That’s Strange… I Could Have Sworn Minorities Are Consumers Too

18 Jan

Ethnic minorities such as Hispanics and racial minorities such as African Americans and Asian Americans are growing incrementally in number but seemingly exponentially in buying power these days.  Over the next 5 years Hispanic buying power is supposed to increase by 50% from $1 trillion in 2010 to $1.5 trillion in 2015.  Over the same time period, Asian American buying power is to increase 42% from $544 billion to $775 billion and African-American buying power is to rise from $957 billion to $1.2 trillion, which is a 25% increase.  A crucial bit of information to keep in mind is that each of these groups are also increasing their use of the internet as a means for finding and buying products.

Consider the following in relation to the importance of these minority consumers:

  • 88% of Hispanics use the internet to search for products.  Higher than the rest of the population.
  • 90% of Hispanics use the internet to compare prices.  Higher than the rest of the population.
  • 79% of Hispanics use the internet to aid them in making a final purchase decision.  Once again, higher than the rest of the population.
  • 67% of African Americans will visit a brands website.
  • 72% of African Americans perform a web search daily and 47% of them visit a brands website after finding it.
  • One study reports that 89% of Asian Americans say they went online “yesterday,” with 87% of respondents saying they go online daily, compared to 77% and 74% respectively for whites who come in at second place in both instances.

This data proves that the corporate website is an important sales tool for addressing minority markets.  But many of the top 100 companies in the U.S. don’t seem to be taking note of this.  Out of the top 10 Fortune 100 companies, only 2 (#9 Bank of America and #10 Ford) catered to minority groups and even those site didn’t cater to African Americans and Asian Americans; only Hispanics.  The rest of the top 10 included the likes of #1 Wal-Mart, #2 Exxon Mobile, #3 Chevron, #4 ConocoPhillips, #5 Fannie Mae, #6 General Electric, #7 Berkshire Hathaway and #8 General Motors.  Sure, the consumer can only make an actual purchase from the Wal-Mart site out of all those listed but who says all 3 minorities aren’t interested in corporate information to help them choose a brand or to just be informed.

It’s crucial to reach out to the consumer through every means possible to get them interested in your brand; this requires contacting them through the media they are interested in.  It is obvious that each consumer group is interested in going online and using the internet for researching products of interest and making purchases.  Does the information provided on a corporate website not influence the purchase decisions and brand loyalty of the consumer?  This is what Integrated Marketing Communications is all about; having a unifying message across all channels in order to ensure a consistent message is made.  All consumer groups need to know what that message is and the message needs to be made available where they are looking.  According to the data above, that includes websites.

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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in New Media


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