6 Learnings From Our Latest Listener Study on Supporting Social Movements

Claudia Oddo, Manager, Sales MarketingJul 9, 2020

If you weren’t aware before, you are now. The Black Lives Matter movement, beginning in 2013, has garnered international attention and support in the past month. It has sparked widespread protests with all generations, inspired companies to donate to worthy causes, and its name now paints the streets of D.C.’s famous White House Plaza.

This human rights movement is boldly and bravely leading the demand for change — and our listeners are here for it.

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Whenever there is a major social event or movement, people and brands alike are affected. We all exist in the same world; when there is a shift, it has ripple-like effects. You know your consumers are playing a role in this movement — but what does that look like, and how can you show up alongside them in an authentic way?

Put simply, now is the time to “Do More Than Break Your Silence.” As a company, you must be active to help our world make lasting change.

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1. Consumers Are Taking Action

People are finding lots of ways to get involved — following news stories, participating in protests, and seeking out educational resources. The vast majority of consumers are finding ways to actively engage with the movement towards racial justice, and contributing their time and energy to the cause.

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2. And You Should, Too

Silence is not an option. Consumers are holding brands to new standards — they need more than empty words or viral Tweets. The people are asking for brands to act as allies, to help engender meaningful change, and to use their platforms to do good. This means going beyond your product, service, brand voice, and maybe, your comfort zone.

3. Look Inwards First

Before you enter the conversation, make sure your organization reflects internally the message you want to tout externally. It’s important that what you say is authentic, thoughtful, and reflective of people’s experiences—and to do so, you need to have a diverse, inclusive environment. Now is the time to look internally, and assess your own structures, before talking to the masses.

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4. Use Your Platform as a Megaphone

Brands do have a unique ability to help ignite causes. Think about it — with platforms, budgets, and followers, brands essentially have megaphones to express encouragement and voice support. Acknowledge that you have the power to amplify, and strengthen a movement.

Don’t stop at acknowledging, follow up with action! Showcase your commitment to the Black community by sharing how you plan to, or are, investing in Black organizations, connecting the Black community, and spotlighting Black talent and creators.

5. Tap into the Younger Generation

We have the younger generations to thank for leading these changes. Gen Z and Millennials are the most engaged digital natives, as well as active political and social agents. They care about a brand’s corporate values and policies, and are intentional about which companies they support. And, they will continue to maintain these standards for brands in the years to come.

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6. Music is Part of the Movement

Right now, everyone is accountable for showing up, and that includes artists. They are also being praised for their work and contributions to the Black Lives Matter Movement. Like brands, artists have significant platforms and power to speak up, increase awareness, and inspire consumers.

Meek Mill’s new track Otherside of America became his most thumbed up song in its week of release on Pandora3, and Beyonce penned a letter to demand justice for Breonna Taylor.

Listeners are supporting those who are supporting them — artists and brands that are active in this ongoing fight for equality will receive long-term positive regard.

The key to creating a strong sense of connection is to be involved, but to also be aligned with your brand. Plan your action in accordance with your messaging, image, and voice.

Need some inspiration? Here are some examples:

Countless brands have given us great examples. McDonalds who dedicated media spots to amplify Black activists and Black business owners. Doritos partnered with R&B artist Luke James and other Black voices in the fight against racial injustice. And Ben & Jerry’s dedicated their website to offering core actionable steps for this movement, along with educational resources.

Here at Pandora through the power of music and sound, we create space for authentic opportunities to connect with your consumers. We are ready to help you with the latest insights, tools, and tips.

PANDORA AUDIENCE INSIGHTS AND RESOURCES: Do More Than Break Your Silence, and Take Action Press Play: Engage Influential Black Audiences Through the Power of Audio The Impact of Black Influence on Culture and Advertising Black History Month: The Soundtrack of Today’s Social Movements Black Americans Respond to Culturally Relevant Ads

Figure 1 Pandora Soundboard, Political Road to 2020 Poll Wave 4, A18+ (N=1,954), June 2020 and Pandora Soundboard Black Music Study 2018 Figures 2-5 Pandora Soundboard, Political Road to 2020 Poll Wave 4, A18+ (N=1,954), June 2020 Footnote 3, Next Big Sound Data 2020

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