The Gist

  • Diverse representation. DEI fosters meaningful and effective customer experiences by embracing a variety of perspectives and backgrounds.
  • Inclusive personalization. Prioritizing accessibility and diverse user needs leads to happier customers and improved business performance.
  • Evolving demographics. Understanding the changing martech buyer preferences enables vendors to position their brand value beyond just the product.

According to recent data, women held 47.8% of all marketing jobs in the US in 2021 — 1.7 percentage points higher than they held in the general workforce. In stark contrast, women held just 26.7% of tech jobs in the US that year.

As these two industries become increasingly intersected for the improvement of customer experience, it’s imperative we consider the role DEI plays. From the evolution of consumer behavior to the new the martech buyer and establishing more inclusive teams — organizations that embrace diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are better positioned to create and maintain meaningful and effective customer experiences.

Prioritizing Personalization for Inclusive Experiences

The relationship between brands and consumers today demands personalization when it comes to delivering great experiences. If you break down why personalization is so successful, one of the reasons is because it allows you to better reach customers with diverse backgrounds or abilities. Customers may have different levels of abilities, with some experiencing impairments such as a hearing or vision disability.

More than ever, innovation is about the ability to change human behavior through the application of technology, especially when it comes to customer experience. As consumer behavior evolves, technology opens the door to meet new expectations and drives more personalized experiences. This can only be done successfully, however, if you build with DEI in mind. By optimizing your approach to be accessible to as many people as possible, you create a more inclusive experience, making customers happy and improving your bottom line.

Related Article: 5 Ways Diversity and Inclusion Impact the Customer Experience

The New Martech Buyer

According to a 2022 survey released by the American Marketing Association (AMA), nearly half of company buyers say they are much more likely to buy from a firm that scores highly on socio-political issues they think are important. The survey also found that B2B buyers not only want to purchase from companies that are good employers and corporate citizens, but are willing to pay more for them — with 38% of B2B buyers saying they would pay 10% or more on purchases exceeding $100,000 from those companies. Although most buyers are millennial age males, the same AMA survey found that women are beginning to take up a larger percentage of that demographic. As a result, women are predicted to make up most B2B buyers in as little as 10 years.

With more women making buying decisions, and the increasing number of Gen Zers in the workforce, the demographic of the martech buyer is evolving. They care about the company more as a whole and not just the product and aren’t just interested in purchasing from vendors that implement good practices. By understanding the new martech buyer, vendors can position the value of their brand to meet customer expectations beyond product.

Related Article: 3 Ways Diversity Improves the Customer Experience

Learning Opportunities

Diversifying Leadership and Perspectives

Welcoming different perspectives into the decision making process overall is important. Not only will it make team members feel more included, supported and empowered to voice their opinions, ideas and concerns — it will also enable you to better connect with your customers. To do so however, we need to change the conversation around what makes up a marketing or technology team and what skills are required.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, the top skills needed to be successful as a leader of tomorrow are emotional intelligence, empathy, listening skills, coaching and mentoring, and creativity. Research has shown that these skills tend to be strengths for women, despite the fact often there aren’t as many opportunities for women to hold leadership positions across various industries, including technology.

To change the conversation around what makes up a marketing or technology organization today, the most impactful and immediate action that can be taken is to diversify your executive teams. Establish new leadership roles that are not the typically male dominated roles of chief technology officer (CTO) or chief information officer (CIO).

Companies that offer technology solutions that build digital experiences for example, can establish new roles that will impact how software is created and delivered. Roles such as the chief design officer, chief ethics officer, chief experience officer, chief delivery officer and chief innovation officer — are great examples of positions that will help ensure that the technology impacting customer experiences live up to expectations in a more holistic way. The responsibilities of these roles will shape companies and allow for more diverse leadership.

Tech: More Than Just Coding

Since joining the technology industry two decades ago, the field has been defined by the roles of computer programmer and software engineer. While these are important positions, technology is so much more than code. It is also about desirability with ease of use and accessibility. Encouraging innovation can provide more opportunities to impact customer experiences, but changes have to be implemented to support that. At Widen, which is now an Acquia company, software is created by engineers, designers, researchers and product managers. It is delivered by infrastructure, support and customer services teams. With the gathering of more diverse voices, we’re able to meet a more diverse set of customers and users in a valuable way.

Building organizations and experiences with greater DEI should be an ongoing process. Making DEI a priority will not only empower you to build better customer experiences, but transform the environment your employees work in, and open up the doors for new voices to be heard in the martech industry. 

fa-solid fa-hand-paper Learn how you can join our contributor community.