African-Americans rely heavily on online sources for brand information, and 95% of the demographic does online research at least some of the time before making a purchase. Also, smartphones are becoming an integral part of the purchase process for African-Americans, who are using the devices to do things like in-store price checking, and redeeming e-coupons and online offers directly from their phones.
These are some of the results of a first-ever study of African-Americans' brand habits. The study, by UniWorld Group, Inc. (UWG), also involves One Solution, the integrated corporate marketing arm of TV One, Radio One and Interactive One.
The study also shows that African-American men 18-34 years of age are most likely to engage in posting and acting on recommendations on social media sites. African-American women are more likely to engage with a brand by "liking" it on Facebook, because of special offers, discounts and coupons.
The study’s directors said the objectives were to understand where and how African-Americans get information about brands; how African-Americans who use digital and mobile technology to engage in online conversations about brands differ from the general African-American population; and to explore African-Americans’ usage of digital media.
The companies said they garnered data from Radio One’s “One Community” panel, which purports to being the largest representative online panel of African Americans with over 10,000 members, and from Vision Critical’s Springboard America panel through email invitations. The final sample was weighted to reflect the age and gender distribution of African-Americans 18-64, based on U.S. Census data. Data was collected from November 10 to 30, 2011, with a total sample size of 2,032, per a joint release.
“We developed One Community to help create and disseminate timely, quality research on the African-American population. Compared to other ethnic groups, this audience segment does not have the same volume of consumer research. We’re hoping to change that,” said Latha Sarathy, VP Insights & Analytics at Interactive One, in the release.
UWG and One Solution say they will present this study initially at the Public Relations Society of America’s 2012 Digital Impact Conference in New York City on April 2.