All In: Our inclusive marketing toolkit

Four years ago, our Chief Marketing Officer, Lorraine Twohill, asked my team to better understand how well we were reflecting the world in our marketing. Since then, we’ve been on a mission to ensure we take inclusion into consideration at every stage of each story we tell. As a Black and gay man who rarely saw myself reflected in media growing up, I know personally the potential impact this could have on others.

When we started to study how inclusive our marketing actually was, we uncovered trends showing some groups of people being left out or misrepresented. For example, women had less speaking time, we too often portrayed Black people in overused roles like playing sports or dancing, and Latinos and people with disabilities were severely underrepresented in our work. This audit data prompted us to reach out to external inclusion experts and survey consumers to build a set of resources and principles to guide our work.

We began to apply what we learned to our own campaigns and creative process. We used this research as the basis for a workshop that, since 2017, has been required for all Googlers who work in marketing and for our external agency partners. And to make sure we had a variety of perspectives contributing to our work, we created an inclusive marketing panel of more than 90 Googlers in marketing who represent a wide range of backgrounds and have provided feedback on more than 300 Google campaigns.

We saw how helpful this work was internally, so we shared it with over 600 agency and industry partners to get their feedback. Now we are sharing All In, our inclusive marketing toolkit that includes the full breadth of resources we’ve compiled over the past several years, with everyone so that we can all accelerate our progress as an industry. In this toolkit, you’ll find what we’ve learned so far about:

  1. Building the right team: Practical advice on how to hire and empower underrepresented talent in your team and partners so your ideas benefit from a variety of perspectives. 

  2. Making inclusive strategic and creative choices: Tools to help you make inclusive choices throughout the marketing and creative process, from defining your audience and media strategy to brief making to writing a script or social copy.

  3. Holding each other accountable: Ways to set goals and measure your progress, through representation audits and creative targets, to ensure your work is on the right track.

  4. Eliminating stereotypes in marketing: An expansive set of U.S.-focused audience guides co-created with groups like ADCOLOR, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, GLAAD, Disability:IN, and many more to help ensure historically underrepresented demographic groups are authentically and positively represented. 

We are proud to partner with the key industry bodies 4A’s, ANA and Ad Council who have reviewed and endorsed All In. Whether you’re a strategist, creative, producer or brand manager, we hope you’ll find these initial resources useful, and we look forward to expanding these insights to more global audiences in the future.

Inclusive marketing is not only our responsibility, but an opportunity. Not just for Google, but for any company that wants to make a positive contribution to how we see ourselves and treat each other. By eliminating harmful stereotypes and portraying historically underrepresented communities, we have a chance to reach and deepen relationships with both new and existing users. We are still just getting started. In creating this site, and through our collaboration with our partners, we know we can do even more to improve representation and belonging in our work and in our workplace. But to create work that authentically reflects the world – we need to be all in.