Radio Is Advertisers’ Clear Voice to Reach African American Tech and Auto Buyers.


African Americans’ consumer buying power continues to grow. McKinsey & Co. estimates it will reach $1.7 trillion by 2030 from $910 billion during 2019. The December 2021 report also revealed the market share opportunities for various consumer sectors. Automotive and consumer technology had the best opportunities for brands in those sectors to gain more of the African American consumer market.


Radio is the ad medium to connect brands and retailers in these consumer sectors with the increasing number of African Americans with more consumer dollars to spend.


A close examination of data from five representative 2021 consumer/market surveys conducted by The Media Audit shows the strength of the engagement brands and retailers can have with African American consumers.


Three of the markets – Chicago (#2), Cleveland (#15) and Orlando (#24) – in The Media Audit survey data are in the top 30 list of African American consumer markets according to 2019 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau data. The other two markets – Phoenix and Seattle-Tacoma – provide contrasts. Their African American populations are 4.1% and 4.0%, respectively, of all adults while Chicago is 15.8%, Cleveland 11.7% and Orlando 11.7%.


The first table shows the consumer technology products African Americans plan to buy and their indices for heavy exposure to radio (180+ minutes during an average day). Interestingly, a tablet and one or more smart speakers were the only products to over-index in all five markets. A comparison of the indices also helps advertisers understand which consumer tech products (and automotive below) to feature in their ad messages.


“In this comparison, radio delivers a double benefit for advertisers who want a larger market share of African American consumer dollars,” said Nick Miller, Midwest Market Manager, The Media Audit. “First, radio reaches these smaller, niche African American audiences and, second, radio delivers the messages targeting them to the enormous overall audience it reaches every day and throughout the day.”


In the automotive market, many African Americans who plan to buy a new, used, domestic or foreign vehicle also over-index for heavy exposure to radio and by large percentages in most of the five consumer/market surveys from The Media Audit.


The consistent use of radio to engage with African Americans planning to purchase consumer technology products, vehicles and many other consumer products also helps advertisers to build loyalty with this audience. The McKinsey & Company report also stated 68% of those surveyed said they remain loyal to a brand when they are satisfied with the buying experience and relationship.

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