Diversity and Trust: Your Marketing Medium Matters

By Steve Lanzano, President and CEO, TVB

That Black and Hispanic consumers in the U.S. are elemental components of the engine of commerce – and as such, fundamental to marketers – is certainly not news. But as their buying power multiplies and as these constituencies become even more powerful players in our economic cosmology, brands have made building more meaningful relationships with them a defining objective of their marketing strategies.

Yet for many advertisers, the question remains: How do I most effectively connect with these massively important consumers?

In a stroke of good fortune for marketers, a wealth of new analytics reveals indispensable insights into these demographics and provides a blueprint for brands seeking to use media more strategically and accurately, make more informed advertising investment choices, and communicate with these key groups more effectively.

Deepest affinity

Black and Hispanic consumers have a tremendous affinity for and deeply entrenched relationships with the media they engage with, according to a recent Purchase Funnel Study by the research company GfK.

Across a host of platforms – from social media to mobile, streaming services and podcasts – each has its own strengths and appeal, and consumers of color have their clear favorites when it comes to media they use, trust and that motivate them to make buying decisions.

It may surprise many marketers to learn that despite the outsized role digital media plays in all our lives and its rapid growth as an ad medium, television is the most dominant platform in influencing purchase decisions among Black and Hispanic consumers. Across all five stages of the purchase funnel – awareness, interest, visit a store or website for more information, consideration, and purchase – TV far outpaced all other platforms, including social media, streaming video, radio, outdoor and direct mail.

It was not even a contest. TV bested other media across the purchase funnel by 6 times or greater among Black audiences and 5 times or more with Hispanic consumers.

Marketers can build their own connections with People of Color by tapping into the medium they lean on most.

First in news and advertising

Considering the once-in-a-lifetime COVID-19 crisis and the confluence of headline-making social and political events, the need to stay informed has never been more critical. But even with the proliferation of media choices, Black and Hispanic audiences are unequivocal about where they turn for the latest news. A Dynata study on media usage during COVID found that 58% of Black consumers viewed broadcast TV news as the best source for information and updates, compared to cable (32%) and social media (15%). For Hispanics, broadcast TV was tops as well, with about half choosing broadcast TV compared to 23% for cable and 18% for social media.

Trust in media has always been important but arguably even more so during these times. The GfK study found that 83% of Hispanics say they trust the news they get from broadcast TV, besting radio (68%), national newspapers (68%) and social media (51%).

When it comes to their interactions with ads, TV also dramatically outperforms other platforms. For example, 73% of Hispanics reported having seen a TV ad in the last 2 months, trumping social media (35%), streaming programs (30%) and radio (23%).

Most importantly for marketers, television motivates Black and Hispanic consumers to act. The GfK Purchase Funnel Study found 69% of adults took some kind of action after viewing a TV ad, a number that jumped to 83% for Black viewers and 78% for Hispanic viewers. Actions taken included going online to do more research (20% and 22%, respectively) and talking with others about the ad (16% and 15%, respectively).

Strength in numbers and motivated consumers – two things marketers crave, and that TV uniquely delivers.

Reaching diverse viewers

Television’s popularity among Black and Hispanic audiences stands in contrast to the challenges facing digital advertising, which has been turned upside down by the rise of privacy concerns and the disappearance of third-party cookies (and the valuable consumer data it yields). 

The GfK Media Comparisons Study examined daily media usage across more than 20 media platforms during the pandemic (from mid to late November 2020). It found that 42% of Black adults and 55% of Hispanic audiences streamed programming on platforms without advertising, and among these streamers, broadcast television reaches 83% of Hispanics and 94% of Black consumers.

The size and influence of Black and Hispanic audiences will only continue to grow – and along with it, the importance of these communities in the advertising ecosystem. Meanwhile, their intense connections to the medium of broadcast television are unmatched. Is your brand doing everything it can to reach them?

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