Long before 2010 when MadameNoire published a report about the African American female consumer being taken for granted, the African American community knew advertisers didn’t care about them. The marketplace was changing generations ago, so nearly 8 years after MadameNoire’s article, general market media is finally picking up on the cultural disrespect. All consumers are not the same, all women don’t want the same things and certainly, women of color have unique and often culturally unique purchasing demands.
“Black females are a commanding force in the U.S. economy. Yet for all their economic prowess, their needs and preferences remain a mystery in boardrooms and brand strategy sessions. For lack of knowing what moves these super-consumers, many marketers resort to a one-message-fits-all-consumers approach that’s often unsuitable for black females.” (Steve Barboza, MadameNoire.com)
Advertising CEO Sarah Lattimer’s experience has been in marketing to the African American woman. Lattimer says advertisers are simply in the dark about black women consumers:
“They don’t understand us. They don’t know how to sell to us, how to talk to us. They don’t know what makes us make the decisions to purchase or not to purchase their products.”
Lattimer’s agency, Metrics Marketing tries to work with the ever changing consumer landscape in order to stay on top of the best ways to capture and maintain a diverse consumer base.
Trying to figure out the black female consumer is nothing new and it’s nothing old. The puzzle still isn’t complete on Madison Ave. The Chicago Urban League’s 2014 African American Consumer Report addressed the issue for advertisers but whether or not the report was taken seriously is another story.
In 2015, The Atlantic published rating agency Nielsen’s report that black consumer buying power had reached a tipping point, so why in 2017 are advertisers, marketers, vendors etc. still in the dark about what and how to sell to African American women? Nielsen published a new report in September, 2017, entitled “African American Women: Her Science, Our Magic.” That same month, the Huffington Post took it a step further with an article about how black women’s buying power is helping to define mainstream culture.
Perhaps now that the economy is on EVERYBODY’S mind, advertisers will start to treat the changing marketplace as a serious issue instead of a passing phase. Individual groups may not shout out their buying power preferences but advertiser’s still have the responsibility to figure it out. Nielsen is trying to help with it’s own in-house research project here.
Hopefully 2018 brings a greater effort to respect the African American female consumer. It takes respecting the consumer to be willing and able to understand and market accordingly. ©
by Dianne Thompson® comments welcome at highheelshotflashes.@gmail.com