PQ Media

While “multicultural” consumers comprise nearly 40% of the total U.S. population, multicultural media investments make up only 5.2% of total advertising and marketing spending, according to a new study from PQ Media. Data collected on behalf of the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) looks at spending targeting Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans.

Overall multicultural advertising and marketing spending totaled $25.9 billion in 2018. The total targeting Hispanics reached almost $18 billion, a 5.3% increase over the previous year “and far ahead of the amount of spend aimed at African Americans,” the group says, at $7.2 billion, up 6.1%; or Asian Americans, at $722 million, up 7%. According to 2017 U.S. Census Bureau figures, Hispanics comprise 18.1% of the overall population, while African Americans make up 13.4% and Asians represent 5.8%—which AIMM concludes signals a disconnect in spending.

The goal of the report, “U.S. Multicultural Media Forecast 2019,” was to provide ANA and AIMM members with “a comprehensive examination of multicultural media investments by demographics, media platforms and media buying strategies,” according to PQ Media.

“This study shows (that) most companies are missing an opportunity by not focusing more of their marketing efforts on multicultural consumers,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “The report reveals an opening for new ways to drive growth and offers a roadmap for how advertisers can compete more effectively.”

Television is the largest of the 12 multicultural media platforms tracked in the study, representing $7.67 billion in multicultural ad spending in 2018. Brand activation marketing accounts for a 49.5% share of Multicultural Media in 2018, almost 20% lower than the share of brand activation in overall media revenues. Endemic media buying accounts for 69% of revenue; non-endemic is 31%. And national media buying in 2018 accounts for 62.5% of investment, although local spending grew faster, rising 6.2% compared to 2017.

Multicultural advertising and marketing spending is on pace to rise 4.5% in 2019 to $27 billion and is projected to increase 6.3% in 2020 to $28.7 billion.

“Multicultural media is an important concept for brands to embrace if they want to increase market share,” added PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn, in the study. “Multicultural customers — African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans — are the fastest growing demographic, but they are under-represented in media buying. Brands need to shift away from bland, generic total market messaging and concentrate on delivering culturally relevant copy in media that are being seen by multicultural audiences.”