- Ninety percent of African-American consumers live in a household with a smartphone, which is 6% higher than the total population, according to a new Nielsen report “From Consumers to Creators: The Digital Lives of Black Consumers.” African-American consumers are more likely to use their smartphones for social networking as well as video and audio streaming.
- Of the 67 million Twitter users, 28%, or 19 million, are African-American, and 9.3 million (20%) are on or “self-identify” as using Black Twitter. The African-American podcast audience also grew 70% from 2014 to 2017, and 73% of African-Americans age 13 and older say they are “gamers,” compared to 66% of the total population in that age group.
- The report also found that African-Americans have a population of 47.4 million, making up 14% of the overall population, and 54% have lived their whole lives in the digital era.
The new Nielsen report, part of its Diverse Intelligence Series, includes a number of interesting findings about African-Americans’ digital behaviors that can help marketers craft campaigns that will most resonate with the segment, which has a buying power of $1.3 trillion. Marketers aiming to target African-Americans, especially younger age groups, should embrace a variety of digital formats with creative and innovative content—or risk missing out on key opportunities.
Most noteworthy is that more than half of the demographic are digital natives, and that African-Americans have the highest smartphone ownership and usage of any other group. The group is one of the most active Twitter segments, and over-indexes compared to non-Hispanic whites in amount of money spent online. The report highlights how African-American digital usage is blended within their daily lives and how the consumers are leveraging digital platforms, like the Black Twitter movement, for self-expression and to drive social change.
African-American consumers also seem to be responsive to brands that embrace important causes and take a vocal stance on racial, social and political issues. Nike’s recent ad featuring ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who launched protests against police brutality and racial inequality, particularly resonated with African-American consumers, who rated the ad’s performance 42% higher than advertising norms and found it more likable and relevant than other groups, per an Ace Metrix survey.
Some marketers are working to be more racially diverse and inclusive in their campaigns, and these efforts are resonating with consumers. Last year, Honda made a strong effort to reach Hispanic and African-American millennials with an integrated campaign for its 2018 Fit Sport model, by promoting the vehicle as having “personality” and engaging comedians, influencers and social media. At the same time, there are signs that demographic targeting may be less relevant with younger consumers than in the past given the group's focus on inclusivity.