New CMC Study Shows Digital Behavior is Powered by Culture Across All Demographic Segments


FAIRFAX, Va. (April 12, 2018)Digital Lives 2018: A World of Digital ‘Everything’ through a Cultural Lens, a groundbreaking study by the trade group Culture Marketing Council: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing (CMC) reveals that culture drives digital behavior regarding how information is shared, how on-demand content is consumed, and which platforms are chosen, permeating outside of in-culture spaces and across non-Hispanic white, Hispanic and non-Hispanic African-American segments. Presence in cultural platforms, in-culture ads on mainstream sites and organic diversity in social media and video content are some of the critical strategies that resonate across all audiences and increase brand engagement.

Sponsored by Oi2 Media Response, ThinkNow, Univision and Viacom, Digital Lives 2018 not only uncovers how digital is used to gather information, socialize, consume or share entertainment, but also explores this behavior through a cultural lens to determine areas of similarities, differences, cultural uniqueness or areas of cultural fusion. The CMC conducted an online quantitative study of 3,500 total 13-49-year-old respondents with equal representation of non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic African-Americans and Hispanics.

“Demography and digitalization are the two most transformative and disruptive forces in our society today,” said CMC Research Chair Nancy Tellet, founder, brand & consumer navigator at PureClarity LLC. “The growth and influence of the Hispanic consumer, coupled with the pop culture and political clout of African-Americans, is transforming the American cultural landscape. At the same time, digital platforms are emerging and evolving, giving consumers more control over the on-demand content they crave.”

Topline findings of the Digital Lives 2018 study include:

  • Ads placed on platforms with cultural content have more power across all ages, segments and languages, regardless of U.S. or foreign births—71 percent of non-Hispanic African-Americans and 60-64 percent of Hispanics (60 percent on English-language Hispanic sites, 64 percent on Spanish-language Hispanic sites) are more likely to buy from brands who advertise in their cultural spaces. 
  • Spanish-language ads—even in mainstream sites—create more engagement with Hispanics, including third+ generation Hispanics that continue incorporating time in Spanish as part of their in-culture digital activities.
  • While authentically diverse ads done correctly in the mainstream increase engagement with multicultural and some millennial non-Hispanic whites, the same applies to shows reflecting diversity in cast and themes, particularly among African-Americans of all ages. For non-Hispanic whites, millennials are more likely to personally relate to diverse shows that “do it right.” In fact, most non-Hispanic white teens and Generation Xers like diverse shows, like Black-ish, Luke Cage, How to Get Away with Murder, This Is Us, and Orange is the New Black, simply because they are good.
  • Digital TV/movies, which include streaming video on-demand (SVOD), are the No. 1 thing most 18-49-year olds say “I can’t live without,” except Hispanics 18-34 where SVOD was in a virtual tie with their passion for social media.
  • When it comes to social media, half of each group’s influencers are of another culture, and nine out of the 17 top social media stars are multicultural.

The results of this new study re-emphasize the strategic imperative of placing culture at the center of your campaigns and valuing culture specialists as key advisors,” said CMC Chair Isaac Mizrahi, co-president and COO of Alma. “We hope this study can help marketers maximize success with in-culture, multicultural segmented efforts and avoid costly cultural gaffes in their mainstream marketing.”

CMC would like to acknowledge the CMC Digital Chair Rafael Monteiro, COO of Oi2 Media Response; the CMC Digital Committee; Pete Lerma, principal & founder of Richards/Lerma; and CMC Research Chair Nancy Tellet, who spearheaded and executed this study. A public version of this study is available as part of the CMC 2018 Hispanic Market Guide, which will be available in April 2018. CMC members will have full access to the study.

For more information, visit culturemarketingcouncil.org and follow the CMC on Facebook and Twitter at @cmchispanic.