Marketing guru Pepper Miller has released a compelling book that details why it is important to any company’s bottom line to learn how to successfully market to African-American people. In Black Still Matters in Marketing: Why Increasing Your Cultural IQ about Black America is Critical to Your Business and Your Brand, Miller operates under the idea that many corporations are missing the mark when it comes to marketing to black people—which she calls an untapped “gold mine.”
In the book, Miller broaches an array of crucial marketing topics, including the role of technology and the Internet. “The Internet is not necessarily ‘the equalizer’,” Miller writes. “There are countless successful new media platforms created by Blacks for Blacks in support of the strong and powerful Black social network and Black blogosphere, yet are under many marketers’ radar.”
In an interview, Miller said her book is targeted primarily to Fortune 500 companies because they control the purse strings of the consumer market, thus controlling the nation’s marketing decisions.
“I continue to see that part of our mission is to help corporations develop a deeper contextual understanding of black America so they can reveal our untapped market value,” said Miller, whose marketing firm is the Hunter Miller Group.
Black Still Matters is Miller’s second book. Her first book, What’s Black About It?, co-written with the late marketing and advertising executive Herb Kemp, was released six years ago. Miller said it’s unbelievable how much the marketing environment has changed in the years since she and Kemp released the last book.
“Six years ago there was no Facebook, Twitter, e-blast companies, Constant Contact, iPhone, iPad, or President Barack Obama,” she said. “All those things have impacted the black consumer. We are more different today than we have ever been—different from the mainstream and from each other. But the emphasis on marketers today, with cross-cultural marketing, is having one message to reach all segments. They think different is a bad word, that it’s politically incorrect. They think they’re being forward thinkers by not looking at differences, but they’re not. When they are looking at differences, it gives them an opportunity to understand people without judging. Then you have the opportunity to connect with them, which allows you to connect your brand with them. That will have a positive impact on your bottom line.”