From The Experts: Authentically Engaging With Black / African American Audiences
When advertisers create campaigns, they must consider not only the placement of the advertisement, but also the creative and messaging strategy. To authentically speak to diverse audiences, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of what these audiences seek. Accurate representation, authentic messaging and a deeper connection to the community’s culture are essential to resonate with diverse audiences.
To discuss inclusive marketing strategy, we held a webinar in the spirit of #BlackHistoryMonth, bringing together an esteemed panel of experts. These marketing leaders included Detavio Samuels, CEO of Revolt Media & TV; Natalie Gullatt, Founder & President of Black Marketers Association of America (BMAA); Amanda Joi-Moore, Multicultural and Commercial Brand Manager at Papa John’s International and LG Ad Solutions’ Sr. Leader of Product Marketing, Codee Fuquay.
Here are the top 3 takeaways from the webinar:
- Accurate Representation In Media Is The Lowest Hanging Fruit: It is not enough to have people of color present in the content and the commercials. While it is important to see people in advertisements that one can relate with, brands must go beyond this. When diverse audiences make a conscious or subconscious decision to make a purchase, they want to be sure that the brand truly sees and understands them. The brand must think of them while creating products, commercials and copy. This deep understanding must ring true in every advertising campaign and is table stakes for successful multicultural marketing. vvv
- Data Is Key: We are currently in an attention economy and an era of personalization. Your content has to be exciting enough to grab attention, while being personalized to keep your audience engaged. To optimize for both, advertisers must use data to understand what audiences are watching, what genres they tend to tune in to, which apps they use and more. Testing creatives, audiences, messaging, delivery method, time of day, and context is pivotal for listening to audience cues and understanding preferences. Creating influential consumer touchpoints is where Smart TV OEMs, like LG, come in. The ACR technology available on these TVs can capture on-the-glass data and understand on a 1:1 level what content the viewer watches and how to target them effectively. vvv
- The spectrum of Blackness: While race brings people together, it is not the only defining characteristic. Response to messaging is largely based on several other factors including life stage, income level, gender and perspective. With tons of these micro-communities and different cross-sections of populations, generalization comes off as inauthentic. Advertisers must recognize the nuances within the Black culture and lifestyle, creating holistic consumer personas.
Ultimately, for Black Audiences to be represented equitably and accurately, more Black people need to have a seat at the table and be involved in decision-making. People from the Black community can help brands create genuinely authentic marketing materials and guide strategy. Recruiting diverse talent and bringing them into the conversation is the most effective way to bridge knowledge gaps and connect meaningfully with the African American audience.
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