Communicating inclusive marketing: developing the new agenda
In the last decade, growing realisation about the socially embedded nature of marketing has prompted practitioners to increasingly reorient their marketing strategies to appeal to the diverse sub-cultures and social disadvantaged groups of consumers. Social awareness has now become a critical guiding principle for mainstream marketing strategy. Numerous case studies and anecdotal evidence show how inclusive marketing as a guiding principle is gaining ground among corporates and how inclusive marketing practices are making a noticeable difference across all aspects of marketing (Thompson, 2021). It was Jagdish Sheth (2011) who introduced the term ‘Inclusive Marketing’ to lexicon of marketing theory. Since then, several marketing researchers (eg. Licsandru and Cui, 2018; Kuppelwieser and Klaus, 2020) have expanded on this theme and have advanced the conceptual basis for this idea. Inclusive marketing as an idea is now related to both social inclusion, especially of minority sub-cultures, as well as economic inclusion.
Inclusive marketing is widely practiced in the corporate world. Inclusive marketing practices are now considered as critical for brand building, consumer engagement and creating a positive image for the organisation. In fact, inclusive marketing is often used as the core platform for any communication initiatives. However, theoretical research related to inclusive marketing is still at a nascent stage. While considerable research has happened in areas like inclusive advertising, inclusive communication etc., there is still a lack of a general understanding about the domain of inclusive marketing in mainstream marketing theory. This has led to several problems like the lack of interdisciplinary research, limited visibility and the scarce development of a core theory. The special issue attempts to contribute to the emerging and nascent discourse in inclusive marketing by providing a platform for discovering the inherent linkages between extant research studies, developing new theoretical frameworks for expanding the scope and span of inclusive marketing as a theoretical domain, providing greater clarity in interpreting current practices in inclusive marketing, especially from a theoretical lens and chart out new avenues for future research.
Communicating inclusive marketing efforts by firms assume special interest in this context. Communication of inclusive marketing practices require a specific strategy as they are quite unique and might often involve sensitive issues that require greater attention to detail. Issue related to the past reputation of the corporate and incongruency of inclusive marketing efforts also assume importance as inclusive marketing efforts could backfire on corporates. Thus, there are significant issues that require greater attention like: (i) Exploring the motivation to communicate inclusive marketing efforts by corporates (ii) Platform and channel efficacies to communicate inclusive marketing efforts (iii) Conducting research on inclusive marketing effectiveness (iv) Inclusive marketing as an effective platform for corporate communication (v) Coordinating inclusive marketing communication efforts with larger communication strategy among corporates (vi) Inclusive marketing and corporate brand building (vii) Role of inclusive marketing communication in stakeholder management etc. The list provided above is in no way exhaustive. The special issue also invites case studies that analyse and discuss inclusive marketing communications among corporates.
The special issue also seeks to develop an agenda for practice-based research in inclusive marketing and inclusive communication. Presently, topics that are part of inclusive marketing and inclusive communication are often published across a range of research domains like sustainability marketing, responsible corporate communications, green marketing, social marketing, diversity marketing etc that are not clearly interlinked. The special issue thus aims to bring together the emerging discourse in inclusive marketing that currently exist across different domains and provide a more focused and purposive platform that could help future researchers to locate and find meaning to their studies.
List of topic areas
The special invites submission in the broad areas listed below:
- Communicating inclusive marketing – challenges and opportunities
- Consumers reaction to inclusive marketing communication
- Inclusive marketing communication and brand identity
- Emerging theoretical and methodological approaches
- Inclusive marketing communication in products and services
- Role of inclusive marketing communication in stakeholder management
- Coordinating inclusive marketing communication efforts with larger communication strategy among corporates
- Platform and channel efficacies to communicate inclusive marketing efforts
- Conducting research on inclusive marketing effectiveness
- Inclusive marketing as corporate communication platform
Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at: https:/www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/ccij
Author guidelines must be strictly followed.
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to "Please select the issue you are submitting to".
Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else while under review for this journal.
Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 01/04/2023
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 05/12/2023