The Game Changer

Consider the Game, Changed.



African American Buying Power

“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

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


Not all marketing should be in-house

Big Brands: Use your in-house marketing team for brand management and hire agencies to compete in the marketing landscape

Marketing is changing at lightening speed. As quickly as technology changes and new applications become available, so does the marketing landscape. From the advent of social media, to live video stream to content marketing and beyond, marketing is evolving and there is no slow-down in sight.

Brands are fumbling to keep up. There is now a need for data analysts, content writers, statisticians, as well as creatives at major brands. Yet, the talent is minimal. Due to this being a recent phenomena in marketing, universities and other institutions of higher learning was not prepared with such majors or prepping students. Now brands must look to the math, english, journalism, and other majors to fill the void that exists within their departments.

But is this necessary? Brands need to change their focus and fast. Instead of looking to hire a new type of talent within their organizations, they should look to marketing agencies to fill the void. Marketing agencies are focused on what’s happening in marketing and projecting what will happen in marketing. We are prepping and changing with the evolution as quickly as it happens. Being the most agile, it makes more sense for brands to turn to us to help them remain strong in marketing.

As a strategist, I am baffled that brands are slow to move to this thought. In order to remain competitive, it is a smart tactic to focus on your strengths and harnessing it to remain competitive and ensure quality control. It’s that old ‘do what you do best’ mindset. Hire outside consultants and agencies to transform your marketing and take it to the next level keeping on track of what’s changing and putting brands ahead of competition in communication with customers.

We love what we do. We keep connected and locked into what happening in our industry. We focus on where it’s going and how brands can leverage the changes. It’s what WE do best. We know the markets that brands to need to hone in on. We know how these markets are using different forms of media and how they connect with brands. We know what their interests are. It is our job to know.

So, brands, focus on your product or service and making it the best it can be. Let us focus on how you communicate it to your market and stay in front of them. It’s our specialty.

Sheena Hunt | CEO of Empowered Strategy

Twitter: @sheenad1

Ramping up for the Holiday Season

Well, it’s October and brands are beginning to look toward the holiday season and launch promotions. Okay, so most retailers begin working on their promotionals in late summer to get ahead of the curve in anticipation Snow Man Folding a Wooden Sale Signfor the season. By that time they have a good gauge of what their break even point will be and what they will need to do to drive sales and push them into the black. The time is now when we start to see what those promotionals look like for different brands across industry.

But for those that are just now beginning to focus on creating those promos, it’s a good idea to start by following this quick and dirty outline:

  1. Look at the financials and recognize what kind of impact you need from those sales.
  2. Set a realistic goal that you want your marketing efforts to provide.
  3. Focus on what items/services will be promoted in the campaign.
  4. Determine what platform will best fit the promotional of said items/services.
  5. Develop a voice, creative content, and drive excitement around  it.

Follow through the campaign to determine effectiveness. Do a little A/B testing to determine which iteration of the campaign is proving to be more valuable. Analyze your data and drive for results.

Cheers to a successful holiday promotional season!

Sheena Hunt | CEO | Empowered Strategy

Twitter @SheenaD1

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