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Nielsen Leaders Trace the Black Consumer Journey with Members of the Congressional Black Caucus

3 minute read | October 2019

Our insights show that African American consumers are growing both in number and buying power. Brands and advertisers use this research to better design products and outreach to earn Black consumer spend, but our clients aren’t the only audience that finds our data useful. Elected officials and other governmental bodies also use our data to make informed policy decisions to meet the specific needs of Black consumers, who in turn use our data to make conscious purchasing choices. 

That’s why we sponsored the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) 49th Annual Legislative Conference. We spent three days sharing key insights from our latest African American Diverse Intelligence Series report, It’s in the Bag: Black Consumers’ Path to Purchase, with members of Congress, corporate leaders and everyday consumers. The report was launched in conjunction with the conference.

Our presence at CBCF was headlined by Cheryl Grace, our SVP, U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement, who gave opening remarks at Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-CA) “Young, Gifted and Black” braintrust session. Cheryl used our viewership data to educate attendees on how African Americans’ consumption habits and preferences move markets. She encouraged attendees to use their economic power to effect positive change, and she detailed how companies are increasingly awakening to the power of Black consumers and how product and programming offerings are better meeting the needs and desires of African Americans as a result. 

“Our research has consistently revealed the immense opportunity Black consumers represent for businesses of all kinds,” said Cheryl. “Our 2019 report, which traces the African American consumer journey, reveals several places where policymakers have an opportunity to better engage with the unique needs of Black consumers. Any improvement to the condition of the African American experience will necessarily be collaborative between the business, civic and policymaking communities, and we hope our data will serve as a foundation for these improvements.”

Cheryl also spoke during the “Diversity in the Media Industry: Obstacles and Opportunities” session, hosted by the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association and Representatives Val Demings (D-FL) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). This session presented a valuable opportunity to make the case for Black media representation—backed by data—in front of media industry leaders, many of whom are key decision-makers for our clients. Other Nielsen speaking engagements included opening remarks at Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester’s (D-DE) panel discussion on the state of Black employment in an era of increased workplace automation.

Finally, Nielsen leaders attended the 49th Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner, where Black Americans were recognized for extraordinary accomplishments and contributions to the African American community. We were joined by Rep. Alma Adams’ (D-NC) staff and representatives from Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE) and the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. 

“We continue to believe that our diverse consumer data has value that extends far beyond business,” said Joby Fortson, SVP, Government Relations and Public Policy, Nielsen. “Our continued relationship with CBCF has ensured our data remains an asset to our colleagues on the Hill as they make policy that best meets the needs of African Americans.”

Our collaboration with the CBCF doesn’t stop at the Legislative Conference. For instance, we joined Rep. Adams and the Information Technology Institute earlier this year for the annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Diversity in Tech Summit, where we helped equip students with the skills needed to thrive in tech-oriented workplaces like our own. 

Read more on our African American community site.

Pictured above: Cheryl Grace (right) speaking at Congresswoman Waters’ (left) Young, Gifted and Black braintrust session.