Diversity Disconnect: Charting More Inclusive Pathways for Growth — the Black Talent Perspective | Research Reports | Research Studies | All MKC Content | ANA

Diversity Disconnect: Charting More Inclusive Pathways for Growth — the Black Talent Perspective


Each year, the ANA Educational Foundation conducts research that surveys its key stakeholders:

  • Industry: Marketers, advertisers, HR leaders, diversity executives, publishers
  • Academia: Professors and deans
  • Talent: Undergraduate students and new hires

We have looked at disconnects through different lenses:

  • Talent (2018)
  • Diversity (2019)
  • Analytics (2020)
  • Structural Racial Diversity (2021)
  • Inclusion: My Voice Matters (2022)

Moving forward, our intent is to look at underrepresented groups, starting with the Black community and moving on to different underrepresented communities: Asian, Hispanic, LGBTQ+, and Disabled.

The underlying assumption of the study is to welcome more racially diverse students into the industry, nurture them as leaders, and put them in different roles to drive growth for their brands. That growth is dependent on having a deep understanding of the audiences those brands serve and mining the richness of how to connect with audiences who are becoming more racially diverse.

Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble Company, one of the world's largest advertisers, has publicly stated that multicultural audiences have driven half of its sales growth, recently stating, "We need some new habits on how we do marketing. That means breaking old habits that may have worked for brands in the past but won't be sufficient for the future because in the not-too-distant future, when Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native/Indigenous, multiracial, and multiethnic consumers have the majority of buying power, and are disproportionate drivers of market growth, brands that didn't change will be left in the dust, wishing they had done a lot more a lot sooner. So it's time to break old habits and build some new habits to seize this substantial market growth opportunity in front of us."

Eric Austin, senior director, global brand building and media innovation at Procter & Gamble, adds, "Having a diverse team is critical because when you have the right representation at the table, you are going to get much richer insights. Creativity loves diversity. This was proven during the creation of the original Widen the Screen film. We had strong Black representation on the creative team with Kevin Wilson, an up-and-coming Black director, along with the lead creative strategist and production manager at Grey Advertising. We continue to see how more diverse thinking leads to richer creative which then connects with specific communities our brands are trying to serve."

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"Diversity Disconnect: Charting More Inclusive Pathways for Growth — the Black Talent Perspective." ANA, 2023.