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‘How much TV do you watch?’

Dec. 13, 2018

By Kevin Tankersley

The question seemed to catch Tyrha Lindsey-Warren off-guard. She paused, laughed, then replied, “That’s a great question.”

Turns out, she watches “a couple of hours a week,” listing “60 Minutes,” “The Voice,” “Ballers” and “Younger” as some of her favorite shows.

“And ‘World of Dance,’” she added. “I love dance and music because of my background.”

Lindsey-Warren, who earned her PhD in Marketing at Rutgers University, was formerly the public relations director for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York, and she’s an accomplished jazz singer as well. At Baylor since 2017, she is a clinical assistant professor in Marketing, but maintains a presence in the business world. By doing so, she stays relevant and leverages her networks to help her advertising and digital marketing students, she said.

The professional work of Lindsey-Warren dovetails with her latest published research, an article titled “An Examination of Television Consumption By Racial and Ethnic Audiences in the U.S.: Implications for Multicultural Media Planning and Media Measurement,” which appeared in the Journal of Advertising Research in July. Lindsey-Warren co-wrote the article with lead author J.P. James, assistant professor of Marketing at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts.

Their research is “rooted in our practitioner life and what we’ve seen go on at ad agencies, especially from the planning side, dealing with clients and creating the strategy for particular campaigns,” Lindsey-Warren said. “We both worked at multicultural agencies throughout our careers.”

Advertisers and media-planning agencies tend to devalue “ethnic-media properties” by either insisting on discounts or spending fewer dollars in those areas, Lindsey-Warren and James put forth in the article.

“Say I’m doing a buy with ABC Radio, and my account person says, ‘Why don’t you buy these shows, Ryan Seacrest (and others), and I’ll throw in Steve Harvey’s show at a lower rate,’” Lindsey-Warren said. “Altogether, you’ll hit whatever goal you’re trying to get with your target audience, but you’ve gotten African American or Latino shows for less money or value than you paid for the white shows, so to speak. It makes your money go further, but you’re devaluing the value of that content.”

Marketers also face a challenge today due to media fragmentation, which occurs as “consumers are interacting more with television content on the third or fourth screen,” the authors write.

As an example, Lindsey-Warren talked about how her Marketing students had watched football the previous weekend. The Baylor-UTSA game was shown on Facebook Live, and most students watched on their laptops. At the same time, however, they were interacting with friends via their phones and platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. And another football game might have been on a TV in the background.

“It’s a challenge trying to reach that audience,” Lindsey-Warren said, and especially challenging in reaching multicultural audiences.

“Ethnic consumers are coming to parity in Internet access by consuming more digital media than white audiences through mobile technology,” Lindsey-Warren and James write.

“We’re just trying to say to media planners, you’ve got to consider everyone equally,” Lindsey-Warren said. “Don’t just put the money in a general market bucket and forget about the rest of your audience.”

Lindsey-Warren said she and James are working on another article that uses data from revenue reports compiled by Ad Age, which covers the advertising and marketing industry. The data includes revenue from pretty much every ad agency in the world. They’re wondering if having women or ethnic executives as CEOs or creative directors “might positively impact revenues,” she said.

“The hypothesis may be to show that we need to support women more in advertising, as well as executives of color more because…historically women and executives of color have never been supported,” Lindsey-Warren said. “You don't get supported internally. I've been there. We both have lived it. We're trying to just state a case to see if we can change some minds and attitudes with data because that's how we were taught to positively impact some change.”

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