Key Agencies Partnering on Market Study of African-American Consumers

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Don Coleman Advertising, Southfield, MI, and marketing research heavyweight Yankelovich Partners, Norwalk, CT, announced their strategic partnering agreement this month as well as their forthcoming national marketing survey of African-Americans.

Hal Quinley, vice president at Yankelovich, said the research report, "The Don Coleman Advertising/Yankelovich Partners African-American Monitor," will be available to clients in September. He said the study's summary will seek to explain much of the complex fabric that makes up African-American lifestyles and consumer behavior relative to whites based on a statistically relevant sample size of 1,000 participants.

The ongoing Yankelovich Monitor general market study regularly tracks 2,500 participants nationwide over the age of 16 via a 90-minute, inhome interview. The 40-year-old firm is known for its proprietary consumer research methods and predictive modeling techniques.

Quinley said the African-American Monitor survey will identify trends in answers to similar questions that have been posed to the general market sample, as well as other key inquiries. It also will be contrasted with two previous studies.

Howard Buford, president of Prime Access Inc., New York, a strategic marketing and communications agency with significant experience targeting minority consumers, said new research on African-Americans is very much needed. "In my experience of working with clients, there still isn't enough primary research out there," he said. "At Prime Access, we're seeing a lot more marketing to ethnic groups; and as the demand increases for campaigns, so does the need for research and more media. Many clients simply have to conduct their own research."

Buford said there's also increased demand for direct marketing lists and information that points to lists that African-American consumers are likely to be on.

At Yankelovich, Quinley said he expects to see a bit more information about younger African-Americans as well as increased income levels compared with the two previous African-American Monitors, which were conducted in 1992 and 1995.

Some key preliminary findings from the data indicate that ownership of computers among African-Americans has increased from 15 percent in 1995 to 28 percent in 1999. In addition, 73 percent of African-Americans agree with the statement "I feel the need to feel more comfortable with the new technologies that are all around," compared with 66 percent of whites.

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