Targeting 14% of the Country This Month: African-American Buyers
Black History Month seems like a good time to explore African-Americans’ buying power of $1.4 trillion by 2019, according to Nielsen, as well as where the 9.4 million households spend their money, as tallied by JF Direct Marketing.
“African-Americans are the most influential and sought-after minority in the U.S.,” the mailing list provider told Target Marketing via email on Tuesday. “Although no longer the largest minority, African Americans lead all other minorities (except Asians) in income and education, [with] median income at $35,255 and education improving every year with increasing college graduates that are expanding the middle class.”
More African-Americans are moving into higher income brackets than the general population, and some of the growth offers insight into how to target them as consumers.
Here’s advice from Nielsen and JF Direct Marketing:
- Think STEM. “Contributing to the overall rise in African-American mean incomes is blacks’ participation rate in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers,” says Nielsen in its “African-American Consumers: The Untold Story, 2015 Report.” Medical professions are also seeing increased diversity. Higher earnings mean more need for the following goods and services, according to the study: “The income-consumption curve shows that as African-American incomes rise, their increase in spending on certain categories outpaces that of the total population. Categories where higher-income African-Americans outspend the total population in terms of percentage of income include future-oriented categories, such as insurance policies, pensions and retirement savings. Additionally, 4.5 percent of African-Americans earning $70,000-plus make cash contributions — compared to 3.9 percent of the total population.”
- General Spending. African American households spend on these categories, according to JF Direct: consumer publications, family vacations and travel, general merchandise, gift catalogs, fundraising, insurance, health and nutrition, credit cards, clothing, sweepstakes, contests and lotteries, sporting equipment, children's books, computer software and hardware, and business and home office products.
- Think Millennial. “The average age of African-Americans is 31.4 years, compared to 39 years for the non-Hispanic White population or 36.7 years for the total population,” reads the Nielsen report.
- Think Family. Family bonds are important to many African-Americans. According to Nielsen’s study: “On average, African-Americans have 23 percent more young children in the household and spending levels reflect that demographic. Entertaining is also very important in the African- American community. Annual events, such as family reunions, cultural festivals and alumni gatherings connect blacks in a unique way that focuses on fellowship and is cross-generational. African- American households spend more on basic food ingredients and beverages than non-Hispanic whites, and also value the food preparation process more. Other popular spending categories include fragrances, personal health and beauty products, household care and cleaning products.”
- Think Brand Loyalty, and Earn It. “African-Americans earning $100,000-plus say they will pay extra for a product that is consistent with an image they want to convey,” says the Nielsen study. However, these consumers are paying attention to headlines like this one from March 2015 in Momentology: “Why Do Most Brands Stay Clear of Black History Month?” Brands like Macy’s are paying attention, with celebrations including “film and television actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell [leading] panel discussions with other emerging stars, focused on the influence and impact of black culture on all facets of American life.” The Academy Awards … not so much.
A White guy playing Michael Jackson? Guaranteed Oscar✔️ #OscarsSoWhite
— #OscarsSoWhite (@OscarsSoWhite) January 27, 2016
What are marketers doing this month to market to African-Americans? All year?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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