August 18, 2005, 12:00 AM

To reach African-American families online, market to women, study says

Nearly 65% of African-American respondents to a survey of women consumers said the Internet often influences their spending, compared to 58% of white respondents, reports.


Nearly 65% of African-American respondents to a survey of women consumers said they “frequently or almost always” visit a web site before purchasing a product, compared to 58% of white respondents, reports.

The survey, conducted online last winter of 1,700 women consumers, also found that 16% of African-American respondents said their favorite web sites have a major influence on their purchasing decisions, compared to 12% of white respondents.

"This makes the Internet an especially effective medium for marketers hoping to reach black families," said Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, founder, president and CEO of Nia Enterprises LLC, a research and marketing services company, which owns, a site that caters to black women.

"We decided to focus on black women online because more black women are the primary decision-makers in their households than women of other U.S. ethnic groups," McKissack said. "If you want to reach the black family, you really need to connect with women."

The study also found that 32% of black women access the Internet most often from work, compared to 9% of white women.

Chicago-based Nia Enterprises administered the survey to its permission-based online Consumer Advisory Panel, which reaches more than 125,000 African-American household members as well as members of other ethnic groups. The results of the study are included in Nia’s report, “2005 NiaOnline Research Monitor: The African-American Household Online.” The report also includes research NiaOnline conducted in June on the impact of culturally relevant marketing messages on black women’s purchasing decisions.


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