AIMM’s Gilbert Dávila Asks Brands to Close the Gap between Intention and Action in Supporting Diverse Media
5 mins read

AIMM’s Gilbert Dávila Asks Brands to Close the Gap between Intention and Action in Supporting Diverse Media

While hosting the Second Annual ANA/AIMM GrowthFronts in New York, an upfront event for Diverse-Owned and Diverse-Targeted Media, Gilbert Dávila, CEO at DMI Consulting and Co-Founder of AIMM, ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, shared new research on investment in Diverse Media and its potential for brands.

As a result, AIMM has recommended bold new goals for the industry to reach by the next GrowthFronts in early 2025.

He stated that Diverse-Owned Media should move from 2.2% of all U.S. advertising expenditures (2022) to 6.5% by the end of 2024. Gilbert Dávila believes this goal and others outlined are all achievable.

He notes, “Diversity in the U.S. represents more than 40% of the total population, or 50%+ when adding LGBTQ+ and People with Disabilities. However, marketers’ investment in Diverse-Owned or Diverse-Targeted Media is nominal at best.”

To accelerate industry change by increasing access to Diverse Media, the 2024 GrowthFronts brought together nearly 200 media buyers and brand-side marketers with 75 Diverse Media entities representing Asian, Black, Hispanic, and LGBTQ+ segments.

Dávila states that more than 1,500 meetings occurred between media representatives and potential advertising buyers over two days. While he admits that meetings can sometimes feel like “speed dating,” they aim to develop buyer awareness and knowledge while fostering relationships that can lead to business transactions.

The 2024 GrowthFronts event is sponsored by several AIMM member companies including Verizon, Publicis Group, P&G, Target, General Motors, Kenvue, OMG, and AARP.

To learn more from Gilbert Dávila about investment in Diverse Media and its benefit to brand growth, watch the video interview on Internationalist Marketing TV (IMTV) on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.

The inaugural GrowthFronts in 2023 proved the viability of the undertaking:

  • The forty Diverse Media companies that joined the 2023 event realized an increase of 34% in one year or a collective incremental $115 million for the media companies represented.  
  • Additionally, 72% of total Diverse Media advertising expenditure was generated by media entities participating in the GrowthFronts.

The 2023 GrowthFronts also resulted in:

•           Asian-owned media showed the largest year-over-year ad spend growth with an $87 million increase (+25%).

•           Black-owned media saw an increase of $56 million (+6%) incremental dollars allocated.

•           Even though the Hispanic segment continues to grow exponentially faster than other groups, Hispanic-owned media only saw an increase of $8 million (+4%).

•           LGBTQ-owned media saw a $3 million increase, reflecting a 12% increase for this segment as the base was so low in the first place.

Statistics from this year’s event will be forthcoming.

Research at the 2024 GrowthFronts

AIMM, in partnership with Media Framework and Guideline (previously known as Standard Media Index), conducted research to understand the investment level in Diverse Media. They concur that while the marketing industry has long talked about increasing its investments in Diverse-Owned and Targeted Media, progress has been slow or stagnant for some segments.

According to the research:

  • In 2022, only 2.2% of media dollars invested by the largest media holding companies went to diverse-owned companies, but that share increased to 2.5% in 2023.
  • Only 1.3% of media dollars invested by the largest media holding companies went to diverse-owned and targeted media in 2022, with a negligible increase to 1.4% in 2023.

AIMM is advocating increased investment by the 2025 GrowthFronts:

  • Diverse-Owned Media from 2.2% in 2022 to 6.5% of all ad spend
  • Diverse-Owned and Diverse-Targeted media from 1.3% in 2022 to 4.6% of all ad spend

Listen to Gilbert Dávila discuss how investment in Diverse Media can pay off for brands and to The Internationalist’s entire Trendsetters podcast series here on iHeartRadio’s Spreaker or wherever you download your podcasts.

In our conversation, we discuss the following:

  • Tell us about some of the marketers and agencies that participated in the recent GrowthFronts by committing to diverse media and about some of the talent who also attended…
  • Describe the media companies that participated this year. Were many small or family-owned, or were there some household names?
  • Would you discuss how embracing strong cultural relevance and inclusion helps brands grow more? Can you give us some examples?
  • I understand that, in addition to the in-person event, AIMM has developed an online Diverse Media Marketplace that offers the industry’s most comprehensive database with customized profiles and media kits for diverse-owned and targeted companies. Tell us more about how that Marketplace works.
  • At this year’s GrowthFronts, AIMM also unveiled new research conducted to understand the investment level in diverse media better. Would you share some of the topline results?
  • You also used the 2024 event and the research results to announce new goals for the industry to reach by the 2025 GrowthFronts. What are the goals? And do you believe they are achievable?
  • What challenges do marketers face when first approaching diversity and cultural inclusion? I’m sure many are nervous about getting it right, particularly given today’s high-risk political tensions. How do you advise them to begin? Which marketers are doing this well?
  • Are there other initiatives that AIMM has planned for this year?

Gilbert Dávila is among the most sought-after experts on multicultural marketing in the United States today. 

After 25 years as a senior marketing executive and multicultural market expert at Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, The Walt Disney Company, and others, he co-founded DMI Consulting in 2010. Dávila also co-founded AIMM, The Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, in 2016 with a passion-driven mission to help CMOs and their teams realize their brands’ full multicultural market growth potential. AIMM is now part of the ANA.