Are Brands Doing A Good Job of Supporting Diverse Communities?

March 10, 2023

“Marketers are leaving money on the table – and jeopardizing their future growth, by ignoring large swaths of potential customers.” So declares a report [download page] from Direct Digital Holdings (DDH), which finds that brands can reap significant benefits from investing in multicultural and diverse media properties.

Indeed, roughly 8 in 10 diverse consumers feel more positively about brands that advertise in targeted media, including 82% of LGBTQIA+ respondents, 80% of both Hispanic and Black respondents, and 73% of Asian respondents.

Even so, brands tend to allocate only a small fraction of their spending to such media. For example, advertising focused on African Americans represented less than 2% of the total US advertising market, according to a 2020 report from Nielsen. Lack of diversity shows up on screen, too: in 2022, 72.5% of the identifiable on-screen races/ethnicities in TV/video ads were White, compared to their 61.2% share of the population.

Creating ads and content that are inclusive of the community is one of the top ways that brands’ marketing initiatives can demonstrate support for diverse communities, according to the DDH report’s respondents. The other leading way to do so is to purposefully invest marketing and advertising dollars with targeted media. All, told, more than 9 in 10 diverse consumers across communities consume targeted media in some form either occasionally or frequently, and they tend to notice ads on these media more than on mainstream media.

Roughly 9 in 10 are likely to take action as a result of a company or brand’s support for diverse communities, most commonly by being more likely to buy the brand’s products or services, but also frequently by telling their family/friends about the brand’s support.

The extent to which diverse consumers believe that brands are doing a good job of demonstrating support for communities varies. The LGBTQIA+ respondents surveyed were most likely to say that many or some brands are, with almost 7 in 10 (69%) indicating that to the be the case. By contrast, only 51% of Asians surveyed felt the same way, with a near-equal share (49%) feeling that only a few brands – or none – do a good job in that regard.

What’s true is that brands actually following through on their promises to support diverse communities engenders good will. Roughly 85% of respondents said it makes them like these companies/brands more, including majorities across each community that say it makes them like the brands a lot more.

For more, download the report here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey conducted by Horowitz Research among 1,342 US adults (18+) including more than 300 respondents each from the Black, Hispanic/Latin, AAPI and LGBTQIA+ communities.


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