The pandemic impact is not created equal in America.
By Jennifer Mathis, SVP Media Director
While most Americans would say the pandemic has impacted their lives, this is disproportionately true for minority communities. Black and Latino Americans are not only dying at a higher rate, they are seeing greater economic impacts than their white counterparts. Understanding the pandemic impact on minority communities is important for marketers to ensure they are, as C-K is recommending to all clients, leading with empathy in their marketing communications.
The numbers are staggering for the black community and health concerns are top of mind:
- One in 10 black Americans say they know someone personally who has died from the coronavirus, and nearly 1 in 5 say someone in their household has lost a job due to the outbreak.
- The disparity is even more apparent on a state level as in Wisconsin where black Americans account for 6% of the population but 40% of the COVID-related deaths.
- Black Americans are more likely to support safety measures due to these concerns as 70% of black Americans believe social distancing measures should stay in place.
- 77% of black voters said the government should focus on the spread of coronavirus rather than the economy.
We see similar trends in the Latino community, plus economics are a major concern:
- Latinos are highly concerned about the economic impact of the pandemic as 90% say the outbreak is a major threat to the U.S. economy.
- Job loss is hitting this population much harder than the gen pop as 40% have taken a pay cut vs. avg. U.S. at 27% and 29% have lost their job vs. only 20% avg. U.S.
- 68% say the pandemic is a major threat to their personal financial situation.
- Overall, the Latino population makes up a disproportionate amount of cases, like in Iowa where Latinos make up 17% of the COVID cases vs. only 6% of the population.
Why is this happening?
These communities are more likely to be employed in jobs considered essential services, like transportation and healthcare, that put them on the front lines of the pandemic. . The daily risk they encounter as part of their jobs, combined with disparities in access to healthcare and insurance coverage, can have disastrous circumstances within these communities.
What does this mean for marketers?
We’ve been hearing a lot about new consumer segments being developed as part of the pandemic. In the MRI/Simmons study, consumers fall into two groups, Nervous and Accepting, and they have very different comfort levels and viewpoints on how to “return to normal.” More recently, the EY Future Consumer Index broke consumers into four groups representing spending attitudes which include segments like ‘Cut Deep,’ ‘Stay Calm, Carry On,’ ‘Save and Stockpile’ and ‘Hibernate and Spend.’
It’s important to understand your audience and where they fall within these segments combined with the lens of the overall impact the virus is having within certain communities.
Bottom line, know your target.
The widespread impact of the pandemic makes it even more important than ever to really know your audience and what they’re experiencing right now. To learn more in-depth details about different segments, and gain actionable insights, C-K has been successfully and quickly leveraging a mix of syndicated research tools and custom research. Many of our syndicated data partners are fielding specific COVID-19-related surveys which can prove informative to ensure brands are aware of differences across different segments of the population. This includes important financial changes as well as the emotional impact which are key to developing a strategy that isn’t tone deaf and insensitive during the weeks and months ahead.