The 2017 ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, presented by Time Inc. in Miami Beach, Florida from Nov. 5th-7th, featured a myriad of talent as multicultural leaders from top-tier brands took the stage to deliver cutting-edge and inspirational presentations on effectively reaching diverse consumers.  Vice President of Motivate’s LGBTQ Division, Joel Shoemaker, shares his experience at this year’s conference.

Joel Shoemaker is a highly accomplished media sales and strategy professional with 12+ years of experience developing profitable, high-profile brand partnerships across a variety of media platforms in multiple markets with Fortune 500 companies.  He has previously employed his unique expertise in LGBTQ media and strategy for iHeartMedia and Here Media, Inc.

Q: What are the key takeaways that you felt were specific to your segment?

Joel: MasterCard created a “Restroom for All” at New York Pride in June as a response to the anti-trans laws, which won them “Best in Show.”  Anyone who is attentive to LGBTQ concerns deserves an award in my book.  Second, Jackie Gagne, HBO’s director of multicultural and college marketing, shared their launch with HBO’s documentary, “Suited.”  To become educated about the transgender and gender non-conforming community, they listed to community engagement online, read queer editorial and engaged trans influencers.

Q: In your opinion, which was the best presentation and why?

Joel: While not LGBT specific, P&G’s focus on addressing racial equality in advertising resonated most to me – it signaled the company knows what’s happening in the U.S. right now, and knows that people look to brands now more than ever to reflect a moral conscious.  Consumers now are not just buying a product, they know their money goes to support values – I’ve seen this in LGBT arena for a long time.  And P&G picking up on current issues shows that multicultural marketing cannot be ever-green, you must know the heartbeat of what’s happening with the groups.

Q: What would you have liked to see more of, or what was something that you thought was missing at the conference?

Joel: The conference was very light on LGBTQ topics this year.  Not one session focused on this area.  Other years have had more of a presence, but this year it seems to have trailed off.

Q: What was one thing at the conference that inspired you most?

Joel: Yvonne Orji, who plays Molly on Insecure.  She was interviewed for a live podcast recording by Yes, Girl.

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