DEI, D&I, DI. Three acronyms agencies and brands that invest in diversity in Influencer Marketing campaigns should be familiar with. But, does it shock you to know that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) or diversity and inclusion (D&I or DI) are not the same as Inclusive Marketing or Multicultural Marketing? Furthermore, is it a surprise that all of the above are vital to successful diversity in Influencer Marketing initiatives? Though many people use the terms interchangeably, the former (DEI) is about systemic attitudes and practices and the latter (Inclusive Marketing or Multicultural Marketing) are types of consumer-facing strategies and campaigns. This post addresses why it is important for your brand to differentiate between all three: DEI, Inclusive Marketing, and Multicultural Marketing. Additionally, it shares tips to implement them to enhance your diversity in Influencer Marketing campaigns. 

This post is part of a 7-part series on diversity, equity, and inclusion in Influencer Marketing. Check out the other articles to learn DEI Definitions and The Case for Inclusive Marketing. Additionally, get tips on How to Create Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing Campaigns and How to Ensure Your Diversity Influencer Marketing Campaigns Will Meet the Mark. Finally, discover 7 Mistakes to Avoid in Diversity Influencer Marketing. Last but not least, check out Brands Getting Diversity in Influencer Marketing Right. Want to get the goods all in one place? Download our eBook on Everything You Need to Know About Diversity in Influencer Marketing.

Diversity in Influencer Marketing

Diversity Definitions: What DEI, Inclusive Marketing, and Multicultural Marketing Mean

Before diving into their differences, let’s define what DEI, Influencer Marketing, Inclusive Marketing, and Multicultural Marketing mean as they relate to diversity in Influencer Marketing campaigns.

  • Diversity: In short, diversity means that you invite diverse influencers to participate in your brand’s or client’s Influencer Marketing campaigns. This includes giving creators opportunities to join every phase of the campaign process. Furthermore, it requires enlisting a broad array of influencers—those that match your target audience.
  • Equity: In diversity in Influencer Marketing campaigns, equity means providing equal opportunities for influencers who meet your buyers’ persona. Furthermore, it means paying creators fairly, including compensating those the same who have similar qualifications and requirements.
  • Inclusion: At its core, inclusion is about helping influencer partners have a voice and feel like they belong. Use language and terminology that is understood by all, avoid stereotypes, welcome fresh perspectives, and be open to dissenting viewpoints. 
  • Influencer Marketing: Falling under the public relations (PR) umbrella due to its storytelling format, Influencer Marketing involves digital creators who review, recommend, and promote a brand’s products and services. Namely, through social media and blogging, including photography and video-based creative assets. These can be brand evangelists or people who reflect the brand’s ideal target demographic.
  • Inclusive Marketing: Including diversity in its many forms, Inclusive Marketing ensures your brand connects with the most people possible, including those who may be underrepresented, in your target audience.
  • Multicultural Marketing: Focusing primarily on race and ethnicity, Multicultural Marketing aims to target groups within a target demographic based on buyer persona information.

For a deeper dive into DEI definitions, click here.

What Is the Difference Between DEI and Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing?

Knowing basic definitions of DEI, Influencer Marketing, Inclusive Marketing, and Multicultural Marketing is helpful. However, diving into their differences will help you ensure your Influencer Marketing practice includes diversity both internally and externally from strategy to execution.

Juanita Velez, Multicultural Marketing Expert and Founder of HYPE, defines Multicultural Marketing in an article published on Campaign Monitor entitled “Let’s Call it What it Is: Multicultural Marketing not Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

While DEI looks to shape corporate cultures to be more diverse, equitable and just; inclusive multicultural marketing aims at growing the business by investing in research and strategic initiatives to authentically market to multicultural audiences. 

Additionally, Accenture Digital Consultant, Roselyn Xavier, in her article “Let’s Talk About Inclusive Marketing,” shares the following inclusive marketing definition:

In other words, inclusive marketing refers to the messaging, people, processes, and technologies that enable marginalized or underrepresented groups to fully experience and connect with brands.

As it relates to Influencer Marketing, consider that DEI reflects a brand’s or agency’s systemic approach and practices, including how they work with contractors (influencers), vendors, and clients. In contrast, Inclusive Marketing or Multicultural Marketing means ensuring the strategies, objectives, campaign tactics, and messaging reflect specific groups, especially those that are underrepresented, in a brand’s target market. Specifically, copy and creative that speaks to consumers in ways they resonate with and that meet them where they’re at. Namely, which social media platforms they frequent and which audio content, blogs, podcasts, and videos they consume.

What Is the Difference Between Inclusive Marketing and Multicultural Marketing?

Let’s look at the differences between Inclusive Marketing and Multicultural Marketing. In Refuel Agency’s post on 6 Examples of Brands Who Got Multicultural Marketing Right, they share:

Multicultural marketing … refers to a marketing strategy that recognizes the differences in culture and ethnicities of a target market. Successful inclusive marketing campaigns aim to break advertising norms by highlighting people or groups that may be under or misrepresented.

What Does Successful Diversity in Influencer Marketing Practice and Process Look Like?

Knowing what DEI, Inclusive Marketing, and Multicultural Marking mean and how they are different from each other is a great first step. To rock your diversity in Influencer Marketing campaigns, you need to know how they work together to benefit your brand. Specifically, you need to know when and how to implement all three to drive diversity and ROI on your Influencer Marketing campaigns.

Example of Successful Diversity

Diversity in Influencer Marketing practices and processes incorporate DEI, Inclusive Marketing, and Multicultural Marketing every step of the way. Here’s what that may look like as just one example:

  • Agency X develops a solid DEI practice from the top down. From representation and equal opportunities to making it safe for people to not only have a seat at the table but also to share their best ideas and diverse opinions, they are committed to DEI in all areas.
  • They stay on top of the trends, set goals, and have regular training and accountability. However, keep in mind that they need to make the topic safe and encourage an open dialogue. 
  • They partner with brands that have similar practices or attitudes or who want to follow their lead toward greater diversity.
  • The larger team partners on Influencer Marketing strategies, which include Inclusive Marketing and Multicultural Marketing based on data and as appropriate for the brand’s target audience.
  • The Agency representatives bring in influencer partners at various points from strategy to execution to ensure their ideas, brand messaging, language (including terminology and slang), and representation are all spot on. In other words, they welcome, listen to, and course correct based on direct feedback. 
  • They solidify everything from strategy and plans to key parts of the Scope of Work (SOW) and Influencer Contract. This happens only after confirming they are on the right track.
  • With the SOW solidified and brand messaging set, they offer equal influencer partnership opportunities. In addition, they offer fair pay to all participating creators and welcome their input. 
  • They press go and roll out the campaign. They need to encourage influencer partners to use their authentic voices as they engage in brand-related storytelling across their blogs and social media platforms. All content is in alignment with the agreed-upon, reviewed, and approved brand message points and brand objectives.
  • They monitor, listen, and watch for consumer feedback and reactions to the campaign to ensure the sentiment is positive. If not, they respond promptly based on a well-thought-out crisis-management plan.
  • At the campaign’s conclusion, the team holds a debrief meeting. They will identify what went well, areas for improvement, and how they can do better in their diversity efforts.

Procter & Gamble: A Brand Getting Diversity in Influencer Marketing Right

Procter & Gamble is well known for getting diversity in Influencer Marketing right. For example, from its DEI practices to its Multicultural Marketing and Inclusive Marketing campaigns, it is a shining example of how brands can make a difference. In a Vervoe article entitled, “39 Awesome Brands Leading the Way in Diversity,” it states:

P&G is very transparent about its diversity and inclusion metrics, which were last updated in 2020. Its diversity dashboard shows how P&G has improved gender diversity, ethnic diversity, and the makeup of its board since 2015. Recently the brand announced a new global parental leave policy, offering at minimum eight weeks of fully-paid leave for biological parents, domestic partners, adoptive parents, and parents in same-sex couples, plus an additional six weeks of physical recovery leave for birth mothers. 

Additionally, Procter & Gamble encourages all of us to do better in the diversity arena. Namely, with its recent “Lead With Love” ad:

Wrapping It All Up

Diversity in Influencer Marketing campaigns requires incorporating DEI, Inclusive Marketing, and Multicultural Marketing all along the way. First, successful campaigns are those that include a pro-diversity attitude and embrace DEI from the top down. Second, they rely on influencer participation from people who represent the target market. Third, they thrive on feedback and course correction. Fourth, they don’t shy away from prompt responses and accountability when missteps happen. And finally, they have teams leading them that are in a constant state of improvement.

Next Steps

Want to learn more about diversity in Influencer Marketing? 

4 Steps to Create Multicultural and Inclusive Marketing Campaigns
6 Tips for Stretching Your Influencer Marketing Budgets