In the world of publishing, targeted media serves specific segments of the population who share a similar passion and/or mindset. There are countless niche magazines that are popular and relevant, but are facing a myriad of challenges only exacerbated by the current advertising downturn.

As the publisher of ESSENCE, the premier lifestyle magazine aimed at an influential segment of the multicultural market — African-American women — I remain enthusiastically optimistic. Today, ESSENCE was ranked by media trade publication Advertising Age as #6 on its annual “A-List” (Essence is No. 6 on Ad Age’s Magazine A-List) which touts the top 10 magazines of the year; demonstrating the efficiency and necessity of targeted media.

Referring to ESSENCE as “one of the preeminent vehicles through which to reach Black women,” the brand was distinguished for its successful expansion beyond the legendary print publication — which launched almost 40 years ago — into ventures online, on television and in live events. Additionally, ESSENCE was noted for its leadership in continually educating marketers on “how African-American women are distinct.”

Many marketers cite a lack of a dedicated budget when deciding not to support targeted media with ad dollars and argue that they are already reaching a targeted audience — such as Black women — by advertising in mainstream publications. With a limited understanding of an audience that’s nuanced, marketers should accept the indispensability of brands like ESSENCE. As stated in Advertising Age with respect to ESSENCE, “With the ‘pulse of a community’ firmly in grasp, marketers benefit.”

By investing in research that enlightens our advertisers and expanding our offerings beyond traditional print to reach Black women everywhere in a way that’s authentic, ESSENCE is an example of targeted media that works. We celebrate her essence and empower her life’s passions every minute of every day and we know more about this group of women than anyone else.

Michelle Ebanks
President, Essence Communications