If you are reading this you undoubtedly grasp the importance of black consumers. African-Americans are in urban areas, in the South (55 percent), and in ten northern U.S. cities. There are 40 million approaching 14 percent of the U.S. population. They will have over a trillion dollars in buying power in 2014 according to the Selig Center (www.terry.uga.edu/selig).
Black Still Matters
"The State of the African American Consumer," by the Nielsen research company and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (www.nielson.com), notes the marked transition in black household income. Those earning $75,000 or more grew by 63.9 percent, a rate 11.7 percent greater than the change in the overall population between 2000 and 2009. Burrell Communications cautions against blurring color lines in its Project 40 (www.burrell.com). This fails to effectively engage African-Americans. Pepper Miller uncovers the realities in "Black Still Matters: Why Increasing Your Cultural IQ About Black America is Critical to the Survival of Your Brand" (www.paramountbooks.com).
Free product sampling
Free product sampling through grassroots, non-traditional networks is a proven technique. The SMSi Companies have reached black consumers in proprietary national venues for over 30 years in places where consumers worship (churches), groom (barber shops and beauty salons), work (job sites), play (special events, festivals, parades), shop (malls/stores), study (schools, colleges), and seek health care. Around 5 percent of ethnic consumers receive samples through traditional methods. Conversion (purchase) to full size and price can be as high as 50 percent.
The Custom Content Council (www.customcontentcouncil.com) reports that 70 percent of consumers say a custom publication makes them feel the "company cares about its customers." Urban Call, a custom publication, delivers brand or service messages (www.tinyurl.com/UrbanCall) in favorable environments. With exclusive advertising and custom distribution, these publications support themed corporate promotions, product introductions, trade sell-in and brand awareness. They enhance free product sampling, trade shows and sales meetings.
Bi-lingual field marketing community ambassadors- "Feet on the Street" understand urban communities. They use relationships with key area opinion leaders to promote experiential marketing at retail promotions and special events. They manage retail display building, store audits, promotion pre-sell, store checks, tours, seminars and event activation.
Cause-related marketing means doing well by doing good. Celebrities add sizzle. Aetna Insurance asked Magic Johnson to relay advice about health. General Mills engaged Essence Editor in Chief Emeritus Susan L. Taylor to reach African-American moms in its Feeding Dreams and Box Tops for Education programs. Steve Harvey, nationally syndicated radio show host, honors community leaders at his Hoodie Awards. Both have non-profit youth mentoring programs. (www.nationalcaresmentoring.org) (www.steveharvey.com).
"On-site, On-air, On-Line, On-Shelf, On-Point" is the motto of integrated marketing, employing all platforms and media. Black radio reaches 95.1 percent of African-Americans. Black newspapers, magazines, TV, web sites, blogs, social media and mobile marketing play a role. Over 50 percent of brand marketers integrate public relations, marketing, sales, and advertising according to a Northwestern University survey.
Forward thinking marketers who understand the African-American "cultural IQ," reap rewards. Read more at http://multicultural.com/multicultural_markets/african-american. To receive case studies of proven urban marketing solutions, e-mail email@example.com.
SMSi-Urban Call Marketing, Inc.
4265 Brownsboro Rd., Suite 225
Winston-Salem, NC 27105
Ph. 336-414-2331 or 336-745-8466