Navigating Inclusivity in Your B2B Marketing Strategy

In recent years, discussions regarding representation and diversity in marketing have yielded significant results. However, there’s still work that needs to be done. B2C marketers may have been the first to incorporate inclusivity into their strategies, but that doesn't mean prioritizing inclusivity isn’t equally important for your B2B marketing strategy.


Whether your target audience is consumers or business owners, one of the best ways to connect with clients is showcasing your own efforts to cultivate an inclusive, knowledgeable, and supportive staff. Representation—real not contrived—will ensure that buyers from different backgrounds feel like they’re truly part of your community. It starts with embracing inclusivity within your own organization.


Some B2B organizations make the mistake of thinking diversity and inclusion start and end with who they hire. However, it is a complex and dynamic concept that requires thoughtful and committed implementation on a variety of fronts throughout your business.


Navigating inclusivity in your B2B marketing strategy begins with diving deeper into why spending the resources to do so matters. Only then, can you confront potential challenges and find ways to achieve real diversity and inclusion in your messaging.

Why you should incorporate inclusivity into your strategy

Though there are certainly moral arguments for making inclusivity a part of your B2B marketing strategy, there is also a strong business case — it will benefit your bottom line. A thoughtful B2B marketing strategy that prioritizes diversity has the potential to greatly benefit your business’s overall performance.


To start, McKinsey research provides evidence that organizations with a higher rate of diversity perform better. Other benefits of implementing diversity initiatives include attracting top talent, higher employee satisfaction, and fostering innovation. According to Fast Company, greater representation of women in C-suite level positions results in a 34% greater return to shareholders.


Since 61% of Americans believe diversity in advertising is important, businesses will want to partner with organizations that can meet consumer expectations. Building a marketing team of individuals with diverse perspectives is proof that your organization can help other businesses reach and connect with a wide range of customers and audiences.

Challenges your business must overcome

It’s important to keep in mind the benefits of incorporating inclusivity in your B2B marketing strategy especially when challenges arise while trying to navigate it. At its core, while both can be used to benefit the other, B2B marketing is slightly more challenging than its B2C counterpart since you must work to understand the nuances of the people within a business. It’s when marketers stop at just understanding the business itself that they fail.


When in doubt, remember that your B2B marketing strategy is still about people. People want authenticity. As you strive to navigate inclusivity, you must embrace the concept as a whole and not just the presentation.


Unfortunately, many marketers see diversity and inclusion as a box to be checked and not a valuable way to improve the client experience. Without formal training, it’s tough for B2B marketers to develop a holistic approach that adequately showcases their organization’s genuine commitment.  

Tips for making inclusivity part of your brand

Once you resolve to make inclusivity a central part of your brand, it’s critical to see every project and major decision through that lens. From conceptualizing campaigns to seemingly small choices such as names or stock images, you need to understand that you’re striving to communicate to different audiences that they matter. The messaging you use highlights your values to prospective clients.


When it comes to diversity, some organizations make the mistake of only thinking as far as hiring. Other areas of your organization require equal care and attention including employee engagement, client services, and diverse community support.


Remember that assembling and maintaining an inclusive, knowledgeable, and supportive staff is one of the strongest ways to reach your clients. In addition to improving representation, inclusive and diverse workplaces celebrate differences and emphasize belonging.


Just as you should not limit your scope to just hiring, take care not to only look at diversity in terms of race and gender. Successful B2B organizations take a broad and deep approach, aiming to represent generational diversity, multicultural diversity, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and others.


Be careful not to perpetuate stereotypes or lean into obvious representations. Make it your mission to simply showcase how real people live and work (ideally, your own team should serve as an example). To stay on track, institute metrics and measurements around inclusivity.


Diversity and inclusion in marketing is not a passing trend. From who you have on your team to the brand messaging you put out into the world, representation is essential.


Because diversity and inclusion is such a multi-faceted concept, navigating it isn’t easy. As you work to incorporate it into your B2B marketing strategy, there will be challenges, but finding ways to overcome them will mean significant returns in revenue as well as reputation.