Multicultural Marketing Lessons from Ashley McGowan, Global Business Equality Lead at Meta

Ashley McGowanAt the Facebook Meta Boost Gather event in DC, I was excited to learn from one of the leaders in multicultural marketing in North America: Ashley McGowan, Meta’s Global Business Equality Lead. Anyone who’s gone to a similar business conference over the past decade has probably been to a similar talk around the combination of DEI efforts and advertising, as more and more studies prove the connection between diversifying your marketing efforts and business success. Here are some of the multicultural marketing lessons from Ms. McGowans’s presentation:

Your Customers Want Multicultural Marketing

Beyond simply being the right thing to do, creating more diverse advertisements is something that your customers want you to do. Seventy-seven percent of people expect that businesses promote diversity and inclusion in their online advertising.

Bonnie Chu, of Forbes, broke this down further.

  • 59% of white individuals feel represented in advertising.
  • 26% of Black individuals feel represented in advertising.
  • 10% of Latinx feel represented in advertising.
  • Only 3% of Asians feel represented in advertising.

Race is just one factor where a vast majority of your customers may not be represented by your current ads. Beyond race, including other representation is even more important.

Diversifying your Advertising is one of the main Multicultural Marketing LessonsMulticultural Marketing is Even More Important to Gen Z

Gen Z (people born after 1997, i.e. age 24 and under) is the most racially, ethnically, and sexually diverse generation in history, and they’re coming to take over the consumer market. There are actually already 4 states within the US (California, New Mexico, Texas, and Hawaii) that already have Gen Z as the largest age demographic.

Organizations that are proactive in diversifying their marketing will be ahead of the game, as Gen Z continues to have more of an impact on the economy.

Steps to Diversify Your Marketing:

You’re convinced to diversify your market – but how do you actually go about this process?

Ashley provided the audience with three helpful steps to begin applying her multicultural marketing lessons:


See how you can use diversified marketing to extend your advertising expenses to reach a greater audience.

  1. Consider diversifying your dollar. As the CEO or CMO, you have the power to put your dollar into the pockets of more diverse media creators.
  2. Introduce an advertising review process. On a daily basis, your ads are being seen by individuals like yourself who have a bias. By bringing in a diverse, outside board that reviews your ads, you’ll get a third-party perspective that provides you with insights you may not have considered yourself.
  3. Develop meaningful partnerships. Bringing in a wider set of influencers will help your organization achieve a connection with a wider audience.


Aligning your event with the current or historical moments where individuals are gathering on a shared topic, allowing you to bring your brand into conversation for the better.

  1. Leverage culture moments to reinforce your company values. Remember that tone matters: pride month posts are going to have a different emotion than Coming Out Day (October 11th), or Juneteenth.
  2. Plan for long-term engagement. It’s a corporate sin (that you will be called out on) to have performative diversity. This means that you’ll have to actually back your diversified marketing with real actions – and maintain them even if the initial conversation around diversity slows down.


Celebrate your wins when you integrate diversity and inclusion, as well as identifying your missteps and opportunity for learning.

  1. Measure your impact. Use the tools available via Meta’s platforms (like Facebook and Instagram) or the other platforms to see what ads are actually driving awareness and leads.
  2. Be open to Optimization. (Turns out Online Optimism isn’t the only one with an Always Optimize value.) As a leader at your organization, you should always be looking for opportunities to bring new elements into your advertising.

Want to speak to an Optimist about how you can apply these multicultural marketing lessons to your business’ social media or advertising strategy? Reach out to Online Optimism today.