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Crafting the Customer Experience For People Not Like You: How to Delight and Engage the Customers Your Competitors Don't Understand by Kelly McDonald

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BLACKS AND AFRICAN AMERICANS

First, let’s be clear about what I mean when I say that you should market to a specific group. There is no single specific “African American consumer profile,” just as there is no “white,” “Asian,” or “Hispanic” profile. We are all different and most of the categories that marketers develop to define us do a pretty superficial job of it. However, here are some generalities and overarching insights and consumer comments that I believe will help you in crafting a customer experience that will reach and appeal to your African American prospects and customers.

Insight #1: Show People of Color When Targeting People of Color

One of the most powerful insights that I’ve heard was a comment someone made in an African American focus group. The group was composed of African American men and women of different ages, of different backgrounds, and from different cities. The discussion topic was how African Americans were portrayed in advertising and how the group felt about marketing to blacks. One woman in the group, Kim Edwards, a successful business owner, stated that she was drawn to almost any ad where she could “fit in.” I asked her what she meant by that, and she explained: “As blacks, we haven’t been [portrayed] in ads for very long. It’s only recently that we’ve started seeing images of people who look like us in ads. We’ve been absent from marketing efforts for so long, that we’re trained to ‘get in where we fit in’ ... If I see an ad for a product, and ...

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