Effective marketing to America’s diverse population has never been a one-size-fits-all practice. A new Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), Consumer Technographics® report identifies key differences in technology adoption, media consumption, and receptiveness to marketing among Asians, Blacks, English-speaking Hispanics, and Whites.

“Marketers should take note. Understanding the differences among each group is critical to developing effective marketing campaigns,” said Jed Kolko, principal analyst at Forrester. “Our survey results show that there is more to reaching minorities than understanding demographic differences. Income, for instance, does not necessarily determine what technology someone invests in and what influences them to purchase it.”

For the report “Marketing To America’s Ethnic Minorities,” Forrester’s Consumer Technographics team analyzed data from a mail survey of 54,817 US households.

Key Findings

Device Ownership

  • Although device ownership is highly correlated with income, income alone does not explain consumers’ likelihood to own devices. Factors like having children and being motivated by entertainment also play a large role.
  • Fifteen percent of Blacks say that they are likely to buy a desktop computer in the next year, compared with 7 percent of Whites, 11 percent of Asians, and 11 percent of Hispanics.
  • Hispanics are more likely to purchase entertainment-based devices like MP3 players, video game consoles, and digital video camcorders, even though they earn $16,100 less than Whites.

Online Access And Behavior

  • Online access remains unbalanced because of income and education differences among races. Forty-two percent of Blacks and 57 percent of Hispanics are online, compared with 67 percent of Whites and 79 percent of Asians.
  • Email is the leading online activity for all groups. Asians are active users of multimedia-oriented activities like downloading music, software, and video. Hispanics are more likely to engage in rich communication like photo sharing and instant messaging.
  • Each group values ISP features differently. For instance, 54 percent of Hispanics and 48 percent of Blacks agree that parental controls are important, compared with 29 percent of Whites and 27 percent of Asians.

Receptiveness To Marketing

  • Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics are more likely to rate personalization and ad relevance as important features of online content sites.
  • Blacks and Hispanics find advertising more entertaining and trustworthy than others do and are more likely to watch TV commercials — 54 percent of Blacks and 42 percent of Hispanics say that they watch TV ads, compared with only 32 percent of Whites.
  • Blacks are twice as likely as Hispanics and Whites to purchase a product because the company sponsors family or educational programming.

The research mentioned in this press release is available to Forrester WholeView™ clients and can be found through www.forrester.com.