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Ethnic Marketing to African Americans

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Ethnic Marketing to African Americans

     Ethnic Marketing - African Americans

     TIP SHEET

     Cultural norms are intended as general guides not absolutes of all members of an ethnic group.

It is often said that although the African American culture has its roots in Africa, most African

    Americans are unaware that their African roots have played a strong role in shaping contemporary

    behaviors and attitudes in African American culture. Due to the understated influence of the African

    tradition, the African American community is different from the mainstream culture in many ways.

    Following are some of the values found in the African-American community that may impact

    marketing:

    ? View the world from an "Afro-centric" standpoint; the basis of "Afrocentrism" is

    "authenticity" or "being real" (Early, 1995 in Tharp, 2001).

    ? Value qualities like "telling it like it is," "seeing the good as well as the bad,"

    "assertiveness," "speaking up" etc. (Tharp, 2001).

    ? Give importance to orally transmitted information.

    ? Like to be represented.

    ? Are receptive to organizations that "give something back to their community" (Tharp,

    2001).

    ? Like to see a positive image of their culture.

    Identify marketing strategies: Strategies, based on the backdrop, for developing personal marketing

    materials for African Americans:

    ? Be sensitive about the authenticity of your message. Have facts ready and be able to back them up.

    Have African American representatives talk to your target group.

    ? Encourage your African American audiences to ask questions about your programs. Do not

    mistake their assertiveness for aggression. Let them discuss the doubts they may have about your

    program. They will tell you whether they like or do not like something. Watch for nonverbal cues as

    well.

    ? Use personal marketing techniques, like making phone calls or having an opinion leader speak

    with the community.

    ? Have African Americans help you design the marketing materials.

    ? Show respect for African American family values. For example, a large household is a sign of

    collectivism. Explain how your program will help the entire household/family.

    ? Support African American "causes and events" that strengthen the community. Your program

Excerpts from Strengthening Programs to Reach Diverse Audiences, University of Florida, IFAS Extension Office, May 2003. Reprinted with Permission.

    should be visible at such events in meaningful ways (Schreiber, 2001). ? Show positive images of the African American community in your advertisement materials. Give

    examples of successful African Americans.

    ? Do not try to come across as the person/organization that is going to "help" or "save" the group.

    Establish an equal relationship.

    ? Recognize the way in which your own ethnicity contributes to the group dynamics.

    References

    Cultural relevance and diversity: The Native American perspective (March 2001). Retrieved

    February 20, 2003, from

    http://www.samhsa.gov/nli/news/Diversity/CRNative.html#cultthem

    Developing relationships: Arizona extension education resources: Chapter 4. Retrieved February 15,

    2003 from Arizona University web site:

    http://ag.arizona.edu/extension/reference/marketman/chap4.html

    Devore, W. (2001). "Whence came these people?” an exploration of the values and ethics of African

    American individuals, families, and communities. In R. Fong & S. Furuto (Eds.), Culturally

    competent practice: skills, interventions, and evaluations. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. DeYoung, B., & Boldt, W. (1998). Relationship marketing: Putting relationships to work. Ithaca, NY:

    Cornell Cooperative Extension Marketing Manual.

Esquivel, A. H. (2000). Understanding Hispanic consumers in the United States. A marketing approach

    to ethnic consumers. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: ESOMAR Ethnic Marketing 2000.

    Freidig, R.M. (1997). Increase your personal marketing power. NY: American Institute of

    Certified Public Accountants.

Feig, B. (1997). Marketing straight to the heart. NY: AMACOM.

    Gregory. E., & Ritter, E. (2001). Access and accountability: Social marketing extension A

    training workbook. Retrieved January 20, 2003, from

    http://agcomwww.tamu.edu/training/access.html

    Jandt, F.E. (1995). Intercultural communication: An introduction. Thousand Oaks, C.A: Sage

    Publications.

    Kitano, H. (1989). A model for counseling Asian Americans. In P.B. Pederson, W.J. Lonner, and J.E.

    Trimble (eds), Counseling Across Cultures. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

    Koewing C.Y. (Producer) & Katdare D. (Director). (2001). American Desi (Motion Picture).

    United States. Blue Rock Entertainment.

Lipe, J. (n.d.). 5 tips to add spice to your marketing. Retrieved January 02, 2003, from

    http://www. emergemarketing.com/images/5 WaystoAddSpicetoyourMarketing.pdf

Mariampolski, H. (2000). Learning from ethnic market research in the United States. Applying

    community based approaches and ethnography. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: ESOMAR Ethnic

    Marketing 2000.

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