Last Friday, Google released a study they considered to be “digital truths” about the African American consumer. The study, conducted by independent market research firm Ipsos OTX MediaCT noticed that it appeared more African-Americans were using their smartphone to access the Internet.
That isn’t surprising, since other studies have shown that African-Americans tend to trail whites when it comes owning a personal desktop computer and utilizing broadband internet. The Google survey participants in both groups were aged 18-64, avid Internet users that have made either an auto, tech, retail consumer packaged good, healthcare or fast food purchase in the last 6 months. After compiling the initial results, the study was then compared to a relative sampling of the U.S. population, before the data was made public.
The results show that African-Americans were more likely to own smartphones at a higher rate than the others surveyed (53 percent vs. 45 percent) making them quicker to click on smartphone ads of various sponsors. The rates of smartphone ad recall were the highest of any group at 40 percent.
Torrence Boone, managing director and agency development business development at Google noted that while the survey finds were interesting, there isn’t a lot of detailed research when it comes to the digital behavior of an multi-cultural community, which is why certain aspects of the study were really surprising, especially when it came to analyzing the mobile landscape.
Although, approximately one-third (35 percent) of American adults owned a smartphone of some kind, of those that owned, the highest groups were African-Americans and Latinos at 44 percent.
According to the survey, not only does the African-American community seem to own smartphone devices, the data also shows that the use of the phone goes outside of ad click rates. In most cases, African-Americans are more likely to use their phone to watch video, use apps and manage their finances. It was also noted that African-American community were also more versed in their pre-purchase research compared to other representative groups.
At the same time, an earlier study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project yielded similar results, in that 35 percent of Americans use smartphones and that smartphone adoption was highest among the affluent and well-educated, the young and non-whites.
Cynthia Wright is an avid lover of all things geeky. When she isn’t freelancing, she can be found on her blog BGA Life and on Twitter at @cynisright.