Beyond implementing internal corporate programs and actively contributing to underserved populations financially and through community support, brands can also look for ways to incorporate DEI into their core offerings through representation in advertising, influencer marketing, and projects that use artificial intelligence tools.
If your marketing team is working to proactively and authentically weave diversity, equity and inclusion into the fabric of your brand, here’s what you need to know.
What is DEI and why it matters in AI and influencer marketing
In marketing, DEI appeals to consumers who want to see their racial, sexual, gender, or other identities represented and welcomed into physical and virtual spaces.
Here’s a quick rundown on the three terms:
- Diversity: The variety of backgrounds or identities represented
- Equity: Providing everyone with not only equal opportunities but also equal access to them
- Inclusion: Beyond just representation, inclusion is about being welcoming, fair, respectful, and collaborative
More than just ensuring that your marketing content is sensitive and inclusive of your target audience, your brand should use artificial intelligence tools to progress DEI by minimizing bias and ensuring fairness in everything from content creation and translation to accessibility and segmenting audiences.
The benefits of including DEI principles in AI projects
As the world’s population grows more diverse, consumers want to see themselves reflected in the brands they buy from and support. In a survey of Americans, these top DEI priorities include:
- Racial equity (31%)
- Gender equality (24%)
- Emotional, psychological, or mental health conditions (23%)
- Income (19%)
From product suggestions and browsing experiences to representation in marketing materials and social media influencers, artificial intelligence can help transform your customer journey into one consumers find authentic and relatable.
Better still, AI-driven analytics can help companies intentionally customize content to each customer’s identity and experience in a way that doesn’t feel performative.
Tools for implementing DEI into AI and influencer marketing initiatives
There are countless AI-powered tools that brands can adapt to improve their DEI efforts. Here are three that can inform your company’s influencer marketing initiatives.
Long before you launch any influencer marketing initiatives, you can use AI-powered tools to help you find diverse influencers. Rather than relying on subjective interpretations of content creators’ skills, engagement, and likeability, well-trained AI-based recruitment tools can remove the potential for human bias and promote equity by objectively determining the best person for a particular campaign.
Identifying and categorizing opinions on social media is time-consuming and often requires analysis beyond the scope of the average marketer’s skill set. But AI-powered tools trained to spot comments and behaviors driven by feelings of exclusion or discrimination can help your team learn, grow, and sometimes even rectify the problem to improve DEI efforts.
With access to diverse data, generative AI can help create relevant, interesting, and culturally appropriate content for diverse audiences. By reaching a broad audience on a personalized level, your brand’s messaging is more likely to resonate with the influencer’s audience. This can raise brand awareness, customer loyalty, engagement, and profits.
And while being socially responsible doesn’t necessarily translate to profits on its own, most surveys show that consumers are more likely to support companies and businesses that align with their values.
Examples of companies successfully leveraging DEI in AI
Looking for some examples of brands using AI to improve their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts? Check out these two companies leading the way with AI-powered analytics to leverage insights that improve DEI in their influencer marketing efforts.
In 2020, Nordstrom’s chief brand officer and president announced a five-year plan to promote racial equality, including a DEI influencer marketing campaign to promote awareness for the company’s Black-owned products.
In 2021, Verizon announced that it was launching a new responsible marketing action plan to address DEI in the workplace and advertising, content, and media. In addition to creating mandatory content bias training for its marketing and agency teams, the company established a Verizon Diversity Inclusion Equality Measure tool to track the representation of race, gender, ethnicity, and identity, formed inclusive work panels, and utilized the Gender Equality Measure tool to track accurate gender representation. Verizon continues to support its efforts with various diverse influencers and causes for underserved communities and populations.
Questions to consider for future implementations of DEI and AI in influencer marketing
As you set out to implement DEI and AI in your influencer marketing campaigns, start by asking your brand the hard questions:
- Are we aiming to comply with our DEI efforts, or are we willing to be proactive and champion DEI?
- In what areas—content, data and analytics, communications—are we excelling with AI-powered DEI, and in what areas are we falling short?
- What AI-powered tools can and should we invest in to better inform, implement, and practice diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Put these practices to work for your brand to ensure you’re filtering your content, communications, and influencer marketing representatives through a lens that is fair, welcoming, and representative of a wide range of identities in your target audience.