Supplier diversity has been a key focus of our work at ANA all year. In May we released "The Growth of Supplier Diversity" that provided a deep dive into supplier diversity in marketing/advertising from the marketer point of view -- covering benefits, challenges, spend, goals and measurement. Throughout the year we've regularly updated our "Certified Diverse Suppliers Resource List." In this new work ("And Now a Word from the Diverse Suppliers: The Supplier Perspective on Certification") we've flipped the process; rather than surveying marketers again, we surveyed the diverse suppliers on our resource list. The focus was on certification -- to understand its importance, benefits, challenges, ease/difficulty of the certification process and more.
An in-going hypothesis was that suppliers would find the certification process to be difficult. But that wasn't the case. While 31 percent characterized the process as difficult, 35 percent felt it was easy and 34 percent were neutral -- almost exactly evenly distributed.
When we asked suppliers to, "Please rate the importance of your business becoming certified," 46 percent rated that as very important. Quite a statement!
The diverse suppliers cited multiple benefits of obtaining certification. Businesses are included in more RFPs (62 percent), which provides additional exposure to corporate marketing departments (58%), which leads to increased sales (52 percent).
Diverse suppliers also weighed-in, via responses to an open-ended question, on industry resources that could help them build their businesses. Representative responses were:
The ANA strongly encourages qualified suppliers who are not certified to consider getting their certification.
The CMO Growth Council was established by the ANA and Cannes Lions to focus on driving enterprise growth. The Society and Sustainability priority of the ANA Growth Agenda provides a guide for the industry to leverage marketing as a sustainable growth driver. A specific mandate for the Society and Sustainability working group is to eliminate systemic investment inequalities in the media and creative supply chain. Support of diverse suppliers helps address such investment inequalities. When we invest in multicultural enterprises, we not only increase media effectiveness, we also directly invest in the communities. We help close income and wealth gaps. Closing those gaps means more purchasing power, which drives market growth, which is good for society and good for business.
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