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Is My Message Culturally Relevant?

October 23, 2014

A recently published study by Nielsen, in partnership with ESSENCE, reminds us why it is crucial to ask the often overlooked advertising question: Is this culturally relevant?

The Nielsen + ESSENCE African-American Consumer 2014 Report focuses on the African-American consumers’ buying habits, spending power, and media consumption. But one of the more noteworthy areas of this report can be found in “The Importance of Cultural Identity” section.

The study reveals that nearly nine out of ten (87%) African-Americans feel that their cultural and ethnic identity is important to them. Compared to only 59% of the general population, this is HUGE! If African-American consumers are much more likely to have strong ties to their cultural/ethnic heritage, why wouldn’t an advertiser include that cultural tie in their message?

In fact, African-Americans are 30% more likely than the general population to find diversity in advertising important. They are also 38% more likely to make a purchase when African-Americans are included in the advertisement.

An article released by the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau and Advertising Age states, “Cultural and racial differences can’t be erased and shouldn’t be dismissed by marketers hoping for expedient solutions. With a strategy segmenting people by culture, advertisers can leverage cultural insights to create more engaging messaging for any given target.” Creating this cultural segmentation in their marketing will allow advertisers to produce more effective messages. With the majority of African-American consumers finding their cultural identity significant, why wouldn’t an advertiser ask “is my message culturally relevant?”

-Alex George, Research Specialist

Sources:
“The Nielsen + ESSENCE African-American Consumer 2014 Report”
“In Plain Sight – The Black Consumer Opportunity”

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