Marketing is a process of promoting and advertising one’s products and services in an attempt to secure sales and make a larger profit (Twin, 2020). As long as large businesses have been developing, the need to separate themselves from the competition and appear better and more unique has been steadily increasing, and the development in modern technology has only helped the practice advance further. Nowadays, people are surrounded by advertisements and the effort to keep the customer’s attention on one particular brand is becoming a battle.
Companies of all sizes have to take a variety of factors into consideration, including the pollical climate, major and influential events of the time, and the general trends in society’s development, all of which are crucial to creating a successful and long-lasting marketing strategy. By taking advantage of the things people would find interesting and enjoyable, a professional marketer can leave an impact on their audience. Out of the many factors to consider, some influential trends have been emerging in recent years, forcing advertisers to reconsider how the process of marketing the company or a single product is approached. The purpose of this paper is to explore one of the contemporary issues in marketing while explaining it from an appropriate perspective to a general audience. The issue at hand is the shift away from gendered marketing and the diversification of society.
A Move Away From Gendered Marketing
In recent decades, the major countries of the world have seen drastic changes in the public perception of gender, and the way that people perceive its importance in society. While in the times of the first and second world wars, as well as a long time afterward, a person’s gender determined many things in the way they were regarded and the way they saw themselves. With the rise of the feminist movement and the general cultural shift towards progressive thought, however, men and women became somewhat more similar in society.
Gradually, as the process of cultural expansion has brought more kinds of people together, new ideas on how the topic of gender should be handled have appeared. With the push for gender equality in both how people are treated and how society sees them, the need to separate many kinds of products into gendered categories no longer fulfills its purpose (Consumer Trends – Michael Solomon – Consumer Behavior & Marketing Expert 2018). Price differences in many of such products further dissuade customers from buying them and harm businesses.
The fact that many female-advertised products often cost more than their normal counterparts has been a topic of criticism in recent years. Gendered marketing has had While the tactic allowed marketers to more effectively divide their customers into segments before, now it only serves to further alienate people. That trend is especially noticeable with the increasing awareness about the existence of nonbinary people, who cannot be placed into one of the two socially accepted categories. The changes in society make advertisers and businesses realize the need to move away from gendered advertising and make products that can cater to a varied audience.
Diversification In Culture
Another interesting cultural trend that impacts how companies and marketers have to conduct their business is globalization and the diversification of culture. With the development of new modes of transportation, online technology, and many other innovations that have revolutionized the way people live their lives and interact with each other, the culture has also been subject to change. People, in general, have become more open and accepting of others and those that are different from them in belief, appearance, or other traits. This trend of diversification has affected all facets of life, including the art scene, the workplace, and people’s daily lives.
People of different nationalities are migrating and settling into foreign countries, slowly adding parts of their cultural tradition to the places they now inhabit. Racial minorities are able to make their voice heard, and more and more people are becoming increasingly aware of the role racial diversity can play in the world. In such circumstances, marketers and advertisers are similarly making a push for more inclusive content and promotions that appeal to a broader crowd (Consumer Trends – Michael Solomon – Consumer Behavior & Marketing Expert 2018). In most cases, the process includes featuring people of different national and racial identities, as well as making products and services that better cater to a diverse crowd. In other situations, the process may also include hiring more people from different backgrounds to work on projects and listening to feedback from people of color.
What Is The Problem?
The main issue that is born from both of these trends lies in the difficulty of change and adjustment in the concerns of marketing. While the practice notably places a high value on understanding the public consciousness, making a stride to change is still difficult. Humans are often resistant to change, and see it as a dangerous and scary process, which can present a large risk to an established business. When a particular brand or a corporation has worked to establish its image in the mind of a common person, it can be incredibly hard to move away from that image and attempt serious changes. The fear of losing the long-time audience and clientship is what often stops marketers from implementing strategies aimed at diversification and universality in products.
Another consideration comes from the financial side of the discussion. While some entities might be more than willing to attempt radical or necessary changes to their work strategy and marketing policy, the process can cost quite a significant sum of money. Oftentimes, it can be financially unjustifiable to change a company’s advertisement strategy in an effort to appeal to a bigger demographic. Another factor that cannot be overlooked is, of course, bias and discrimination. While a lot of things have changed over the years, that does not mean that some companies and individuals do not hold prejudiced beliefs against certain groups of people. Such bias is oftentimes unintentional, existing as a leftover from the past or reflected in an act that is not considered to be discriminatory. Such attitudes and conditions reject change and can become great barriers in the work to diversify and adapt to the changes in the global market.
Why does the problem exist
As mentioned previously, the current age has come a long way from the traditional vision of gender and its importance in society. Males and females are no longer the only two widely recognized categories to sort people in, and even these two are becoming less relevant to how people purchase products and organize their living. Marketing based on the needs of men and women is shown to be less effective than in the past, with the addition of attracting the ire of activist groups.
The now-emerging categories for understanding gender identity such as nonbinary and genderfluid also need to be taken into account when designing and promoting products, which means that companies and businesses need to adjust their approaches accordingly. The increased visibility of people of color and other minorities also makes the work of a marketer more complicated, as advertising and promotion need to have an ability to be relatable to different types of people. Targeting demographics in this context is easier, as a company can separate their market into segments and decide on an appropriate strategy, but in the cases of such issues as race, nationality, and gender, this approach can rarely be considered effective.
Excessive focus on minority groups can be seen by the public as too performative, or as a way to pander to an audience in an effort to make a profit. To tread the line between including representation in marketing and also not seeming too forceful with it is especially difficult. Marketing experts need to develop an approach that will allow them to cater to new emerging groups while retaining the existing audience.
Possible Approaches And Solutions
In cases of marketing to people of minority groups and different genders, the audience wants to feel seen and represented in the work of a company. The business must reflect the fact that they work for the benefit of the people, respect their individual identities and see them not as a simple source of profit, but as a part of an exchange (Gynn, 2020). It is recorded that people are more likely to be interested or invested in an advertisement when they see it as a diverse and inclusive piece of content.
A survey from 2019 has shown at least 64% percent of average consumers decided to take action after seeing a diverse ad, with the percentage further increasing among minority groups (Zalis, 2019). To successfully cater to a broader audience, the business needs to market both itself and its product as inclusive and diverse. These two parts are equally important, as diversity concerns how many categories of people the company caters to, and inclusivity defines how people of different groups interact together and how they are treated (Gynn, 2020).
A business is required to show that its products are useful and suitable for people of all walks of life, while also not forgetting to make it clear to the audience that they were made with the assistance of a diverse team of people (Gynn, 2020). Taking advantage of different promotional techniques, as well as hiring talent from people of minority groups will make understanding the needs of people much more easily.
In conclusion, the world of today presents marketers with a variety of issues, many of which as difficult to consider and address in an adequate manner. With the changes in society brought about by the spread of globalism, companies are forced to address the changing circumstances of their work. The roles of men and women in society are increasingly becoming similar, and people are starting to address the fact that the gender binary is insufficient to meet the needs of society. The emergence of newer gender groups and the rise in the role of women has brought about the end of the highly gendered advertisement, which is now seen only as a remnant of the times past and an ineffective way to address a company’s client base.
Globalization, advances in travel, and a leap in civil rights have also contributed to the fact that the voices of minority groups are more heard. Black people, Hispanics, Asian people, and many other groups that have not seen proper representation in marketing in the past are now becoming a centerpiece with the push for more inclusivity. The companies attempt to make their products more suitable for members of different groups and seek to attract new potential markets to their wares.
All these changes make it necessary for advertisers to also change the way promotion and branding are accomplished, as the values and priorities of modern society have shifted. Corporations must strive to be more thoughtful of a variety of people in their work if they desire to survive and thrive in the current financial setting.
Gynn, A. (2020). How to Do Diverse and Inclusive Content Marketing That Matters. Content Marketing Institute. Web.
Zalis, S. (2019). Perceptions on diversity & inclusion – Think with Google. Google. Web.
Consumer Trends – Michael Solomon – Consumer Behavior & Marketing Expert. Michael Solomon. (2018). Web.