‘Essence’ Mag’s President Michelle Ebanks Talks About Radical Changes in Minority Women’s Buying Power

Michelle Ebanks, president, Essence magazine
Michelle Ebanks, president, Essence magazine

The 2010 U.S. Census reiterates the increased buying power of multicultural consumer markets and lays a blueprint for marketers in terms of how to reach targeted audiences. Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence and People en Espanol, talked to the audience and later to rolling out about African American women’s and other minorities’  mind-sets in the new millennium, their passion points and new media habits.

Armed with this information, it is hoped that marketers and advertisers will become more discerning on how to make emotional connections with these diverse and dynamic demographics with consequential messages and campaigns that will provide a fruitful return on the marketer’s investments.

There has been a radical paradigm shift in the workforce as well as minority buying power within the last several decades. What should this translate into?

Today’s presentation was focusing on the power of multicultural audiences and the power of women and that black and Hispanic women represent the largest minority groups at that cornerstone. And we need to watch and learn and see where the country is moving and how everyday lives are being impacted and how mind-sets are changing and how priorities are shifting. And we wanted to share that information about how women are now in the forefront in terms of holding the majority positions in the work  force.

These percentages are even greater with minority women, correct?

But multicultural women, blacks and Hispanics, have the highest level of labor participation, have the highest level of household control and increasingly the highest level decision makers across the spectrum of categories. The Great Recession only amplifies the impact that multicultural women have within the segment and control, nearly 60 percent of the $2.7 trillion in 2016.

With black and Hispanic women reaching the upper echelon of corporations at unprecedented percentages, there have been some unintended ramifications, however.

With these achievements are great confidence and optimism and higher expectations. But there is also some distress. With upward mobility, they are moving closer to jobs and further away from those communities that provided such great support systems. There is a loss of community, so she is seeking technology and brands to give her that cultural relevance and resonance and what’s driving her is noble.

With demographers predicting that minorities will be the majority in the U.S. by 2050, the world of advertising is still, however, moving at a glacial pace in terms of the implementation of progressive programs and monetary appropriations that corresponds with the “tanning” of America.

It’s I believe inexorable that change will happen. People who like the way the dollars are allocated now, they’re the power brokers. They are resistant to change. But, it’s inexorable. There will be a market correction. And some corporations will be on the right side of it and some will be left behind. It’s a choice and we all have choices to make. –terry shropshire

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