Joyann Boyce: Founder of Arima & Co Marketing Consultancy:
The importance of diversity in Marketing
A list of 10 social media trends to watch in 2022 highlighted ‘A renewed focus on accountability and diversity’ at number 5 in its list. For Joyann Boyce, Founder or Arima & Co, diversity is no trend but the industry gold standard that should be embedded in all forward-thinking brand marketing.
Named as one of the South West’s 42 under 42 by Insider Media and a TechSpark Top 50 Rising Star, Joyann is inspiring companies to get serious about their commitment to inclusivity.
Arima & Co, founded in 2021, is already a leader in its field, having recognised a deficit of inclusive marketing, it is working with brands on how to interpret and improve their inclusivity data for undertaking new marketing campaigns. Joyann and her team are arguably trailblazers, turning the good intentions of clients into inclusive and effective marketing.
Arima & Co was born out of an experienc
e where Joyann searched for an image of someone typing on a keyboard for her website and discovered “I can’t find any hands that look like mine”. As part of a TechSpark project, she then began to create a digital library of diverse stock for anyone to use. In 2020, after three years of completing inclusive digital audits for companies, Joyann developed ‘Inclued’ an AI-assisted tool for measuring your inclusive digital footprint.
Joyann says “Diversity inclusion is in its teenage years, where it’s potentially a bit awkward - companies think they are doing well and want to expand their existing audience. This is where Arima can do an audit on their digital footprint and look at their diversity representation across their marketing output. It can be quite revealing as often the data doesn’t support the assumptions made by the brand”.
Joyann feels strongly that companies should review their inclusivity representation from the outset of their project, to ensure that the diversity drivers are authentic and not brought in later and risk being labelled as tokenistic.
“We actively encourage longevity in inclusivity, so it is not just highlighted for a one-off project as an example. The danger is if people interpret a brand as using tokenism, they will lose the trust and custom of wider audiences”.
With stats indicating that 70% of millennials are more likely to choose one brand over another if that brand demonstrates inclusion and diversity (Accenture) and that 49% of Gen Z have stopped purchasing from a brand that do not represent their values (Microsoft Advertising), brands are sitting up and taking notice of the potential for unconscious bias in their marketing campaigns and are looking for guidance.
When starting work with a new client or project, Joyann says “We like to know what our clients’ values are and undertake a custom workshop with them, so a wider team can take ownership of inclusivity. Everyone should have a flagpole and be part of the process, so inclusivity becomes an embedded legacy”.
Joyann’s personal inspiration is the ground-breaking scientist and poet Joy Buolamwini. Joy is renowned for her work in the coding industry and in research around algorithm fairness (especially genetic facial recognition and fair skin bias). Joy’s belief is that the first step in overcoming algorithm bias is incorporating more diverse data into the machine learning process, a driver that is certainly echoed in Joyann’s holistic and intersectional approach to inclusivity within marketing.
We can’t wait to hear more from Joyann on ‘The Importance of diversity in Marketing’.
Important Note I'd like to say a huge thank you to Jane Pierce from Harissa PR in Plymouth who put this profile of Joyann together. It's hugely appreciated Jane, thank you.