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Asked to list their top business concerns in our recent survey of 500 B2C CMOs, just 20% cited the need to improve diversity and inclusion. Even before 2020 witnessed massive social unrest and cries for corporations to join the mission for a more diverse, equitable, inclusive society, this result would have been out of step with consumer sentiment.

In November 2019, Google’s research showed that 64% of consumers surveyed, including 76% of teens and 77% of millennials, took an action after seeing an ad they considered to show diversity or inclusion. Over the last 10 months, consumers have only shown stronger preferences for brands whose values authentically align with their own. In short: most brands focused on short-term health and survival will continue to miss a growing opportunity to step up and connect with a broader base of users, which is one of the major insights we unveil in our new report, Accept No Limits: B2C Marketing in 2020.

The moment calls for a deeper commitment than featuring diverse and inclusive creative in advertising campaigns (although that’s an important piece of more inclusive storytelling that many brands are still overlooking). Companies who devote time, resources, and budget to catalyze organizational change will be ahead of the curve in earning brand affinity for the long term.

We dive into this and other challenges and opportunities in the full report, which you can download here.