of performance for a lot of brands, but if we just pour money into Google, we're not opening up access. We're not opening up opportunity. So, we do a couple things in that regard. One, we sit on Google's diversity and inclusion council and actually work with them on product enhancements to remove bias from things like the search algorithm. And then the second thing is we spend a lot of time evaluating new publishers' platforms, creative studios, talent, which can allow investment into more diverse places."
Parks Blackwell, vice president of marketing and client development at PMG

Don't lose sight of diversity's "why." "Diversity should not be to check a scorecard, which, by the way, in some cases it now is in companies. So, then you're sort of chasing metrics. And I fear that what happens is we lose the 'why.' And the 'why' for diversity is really important, especially when you think about marketing. But really ... what diversity should represent in its best sense is diverse life perspectives, life experiences, and points of view. There's plenty of data that suggests that when you actually and actively engage in real conversation and allow people to bring their different perspectives to the table, the work gets better."
Marisa Thalberg, one of only 19 people to be inducted into the Forbes CMO Hall of Fame

Lean on diversity to inspire ethical decision-making. "If you are interested in creating a long-term business that has some kind of strong ethical backbone, it is incumbent upon the team that's working on that ethical framework to inject empathy into their work. For example, have diversity of opinions in that group. ... [I]t's probably useful when you create that ethical framework to have a more diverse group of people that allow you to have a better understanding of what's needed in the ethical framework."
Minter Dial, highly-acclaimed speaker and award-winning author of books such as Heartificial Empathy: Putting Heart Into Business and Artificial Intelligence

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.

Morgan Strawn is a director of editorial and content development at ANA.