If a significant portion of online marketing has been targeting white consumers in a narrow age and income range, all that may be about to change. The picture of the typical online consumer has begun to mirror the U.S. population which means marketers must begin to segment their online campaigns to reach a broader range of demographic groups. This is the contention of a recently published eMarketer study.
eMarketer analysts looked at a couple of emerging majority groups to support their claims. For example, Census Bureau data shows that Hispanics are the fastest growing group in the U.S. By 2014, another 10 million people will belong to the U.S. Hispanic demographic. The current online rate (59.5%) for Hispanics will increase to 70% by 2014. A similar trend is occurring for Blacks. Currently, about 66% of Blacks are online. In 4 years, that number will rise to 72.3%.
Marketers seem to already understand these population shifts. The eMarketer release cited data from the Association of National Advertisers which shows that 56% of companies are spending more on multicultural media. And when it comes to new media and online formats, the same number, 56%, are spending more on multicultural campaigns.
Lisa E. Phillips, senior analyst at eMarketer points out “these audiences appreciate genuine efforts by marketers to understand them and communicate messages that resonate.” For most multicultural consumers, featuring a ‘demographically diverse’ group in an ad is not enough. Marketers must go the extra step and speak to these audiences in their languages and in their cultural formats. Failing to do so could result in falling sales as the spending power of emerging majorities increases.[Source: 2011 Trends: Census Highlights Demographic Shifts. eMarketer.com. 29 Nov. 2010. Web. 7 Dec. 2010]