“African-Americans—at 44 million strong and approximately 14.2% of the country’s population—make up a powerful group with a growing impact on American culture and business.” -Nielsen

Screen capture courtesy of GFNTV.com

The African-American population is by far one of the most influential and diverse cultures in the world. We hold significant buying power in this country. So with this power we possess what can we do with it as a people? The options are limitless just in the market alone we could flex our buying influence to push for change in government, in employment; it could also create a bridge between social injustice. Those are just a few areas that could be focused on. But we will discuss the lackluster that many companies have when it comes to marketing to the African-American culture. While 81% of blacks believe that products advertised using black media are more relevant to them, less than 3% ($2.6 billion) of $69.3 billion spent on television, magazine, Internet and radio advertising focused specifically on black audiences (Nielsen).

You would think that whomever is making the decisions in the boardroom would see that African-Americans possess  buying power and would gravitate and focus on this group a little more. Wouldn’t you think? Statistics reveals that 30% of African-Americans are more likely to believe diversity in advertising is important, and 38% are more likely to make a purchase when advertisements have African-American people included (Nielsen). I would stand to say that this stem from the lack of diversity in the boardroom resulting in less money being spent in the area of a valuable shopping group. Until inclusive, diverse thoughts are present at the table in the boardroom, with genuine engagement with the decision making in allocations of funds in marketing, there will always be a disconnection to the buying power of the world the African-Americans.

M.L. Hunt, COO of Empowered Strategy

Brand Strategist