What Discrimination + Digital Marketing Have In Common…

What Discrimination + Digital Marketing Have In Common…

What Discrimination + Digital Marketing Have In Common...

Tripod, the Tricycle Creative podcast, is for anyone interested in being a better Digital + Content Marketer. Hosted by Ross Herosian (a Marketing coach, content creator, and entrepreneur) episodes are a mix of helpful Marketing tips, social media updates, inspiring interviews, and his own unique perspective on how to promote and grow your business.

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This week there was a discrimination lawsuit filed against the NFL (and some of the teams specifically) by former coach Brian Flores.

Now, this is far from a marketing story but news and discussion got me thinking about it.

Perhaps I have a someone unique perspective on it seeing as how I spent 6+ years of my early career in HR as a recruiter. That was when I was working at XM Radio (before the merger with Sirius) and in charge of their internship program. When I started, the program had 15 interns in the summer for the Programming (i.e. on-air) department. When I left, we were bringing in up 120 students, three times a year, for all departments in the company. It was also named “Top 10 Internship In America” two times by Vault.com.

I say all this because it was a program that provided an amazing “learning lab” experience for 1000’s of students while at the same time acting as a viable talent pool for hiring. That being the case, we intentionally implemented a strategy to promote diversity for the internship program and for the company as a whole. This strategy was something that went into all aspects of my recruiting.

The biggest misconception about diversity programs is that they unevenly favor minorities. That is not the case. Instead, what a well-designed diversity program does is level the playing field to make opportunities more openly available.


That’s the word in this unfortunate story that made me think about marketing.

Just like there’s a misconception about diversity programs, the same misconceptions exist as it relates to marketing.

A lot of people aren’t able to clearly distinguish marketing and sales from each other so they get comingled when it comes to expectations. So when you run a social media campaign that blows the doors off all previous efforts and sets records for engagements and new account follows they say, “but it didn’t generate any sales!”

Both diversity campaigns and marketing projects need to have established firm ground of:

  1. What do we want the outcome to be? (objectives), and
  2. how do we know if we’ve accomplished it? (key results)

When we look at the NFL Diversity efforts (admittedly, from the outside) it would appear that optics are very important. They have “Stop Hate” and “Equality” on helmets and in stadiums and I do not have any doubt that they in fact have made donations to organizations for racial equality and justice. Let’s at least be honesty brokers and applaud them for that.

But let’s also not let that give them a pass for what appears to be a systemic failure to set acceptable objectives and key results related to diverse representation and hiring practices for head coaching positions. Two things can be true: NFL invests in organizations that combat racial inequality AND the NFL does not have a motivation or strategy to address racial inequality in their league.

In closing, I want to leave you with a video to watch from the show First Things First. It’s a sports show and one of the co-hosts, Nick Wright, who is white, does a fantastic job of putting the diversity (or, rather, lack thereof) in perspective.

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