Following a year of diversity initiatives in nearly every corner of the media business, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has answered the call and chosen “diversity” as its Marketing Word of the Year. The choice results from the annual survey of more than 200 committee members conducted by ANA since 2014.
“Diversity has taken a different importance and relevance this year, for our customers and audiences,” was among the reasons ANA members gave for the word's selection. “This year we all had to consider whether our teams, our agencies and content reflected our diverse culture and customers. It’s been a prolific movement by marketers to ensure they are meeting the expectations demanded by consumers following the events of 2020 (and the historically underrepresented or underserved).”
During the past year, the broadcast industry has taken significant steps forward regarding diversity, with NAB creating an advisory committee comprised of senior-level broadcasters who are women and people of color, iHeartMedia's and The Corporation for Public Broadcasting's appointments of their first Senior VPs of Diversity and Inclusion, NPR's “More Voices, All Ears” campaign to promote the diversity of its content and attract more listeners of color, and a pledged focus on diversity and equity by FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel. In addition, 2021 has seen commitments from major advertisers such as General Motors and McDonald’s to increase spending with diverse-owned media.
ANA itself has taken on more diversity-based projects in 2021, including its release of “A Diversity Report for the Advertising/Marketing Industry” showing the overall ethnic skew of employees in client-side marketing is more diverse than ever, and its Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, which developed and released multiple diversity, equity, and inclusion tools and resources such as AAPI, AA, Black and LGBTQ+ educational fact packs.
Other top choices in the ANA's Marketing Word of The Year voting included cookie-less, metaverse, and customer experience (CX). Prior ANA Marketing Words of the Year were pivot (2020), personalization (2019), brand purpose (2018), artificial intelligence (2017), transparency (2016), and content marketing (2015).