Magazine article Black Enterprise

Tapping into Black Buying Power: New Book Reveals How Marketers Miss out by Not Speaking Our Language

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Tapping into Black Buying Power: New Book Reveals How Marketers Miss out by Not Speaking Our Language

Article excerpt

Marketers have long acknowledged the cool factor in being black. Couple that with black buying power--an estimated $761 billion--and African Americans with commercial influence make up a formidable group.

But the African American market remains under-appreciated by marketers and advertisers. With all of its diversification, the African American market is continually seen as a monolithic group that can be addressed through mainstream media. Frustration over this view led veteran advertising and marketing specialists Pepper Miller and Herb Kemp to write What's Black About It? (Paramount Market Publishing; $39.95) "The thing that most disturbed us is that many marketers think African Americans speak English so we don't need to do anything special to talk to them," says Kemp.

The most effective communications to the African q American market are campaigns that highlight families and community strength, according to Miller.

A well-planned approach requires familiarity with the subsegments of the black population, says Kemp. The effort would have a positive impact on the return of investment for many marketers.

According to the 2005 Yankelovich MONITOR MulticulturaI Marketing Study, the African American market can be broken down into six sociobehavioral segments that reflect variations in age, economics, socialization, education, and culture:

* Emulators (11%) are generally students with a median age of 17 who identify with young urban black trendsetters. …

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