Commentary

We Vote for Brands, Too

The face of our government has changed. The Democratic wing of the U.S. House of Representatives is today the most diverse ever, with a record number of women (106), blacks (54), Latinos (42), Asians (15), openly LGBTQ (8), millennials and Gen-Xers (26, 138) and Native Americans (4).  

But while our more diverse government has received much attention, a more important “minority” trend has been largely ignored: the fact that our nation’s minority groups are now a major force in the consumer market.

Today, 40% of the 329 million U.S. residents are non-white, and “minorities” make up the majority population in more than 400 U.S. counties.

The “traditional” American population is reaching retirement age -- and young, fast-growing minority groups are increasingly driving consumer spending. In fact, Claritas data shows that Asian households will outspend their Anglo counterparts by $1.2 million and Hispanic households will outspend them by $500,000 during their remaining lifetimes.

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And when we intersect voting behavior with consumer behavior, we find some interesting trends. For example, drawing from joint data produced by Nielsen/Scarborough and Claritas, we see a clear preference for insurance brands based on culture.  Among avid voters (those who always vote in presidential elections), African Americans, Hispanics and Asians all have a much greater affinity to GEICO compared to Anglos.

When it comes to banking, we find that avid Hispanic voters gravitate toward retail banks Chase and Wells Fargo more than avid Anglo voters.  Now some of this may be driven by retail branch locations, but banks like Wells Fargo have likely benefited from targeting multicultural consumers based on data-driven insights.

For instance, more than two-thirds of Hispanics are bicultural. This means that they are fluent in both English and Spanish and opt to for life experiences that bridge both of these cultures.  Furthermore, traditional values such as education and family resonate loudly among Hispanics.

Consumers tend to be loyal to their banks and insurance providers. This makes it critical for marketers to target their consumers at a young age and keep them engaged via personalized marketing. And this means a company’s CRM database is increasingly key to its long-term viability.  By recording data on each customer engagement — whether via traditional or digital channels — and linking that data to insight into a customer’s inquiries and actual purchases, a company can learn precisely how to serve these consumers better.  

But that’s just the beginning. By using identity-graphing and culture-coding technologies to tie buying and media usage data to lifestyle, behavior and cultural factors, companies can optimize their marketing spend even further.  

Comcast is one company that links its CRM resources to help guide its ongoing investment in high-growth consumer groups.  As reported during a recent conference, Comcast’s growth is driven by Latino households who increasingly opt for the company’s television and internet services. This has played a key role in securing Comcast’s dominance in the pay TV, internet and telephony space.

These kind of results prove that the sooner marketers learn how to properly mine the wealth of available data, the sooner they boost revenue and maximize the return on their marketing investment

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