Why diversity matters in marketing

A Q&A with Ext. Marketing CEO & Co-founder Jillian Bannister

How does DEI shape Ext.’s business?

The principle of DEI is central to Ext. Marketing philosophy because we believe diverse perspectives lead to better creativity and superior client solutions. On my executive team, some of the top senior leaders are women, and they help drive the organization forward every day. Their expertise and unique voices give us a competitive edge. But diversity goes beyond gender – we believe that the fabric of an organization is stronger with different voices that transcend gender, race, sexual orientation or ethnic background. Each individual has distinct life experiences that shape their perspectives in unique ways. We want to embrace and harness these viewpoints. We have always encouraged a workplace with diverse voices because we believe it promotes fresh thinking. Great ideas don’t come from any one specific area of the organization. They can originate from anywhere. Inclusivity helps ignite the creative spark that is essential to all of Ext.’s marketing projects. This approach promotes empathy – which helps us develop better solutions for our clients by encouraging us to see the world from their point of view.

Why is it so important?

Ext. Marketing operates in a diverse global financial services ecosystem that exhibits varying stages of DEI adoption. But many have realized that there is a wealth of opportunity for community building by actively engaging and speaking to audience segments and constituencies, including women, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and other underserved communities.

We work hard with our clients to help them understand that diversity and inclusivity build more resilient companies and marketing strategies. Every client is unique, so it all starts with listening and understanding client goals. Our clients tend to see the value of integrating DEI initiatives and strategies into their businesses and marketing messages. It’s important to be authentic to your company and brand if you want to develop messages and creative collateral that resonate.

How does DEI help Ext. Marketing create more engaging marketing strategies?

We work in an omni-channel digital environment. That is especially relevant, given this year’s International Women’s Day theme embraces equity by recognizing technology’s transformative nature. Technology can break down barriers, establish new opportunities for women, and give underserved communities a voice. From a marketing perspective, activating strategies across diverse channels means reaching different audiences, offering clients an opportunity to amplify their voice and deliver tailored, targeted and relevant content. Today, content encompasses everything from AI chatbots to long-form thought leadership. Therefore, clients should be granular with their messages and target specific personas. A diverse marketing toolkit helps you reach an eclectic audience, leading to a more effective and efficient spend of marketing dollars.

I’m a big believer in championing women. The glass ceiling is far from being broken. We’ve helped clients in the financials sector develop numerous campaigns focusing on women in investing – a vastly underserved segment. Interestingly, we are seeing a transition from women-focused campaigns to campaigns that aren’t so “single-note”. The idea is to avoid biases and stereotyping, and integrate more nuanced perspectives and intersectionality.1

How did it affect your decision to support Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter?

We’re passionate about giving back to our community. I’ve been involved with Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter in Toronto, since I was a child, and Ext. Marketing has supported Ernestine’s since our first day in business over 14 years ago. Combatting violence against women and helping women find a safe place is a stark necessity in our society. Post-COVID-19, we’ve seen a huge uptick in mental health issues, which has escalated cases of violence against women. Ernestine’s is playing a more important societal role than ever before. Tackling gender bias and facilitating an environment of inclusion starts with safety. This can’t happen without ensuring women have achieved security at the most basic level. That’s why Ext. Marketing’s support of Ernestine’s continues to be an important part of how we give back and facilitate the important journey toward equality.


Looking for innovative and creative ways to bring your marketing to the next level? Ext. Marketing has the expertise you need. Contact us today at 1.844.243.1830 or info@ext-marketing.com.