African-American Demos Express Ethnic Identity Differently

When marketing to African-Americans, is it becoming less important to emphasize ethnic identity?
It depends on what age group is targeted. Boomers are 25% more likely than Gen Y to express pride in their ethnic identity -- and 29% more likely to favor more diversity in advertising, according to new findings from Yahoo, Mindshare and Added Value.
Still, the fact that the majority of African-Americans are now under 30 portends a major shift in the way marketers target this valuable demographic over the next decade.
That’s not to say that younger generations of African-Americans don’t value their roots. On the contrary, Gen Y is significantly more likely than boomers and Gen X to express their unique ethnicity through their digital content choices, Yahoo and its research partners found.
Regardless of age, health care, skin care, hair care and personal care products are still significantly impacted by ethnicity.
Boomers, however, remain more likely to expect ethnically targeted marketing when it comes to finance, auto, food and pharma.
Younger African-Americans are significantly more likely to leverage online social, video and content channels to connect and share with others.
“Positivity rules,” Yahoo’s research team stresses. “It’s easy to offend, but connecting successfully takes a deeper understanding of what [African-Americans] are about.”
The spending power of African-Americans is expected to increase 25% by 2015, increasing from $957 billion to $1.2 trillion.

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