What does ‘digital’ mean to you?


    Reporting from the NAACP Leadership 500 Summit: Embracing Our Community’s Leadership in Digital
    a guest blog from A. Troy Brown

    I have the privilege of attending and speaking at this year’s NAACP Leadership 500 Summit that begins today in Destin, Florida. Reflecting on what leadership means in our community, especially as it pertains to my speaking on a Media & Technology strategy session tomorrow, I am reminded of the impact that African-Americans have in digital media.

    When we talk of digital media, we don’t just mean social media and driving topic trends on Twitter. It’s much more than that. African-Americans lead the general consumer market by a significant margin in areas such as purchasing smartphones, utlizing Web search engines, connecting to social media sites, emailing, viewing online videos, and even seemingly offbeat things like clicking through on mobile ads.

    We are more inclined to comment on online videos and other Web content. In addition, 57 percent of Black users tell others about something they learned from watching an online video.

    What does all of this mean?

    Put simply, as a community, we are leaders in digital, and it’s pervasive.

    Sometimes, it’s the little things. Anecdotally, through my own social network, I heard about the deaths of Whitney Houston and Donna Summer as well as the killing of Osama Bin Laden hours before mainstream media reported them.

    Sometimes, it’s the big things. According to Google, African-American purchasing power in the U.S. consumer economy in 2012 is projected to be more than $1.2 trillion. That’s a “T,” not a “B.”

    Big brands devote entire marketing programs to influence our purchase decisions.

    News outlets consider our community’s influence in determining how they report stories.

    Marketers even use sophisticated monitoring tools to track our social media conversations to see how they impact brand.

    My role on the “Leadership by Design; Ensuring Our Legacy” strategy sessions at the Leadership 500 Summit will be to look at “game-changer” initiatives in the media and technology arena that will further strengthen our ability to be effective leaders and advocates both individually and collectively to affect real social change in our communities.

    Over the next couple of days, I’ll report back from the Summit on my part of this leadership‑development experience and how—from a media and technology standpoint —we can better leverage our growth and leadership in digital for business, advocacy, career development, and much more.


    A. Troy Brown is the chief architect and president of one50one. With more than two decades of executive experience in digital platforms and product delivery, Brown has fostered digital and mobile content and marketing deals with Sony Pictures, Sony Music Group, Universal Music Group, Starbucks Entertainment and the first ever mobile branded content deal with Lucas Films. He also has secured direct international content deals with Tier 1 mobile carriers worldwide and premium online storefronts including Heineken, Amazon, Ford, iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, Apple, Best Buy, Belvedere, Hennessy and Magic Johnson Enterprises and Walmart.com, among others. Brown sits on the board of several technology companies, including Express Mobile and IFK.


    How as digital changed your life? Leave your comments below.



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