MIAMI — Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), as well as sustainability, cannot be tick-box company exercises.

After the initial rush of such initiatives, some companies have embedded their commitments as integral strategies for long-term growth, according to Index Exchange’s Chief Marketing Officer, Lori Goode.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Goode, who now leads the programmatic ad company’s DE&I initiatives, explains their strategic importance.

Regulations and Long-term Strategy Take the Forefront

With the landscape changing, businesses are under pressure to adapt. “Traditional DE&I is frankly under attack,” Goode says, highlighting the emergence of new legislation.

She emphasizes the long-term perspective, stating: “You’re not thinking through the long-term potential and business impact that will help support their growth longer term.”

“We’re seeing more and more regulation also proposed to be compliant in thinking about carbon reduction and setting targets for carbon reduction over time,” she notes.

Index Exchange’s Commitment to DE&I and Sustainability

“This year I took executive lead for both DE&I and sustainability within the company,” Goode shares. She says Index Exchange recognizes them as both customer-focused and employee-focused imperatives, aligning neatly with her responsibilities as CMO.

Index Exchange uses real-time bidding to enable publishers and marketers to transact in an efficient and automated manner.

For DE&I, Goode explains: “We’re examining our affinity groups, hiring practices, and performance evaluations… to make sure that this is a systemic operational change.”

On sustainability, she reveals: “We have started to work to measure all of our carbon emissions… with the goal ultimately to set targets by hopefully H2 [second half of the year].”

The Industry’s Progress and the Importance of Long-term Planning

Goode urges the industry to adopt a long-term view and to see DE&I and sustainability as cornerstones for growth. “They’re company imperatives. It’s not a trend that you pick up and you can drop at any moment,” she asserts. She believes that these strategies can provide a return on investment beyond their ethical implications.

“It has to be ingrained in your organization, has to be part of your business operations fundamentally,” Goode stresses. This integration reflects a brand’s values through its people and to its customers, which she sees as a smart growth strategy.

Goode sees significant spending power of underrepresented minorities and demographic shifts projected for 2024/25. “If you’re not looking that far out and you’re not thinking about compliance on the sustainability side and regulations that are inevitably coming, then you’re not future-proofing your business in the way that you need to,” she cautions.

You’re watching ‘Anything Is Possible: The Rising Tide of Programmatic Streaming,’ a Beet.TV Leadership Series at POSSIBLE 2024, presented by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.