Guest blog post: “Different Times Require Different Measures “

I recently read about a new report that was being released titled “Multicultural Digital Report” so decided to reach out to learn more about the findings. Thank you Jake for this guest blog post and for the report.

Different Times Require Different Measures

Yesterday marked the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, but the first time that digital media across ethnicity and race has been reported in the United States.

Today is an important day for all of us in marketing, not just multicultural marketing. It is a day when the Mainstream ad spend will begin to be measured by ethnicity and race. Up to now, the mainstream has been synonymous with non-Hispanic Whites. But, given the dramatic changes in our demographic landscape over the last 20-years, the Mainstream or should I say, the New Mainstream is becoming a multicultural majority, and needs to be measured across ethnicity and race, moving forward.

The Multicultural Digital Report 2018 is a 100+ page resource for brands, media companies, publishers, and researchers that uncovers new data on digital media and total market population. This report, whose data is provided by MAGNA and ThinkNow, is extensive in that it measures digital media usage across Latinos, Asian and African-American consumers in addition to non-Latino Whites, showcases the results of an empirical test comparing in-culture and non in-culture content, and measures digital media ad spend by ethnicity and race.

While the full report can be downloaded here, this blog outlines the top three findings, which I found most interesting and counter-intuitive:

Insight #1: Digital Media Spend in 2018 (pages 27-34 in the Report)

The Center for Multicultural Science partnered with MAGNA to estimate digital media 2018 ad spend across ethnicity and race in United States for the first time. This data should be considered a benchmark when comparing digital media spend in the future.

A little over 50% of all 2018 ad spend in the United States is driven by digital. This number is projected to increase to almost 70% in the next five years. The Multicultural Digital Report 2018 found that Latino and African-American consumers make up 26.4% of total digital spend though they make up 35.5% of the total U.S. population. On the other hand, non-Latino Whites, which make up about 60% of the U.S. population, drove 65% of the digital spend in 2018.

This spend data does not include category or brand spend data, which is critical in deciding how much a brand should spend in digital media. This report underscores the importance of digital media across all consumers in today’s fragmented landscape.

Insight #2: Language Use at Home By Nativity for Latinos (page 98 in the Report)

Marketing to Latinos is a billion-dollar business. In 2017, Spanish-language television surpassed the $6 billion mark for the first time in history, which is about 80% of all in- language media spend in the United States. But are the changing demographics of Latinos impacting what language they speak at home and where they consume media?

The Multicultural Digital Report 2018 found that approximately 60% of foreign-born Latinos speak ‘only Spanish’ and ‘more Spanish than English’ at home. Conversely, 60-90% of second- and third-generation Latinos speak ‘only English’ and ‘more English than Spanish’ at home.

A recent study published in the Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy showed that foreign-born Latinos consume Spanish-language television at a much higher rate than their U.S.-born counterparts. In fact, Spanish-language television viewership among U.S.-born Latinos was very marginal.

The one-size-fits-all approach (i.e., targeting Latinos in Spanish-language television) no longer is the best way in targeting Latinos today — when you consider that 65% of Latinos in this country are U.S.-born. Language is important, but Spanish does not define U.S. Latinos. New strategies and tactics are needed to address a younger cohort characterized by their mobility and propensity to consume digital content.

Insight #3: Social Media by Daypart (pages 45-48 in the Report)

The Center for Multicultural Science partnered with ThinkNow to measure social media usage by daypart and by ethnicity and race or the first time in the United States. As published in the Multicultural Digital Report 2018, social media usage should not only be measured daily, but on an hour-by-hour basis. Most interestingly, social media usage peaked during prime time (8 pm and later). This was counterintuitive in the sense that we did not expect social media usage to peak in the evening given that television has traditionally been the ‘go-to’ medium in the evening.

The implications are significant. Brands should follow the customer and make media investment decisions based on all the research available. The ARF conducted a meta—analytic study in 2016 comprised of 3,200 campaigns over a five-year period and found that the highest media ROI was achieved when television and digital were purchased in combination, not when TV or digital was purchased independently of each other.

In closing, the Multicultural Digital Report 2018 uncovers key digital media behaviors and attitudes across a total market population, in addition to the consumption of digital media by ethnicity and race. This is the biggest contribution this Report makes to the marketing industry, and plan to continue measuring what matters in the New Mainstream.

With MAGNA and ThinkNow as data partners, we look forward announcing in 2019 new measures and methodologies that will grow their business with their target audiences in the changing demographic and media landscapes.


Dr. Jake Beniflah is the Executive Director of the Center for Multicultural Science, the first U.S. non-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to bridge the gap between academia and corporations in multicultural marketing research. Dr. Jake Beniflah spent the last 25-years working with leading organizations (ad agencies and publishers) to drive topline growth for Hispanic and mainstream consumers in senior-level research and strategy positions in the advertising industry. Jake was responsible for driving consumer insights, research, and strategy development. Dr. Beniflah is also the founding editor of the Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy and guest editor of the Special Issue of Multicultural Marketing in the Journal of Brand Strategy. He is a published author in a number of peer-reviewed marketing journals and a public speaker. Jake is currently a post-doctorate fellow at Loyola Marymount University and received his doctorate in business administration from Golden Gate University in 2010. After 35-years in San Francisco, Jake enjoys the sunny life of Southern California with his wife and two sons.

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Amazon, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, Black Enterprise, CES, technology to address workforce diversity, plus more

Can technology, including AI/machine learning, help address workforce diversity issues? Companies like SheWorks!, tEQuitable, Atipica, Textio and Pluto are just some of the startups trying to do this, but they have deliberately made this part of their mission. There are also companies like LinkedIn which announced this week it is using AI to recruit more diverse candidates. However, when leveraging technology, some companies may not realize that they may face bias issues they had not predicted, as we saw this week with Amazon. The recruitment engine the company used showed bias against women. More than 50% of HR managers in the U.S. saidartificial intelligence, or AI, would be a regular part of their work within the next five years, according to a 2017 survey by talent software firm CareerBuilder,” so this is something to continue to monitor. Ultimately I think what this also shows is that you need diversity on the management and development side to create viable solutions.

Google and Facebook announced that they are funding a machine learning course in Africa. This is just one example of how companies are trying to address these challenges but there is a lot of work to be done as diversity in tech continues to be a significant issue

It was great to see that CES listened to the concerns last year on the lack of diversity as Lisa Su, chief executive of AMD and Ginni Rometti, IBM’s CEO, were named as keynote speakers. Also, read this from  Black Enterprise titled “Black and Brown Tech Innovators and Enthusiasts Gather for Bigger, Better Techconnext conference.”

In other news, CNBC wrote about how Latino owned small businesses are “turbocharging growth,” I love this from the New York Times done to celebrate the International Day of the Girl and called #ThisIs18 and the Google Doodle honors Roberto Clemente

Finally, ICYMI here is one of my favorite ads this year, from JetBlue, celebrating Puerto Rico.

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Puerto Rico, Hispanic Heritage Month,  Col. Gil Coronado, Sol Trujillo, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, Marc Pritchard and more

One year after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, here is this from the Takeaway titled “After The Storm: Stories of Puerto Rican Resilience” and CBS aired this special titled “Puerto Rico: The exodus after Hurricane Maria.” Want to help? Support PRxPR.

As many of you may know, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated between September 15 and October 15 each year.  Watch this to learn more about how this month-long celebration started. Thank you Elaine Coronado for sharing. Here is more info on the celebration. There are numerous events and celebrations and many companies take the opportunity to host internal and/or external events, it is also a good time to spotlight the many contributions of Hispanics to the U.S. This from CNBC talks about the impact of Latino small businesses in the economy and watch Sol Trujillo talk about how Latinos are impacting the economy.  Here is this from Carlos Lozada from 2013 on who is Latino (or today Latinx) that also speaks to the history of the term Hispanic.

Some of the items I’m following this week: Fortune released the list of Most Powerful Women, an inspiring list of leaders, you can read more here. Axios had this article about how this Congress, depending on the election results, could be the more diverse in history and more accurately reflect the country.  Another week and another article about the importance of diversity in business.  Here is this great read titled “Why Confronting Our Unconscious Biases Is Both a Moral and Business Imperative.”

On the arts and entertainment front, the Getty Research Institute is launching an African American Art History initiative and Latinos made the “The Nun” #1 at the box office during its premiere week

ICYMI read this titled “Marc Pritchard shares personal journey around bias and labels.”

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Arlan Hamilton, Elizabeth Gore, Melinda Gates, Carla Harris, Freada Kapor Klein and much more

This week’s blog post has a strong focus on women as you can see from the headline. I did not realize that until I was close to finalizing it.  So this morning one of the first tweets I saw, fortunately, was Arlan Hamilton on the cover of FastCompany. Here is the story here.  This photo Arlan shared was not quite my reaction but close to it. Read here on why Stephanie Mehta selected Arlan. Listen to her interview with Tanzina Vega on The Takeaway. I recommend you follow Arlan to see how, via Backstage Capital, she is disrupting the VC industry. 

Then later today I read this by Elizabeth Gore in Inc. She is absolutely right. I am grateful that I get to work with entrepreneurs and disruptors like Genius Plaza founder Ana Roca Castro and SheWorks! founder Silvina Moschini and other entrepreneurs who are making an impact and are a part of the #NewMajority.

Other interesting reads this week include “Dell, other tech giants team up to improve diversity in training pipeline,” “Beauty Is More Diverse Than Ever. But Is It Diverse Enough?,” “Fifty years of economic history proves that inclusive workplaces make us all richer,” “Female Role Models Empower Young Girls to Pursue STEM Careers in Latest Ad Council Campaign,” and this “Few minorities, only 45 Latinos, in U.S. House’s top staff jobs, report says.” Here is this report from Nielsen titled “From Consumers to Creators: The Digital Lives of Black Consumers.”  

I also recommend reading this from Melinda Gates on closing the gender tech gap and listen to Carla Harris’ podcast with Freada Kapor Klein on the “Leaky Tech Pipeline.”

ICYMI this is from the New York Times titled “As TV Seeks Diverse Writing Ranks, Rising Demand Meets Short Supply.”

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Nike, Chase, AmEx, US Open, Latinx, Backstage Capital, WarnerMedia & more

I can’t believe it’s already September! I love this time of the year for many reasons, including the US Open in New York. This year diversity is well represented both on the courts and on the creative front. Chase and Nike launched inspiring Serena Williams ads and American Express is running its ad with Lin Manuel Miranda.  If you are not a fan, there are some great storylines this year. There is of course Serena. You also have two players from Japan making history Kei Nishikori on the men’s side and Naomi Osaka on the women’s side. And Nike posted this in response to the French Open’s decision regarding Serena’s catsuit.

This week Nike has captured most of the headlines with its decision to have Colin Kaepernick as the face of its current campaign. There has been extensive coverage and analysis on this decision – just do a quick Google search. If you haven’t seen the ad that will run during the NFL season opener, the US Open and other sporting events, you should. Here’s a link. I agree with Patrick Rishe – for Nike “the reward will exceed risk because it knows its demo.”  

Other news I am following includes that the term “Latinx” has been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. I’ve written about the debate on using this term before. Adrienne Trimble took the helm at the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Nielsen released a report stating that Hispanic consumers over-index on cause-related purchases. Backstage Capital announced it is launching “an accelerator in four cities to promote underrepresented founders.” I am voting for Miami as the fourth city. WarnerMedia unveiled its diversity policy – congratulations to the team leading this effort! Also here is this good read from The Wharton School titled “Why Diversity Is About Much More Than Numbers.”

ICYMI watch Sylvia Acevedo’s interview on CBS This Morning. Proud to say I’ve known her for years, she’s inspiring!

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Crazy Rich Asians, Kelly Marie Tran, Washington Post, NPR, Marie Claire & More

This weekend I watched “Crazy Rich Asians” and it was such fun. Plus I love that, as many outlets noted, it once again proved the power of diversity. I also love the response by the Asian American community to the film, including this from Jane Mo or this from Kimberly Yam and of course the story about the letter sent to request the song Yellow from Cold Play. Then on Monday I was brought back to reality, about how much work needs to be done, after reading this from Kelly Marie Tran in the New York Times. I applaud her strength but saddened that we continue to see what she faces. Of course, the question now is what does the success of the film mean for Hollywood after the Box Office success of Black Panther, Coco and Crazy Rich Asians? More on that here and here. Plus this from Forbes on how “Latinos And (Crazy Rich) Asian Americans Are Hollywood’s Final Growth Frontier.” Patrice Tanaka, who you should also follow, has shared some great stories about Crazy Rich Asians and promoted the film, she did share this one that is critical of the movie.

I have been following the backlash the Washington Post received from Latino organizations and leaders over the story “White, and in the Minority.” The Columbia Journalism Review has this piece on the issues. I actually had reached out to the Washington Post before the NAHJ meeting and the CJR story were published because I had not seen a response. This is what I received, “The Washington Post has a long tradition of narrative reporting on the experiences of immigrants and minorities in America, as recent work by a number of Post reporters vividly demonstrates. Many of their stories recount the experiences of immigrants as they adapt to America and confront discrimination, shifting policies and other challenges. Terrence McCoy’s story captured the perspective of those who feel displaced by demographic change, by conveying what it is like for two white Americans who must themselves adapt to a new America. McCoy portrays their fear, resentment and xenophobia – as well as their responses to the attempts of their Latino co-workers to interact with them. McCoy’s work will continue to explore the emergence of a multicultural majority in America.” I leave the original article here, the piece from CJR and the response, so you can decide.

NPR also was criticized for the interview with hate group leader Jason Kessler, here is David Folkenflik on the backlash and read Brian Stelter’s piece on covering racists.

Other stories that i am following, this from CNN on the rise of Diversity & Inclusion jobs plus this on how to build a career in D&I; Citigroup’s three year goal to reverse its diversity failings; AARP has a new newsletter focused on African American women and Endeavor is now working with Papa John’s. If you are interested in D&I, the National Diversity Council offers a certification program

ICYMI Claudia Romo Edelman today shared that she was one of the special contributors for Marie Claire’s September issue focused on immigration. It is a must read! 

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Nonprofit diversity, Harvard, Vogue, Magazine Covers, Politics, Startups and the PR industry in the #MeToo era

Every day I save articles to include in the weekly blog post, and also do some searches to find some of the best coverage about diversity. That is why I appreciate it when some of you share articles I may have missed or catch a mistake and flag it for me. Thank you Xochitl Yañez for sharing this one focused on diversity in nonprofits, a very interesting read.

I also follow a number of individuals that share great content, including pieces they have written. Here is this from Monica Castillo focused on language, Ana Valdez shared this written by Miriam Rivera titled “How to be an ally in a diverse community,” One area that I focus on is startups, and follow leaders like Arlan Hamilton and Mandela SH Dixon and try to include articles like this piece on “105 black and latino founders who have raised $1mm+ in VC funding…”

One of the topics I talk about almost every week is that representation matters, which is why we we should celebrate that  “For the First Time, Black Women Will Run Four Schools at Harvard University,” and that, as the CNBC headline states,Women are shattering records in the 2018 primaries with more than a dozen states still to go.”Another story on the politics side, in Michigan, the Democrats have an all-female statewide ticket.  On the entertainment side, the fact that black women are on a number of magazine covers this month is also something to celebrate. Also, if you missed this from Vogue about advice for your 20 year old self based on Beyonce’s cover story, it is a great read.

We do have a long way to go, which is why Tuesday was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, read more here. This New York Times piece “When a Female C.E.O. Leaves, the Glass Ceiling is Restored” has great insights and data in general about women in the C suite.  

Finally, ICYMI, here is a must read post by Jane Randel, co-founder of Karp Randel, focused on #MeToo and the PR industry.

Thank you for reading and following. Please share any articles you think are important to include!

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