The Marketing Corner: Marketing to African-American Millennials

By Adele Lassere
Adele Lassere
Adele Lassere
November 6, 2016 Updated: November 6, 2016

African American millennials continue to forge new ground with mainstream America.

They are culture-centric and very active in a variety of topics socially. Their influence can be seen in music, politics, entertainment and activism. Total U.S. millennial population is 83.1 million with African American millennials totaling 11.5 million, according to U.S. Census data.

Many marketers are developing strategic communication goals to reach this group and use their influence to drive business results. Success with this group means delivering an authentic, relevant, and unique message to captivate the audience.

Also, it is equally important to offer a product or service of interest to maximize overall interest from African American millennials.

African-American millennials spend 2.62 hours on social media daily on average, the highest segment only to Hispanics, according to eMarketer. Given their high consumption of media in general, it stands to reason how many television series, award shows, and other events offer an opportunity for conversations to extend socially. Such examples of “must-tweet TV” include Scandal, Empire, and BET Hip Hop Awards. African-American millennials also constantly update their personal pages on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, although Snapchat is slowly picking up interest and usage. The majority of such social activity happens on mobile devices.

Be mindful there are several reasons for millennials and African American millennials to follow a business socially. These reasons are inclusive of the following:

  • Get deals and specials
  • Brand exclusive news and updates
  • First look at new content product or service information
  • Enter contests and sweepstakes
  • Loyalty or rewards programs

As you develop marketing plans for 2017, consider how influential African American millennials are and the impact it can have on your results. This segment is unique and marketing plans should consider passion points that motive them to purchase.

Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying” (a self-help advertising guide), available at Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2016 Women of Power in Advertising & Marketing and 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: