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How to Plan your 2022 Media Budget around Diverse Spending 

GroupM launched its 2+% Pledge, inviting its clients to invest at least 2% of their total annual media budgets in Black-owned media.

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How to Plan your 2022 Media Budget around Diverse Spending 

Reeling from the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, advertisers vowed to increase their ad spend with Black-owned media properties. GroupM launched its 2+% Pledge, inviting its clients to invest at least 2% of their total annual media budgets in Black-owned media. Many of its largest clients signed on, including General Mills, L’Oreal USA, Nestle, Tyson Foods, DoorDash, and Mars. Target went above and beyond GroupM’s pledge, committing 5% of its overall media spend. 

You don’t need to represent a household name to make a difference, every bit helps to support diversity of voices, especially now that states are actively making it more difficult for people to vote, and the U.S. Congress has refused to make equal access to the polls the law of the land. 

Here’s how you, regardless of the size of your budget, can keep up the momentum and commit to real change this year. 

Make diverse spending a core priority 

While we applaud all pledges to allocate budgets to minority-owned media, from a business point of view, it’s smarter to invest regularly throughout the year vs. adding a “multicultural” line item to a media plan. 

By regularly investing in minority-owned media such as Ebony, BlackBusiness.com, HelloIndia and The Gaily Grind, you can begin to form relationships with consumers within these communities, which is the entire point of advertising. A one-and-done investment in minority-owned media can help you meet your pledge, but it won’t return the dividends that stems from growing your advertising to build brand awareness, growing your upper sales funnel, and increasing your customer base. 

What’s more, programmatic advertising in particular allows brands to learn from the market and gauge consumer sentiment. Over the long term, with programmatic advertising, you can gain insight into the specific needs of more communities -- insights that you can use to optimize your product roadmap and marketing strategy. 

One way to ensure your media agency hits your diverse media spending targets with every campaign is to tie your goal to compensation. It’s not difficult to meet a 5% or 10% spending target, thanks to SSPs like Colossus SSP, which aggregates inventory across minority-owned media companies, enabling brands and media agencies to fulfill campaigns at scale. 

Make an effort to connect with diverse suppliers 

Create an ongoing process to prospect new diverse media owners, supported both with budget and leadership buy-in. 

The 4As have created a list of 350+ minority-owned media companies, compiled from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) and the National 

Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA, a division of the United States Department of Commerce). This resource can help you discover new media partners you may want to to work with and can add to your programmatic publisher inclusion list. SSPs like Colossus can help you reach these audiences efficiently. 

As you look to expand your list of publishers, take note of the difference between diverse-owned and diverse-targeted properties. The former creates wealth in diverse communities while the latter does not. 

“The persistent racial gap in the United States is a burden on Black Americans as well as the overall economy,” writes McKinsey & Co. Income equality isn’t a zero-sum game; the entire economy will benefit when all communities thrive. 

One way to ensure that success is to invest in communities of colors. “Healthy Black-owned businesses could be a critical component for closing the United States’ Black–white wealth gap, which we project will cost the economy $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion (in 2018 dollars) per year by 2028,” McKinsey & Co advises. 

Find ways to invest in growing the ecosystem 

There are plenty of minority-owned media companies, but they’ve struggled to get sufficient funding, which, in turn, makes it difficult for them to compete against well-funded media companies like CNN or USAToday. 

This is a challenge that applies to all minority-owned businesses, not just media companies. According to a Bain & Company report, “less than 1% of funds from today's top VC and PE investors wind up in the hands of Latino-owned businesses.” Black-owned startups received 1.4% of investments in 2021, which is actually a 4x increase over the previous year! 

As an advertiser, you can help grow the ecosystem of minority-owned media by investing directly in diverse publishers and content creators. New organizations, such as Group Black, seek to help marketers learn about and invest in media owned by minority communities. 

Colossus SSP allows marketers to spend with minority-owned media properties across all channels, including desktop, mobile, in-app and CTV. It offers all the advantages of programmatic advertising, including real-time optimization and gleaming important audience insights, all while providing much needed support to minority-owned media companies. 

Be The Change We Need 

Most people recognize the urgent need to create an economy that is fair to all people, and that equality benefits the entire nation. As a marketer, you don’t need to wait for someone else to make change happen, you can vote with your media budget. In other words, it’s within your power to be the change we need.

 

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