Develop your plan

When inclusion is an afterthought, it shows. We’ve found that when you design your work with underrepresented groups in mind from the beginning, you save yourself trouble in the end.

Marketing objectives

Proactive inclusion ensures that your work resonates with underrepresented groups. Here are some things to keep in mind to make it happen.

  • Make inclusion a required consideration while developing goals. Be the voice in the room that brings it up.
  • Not every audience group can and should be at the center of every campaign – that isn’t the point. But when you consider whose stories you’re telling (and why) from the beginning of your process, your final product is much more likely to be naturally and authentically inclusive.


Assess how your brand or product speaks to underrepresented people

  • Understand how your positioning resonates with historically underrepresented groups. If your message excludes segments of your intended market’s audience, and doesn’t speak to their needs, start over and make sure you’re certain they’ll feel seen.
  • Inclusion requires understanding the nuanced diversity of the market you’re trying to reach. Even within seemingly “homogenous” markets, there’s a diverse range of identities to include and new stories to tell.

Bit Source: Appalachian ingenuity” (2018) highlights how a group of people, infrequently featured in our marketing, helped their Kentucky community using Google tools. Rather than focusing on the tools, the video centers on the real stories of local coal miners.

Ensure your brand respectfully participates in cultural conversations

  • Make every effort to know and respect the cultural context of underrepresented groups. You may not get it right every time, but even a little research and self-education goes a long way.
  • Never make a brand the hero. Don't co-opt a group’s experience, and avoid positioning the brand as a savior. Test your ideas with your audience to gauge the power dynamics of your message. Hero your audience first.
  • Be aware of the current events and public discourse impacting the people you intend to reach.

Our 2018 campaign “You don’t know New York” was met with critical feedback from local audiences. By not fully taking current events and public discourse into consideration, the message was called out as negatively contributing to the issue of gentrification.

Demonstrate commitments beyond your creative

  • Ensure your brand’s lived values support your message. When your day-to-day actions and policies contradict the ideals you express, consumers will rightfully call out hypocrisy.
  • Take impactful, long-term action before, during, and after your campaign to ensure you’re meaningfully showing up for underrepresented groups, not just when it’s beneficial to the brand.

To help people living with paralysis, Google Home partnered with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to distribute 100,000 free Google Home Minis. Then, through the #PowerOfVoice campaign, people shared stories about how voice-enabled technology helps them in their day-to-day.