Ford, the automaker, is seeking to authentically engage with Black women, an audience that is a major source of growth for vehicles like its pick-up trucks.

Rajoielle “Raj” Register, head/growth audience marketing communications at Ford Motor Co., discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2019 Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference.

And she reported that female customers have been a significant driver of its business, not only for traditional cars and SUVs, but also for pick-up trucks.

“This is where the business is going for us,” Register said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Ford found an audience of female African-American pick-up truck enthusiasts.)

In recent years, she added, African-American women have experienced two times the growth in pick-up truck sales than their general market counterparts. And various factors contributed to this trend.

“A lot of this is driven by their education, by their entrepreneurship, and by their opening small businesses,” Register said. “They’re leading the charge in so many different ways.”

One “key truth” about this consumer cohort is that African-American women are loyal customers. “More so than any other group of people, she is likely to experience the same brand multiple times,” Register said.

“For us, that means that we know that we have to get [the vehicle selection] right the first time. And we get it right by representing her in the ways that she needs to be represented.”

Elaborating further on audience behavior, Register explained another core knowledge point: “We found that it’s not about just education and opening businesses,” she said.

This customer, in fact, “cares about her purchases. She cares about her family. And she’s researching and digging in deep to really understand what it is that she’s buying.

“She has a very high automotive IQ” knowledge, too, which means her path to automotive purchase “is not just about flashy style and performance. She wants to know what’s under the hood,” explained Register.

Sourced from WARC