When it comes to consumerism, Black people run things.  Well, sorta.

A new report shows that the Black consumer is among the most powerful of any group. That position means that Black people have clout when it comes to which businesses are successful and which are not.  This information reminds us of the possibilities for Black-owned businesses who target their products to Black consumers.

A partnership between Nielsen and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the second annual report details Black buying power, consumer behavior and lifestyle trends.  There is a sweet spot ready to be filled with companies who make products suiting the unique needs of the the Black community.

“Marketers underestimate the opportunities missed by overlooking Black consumers’ frustration of not having products that meet their needs in their neighborhoods. And companies that don’t advertise using Black media risk having African-Americans perceive them as being dismissive of issues that matter to Black consumers,” said Cloves Campbell, chairman, NNPA. “This report demonstrates what a sustainable and influential economic force we are.”

Black consumers were certainly targeted in Black-owned media over the past year.  A total of $2.10 billion in advertising dollars was spent in 2011 to target Black consumers.  The number spent to target Black consumers in other markets totaled only $120 million.  The fact is that Black owned media focuses on marketing products within the community and this has not gone unnoticed by Black audiences.  Products marketed via Black-owned media outlets are likely to be viewed in a different light according to the report because 91% of Blacks believe that this media and the products that advertise specifically for Black audiences is more relevant to them.

Black people are among the highest percentage users of smartphones and social media.  54% of Black people own a smartphone a 21% jump from just a year ago.  They are savvy about where they get their information and are more likely to get their news from television as opposed to print media.  Younger Blacks are even more likely to use new technology and social media for their media sources.  The report recommends retailers, “[p]romote new technology and lifestyle products to African-American Millennials and Generation Y consumers who tend to be early adopters and pop culture influencers. “  Blacks are more likely to use their smartphone, gaming device, or other technology to do everything from shopping to tweeting to reading books.

It’s no surprise that Black people are ahead of other groups in using these newer technologies; It’s no secret that they trust their own media over the mainstream for not only news but also information they can trust before they purchase products.  Black owned media and small businesses should take note that this powerful source of buying power is ready, wallets open.