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The 17th Annual
Buying Power of
Black America

A dollar-by-dollar breakdown
of the Black Economy

The Leading
Advertisers In
Black Media

Published by
Target Market News

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President, Target Market News

Ken Smikle, president and founder of Target Market News, is considered one of the leading authorities on marketing, advertising and media directed to the African-American market.

The company's trade publication, Target Market News, covers business activities in advertising, marketing and media targeted to black consumers. Its annual report, The Buying Power of Black America, analyzes how African-American consumers spend billions of dollars in hundreds of categories of products and services.

The company also distributes news and information on the latest developments in marketing and media through its Web site, news bulletin, research reports and conferences.

Smikle has appeared on CNN, CNBC, CBS News, NBC's "Today" show, ABC's "World News Tonight," "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and "Marketplace," and numerous other television and radio programs. He is frequently quoted in USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Advertising Age, Adweek and other leading periodicals.

As a speaker, Smikle has addressed diverse audiences such as the Congressional Black Caucus, the Democratic Caucus Conference of the U.S. House of Representatives; the employees of Walmart, State Farm Insurance, Best Buy, Nike, Pepsi Cola and the United Way.

He has made presentations to the Association of National Advertisers, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the Advertising Federation, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, and the National Alliance of Market Developers.

Smikle has received a number of industry recognitions and honors. Most recently he was named "Outstanding Entrepreneur" by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Black Alumni Association. He was also named Communicator of the Year by the National Alliance of Market Developers in 2011.

Prior to starting Target Market News in 1988, Smikle worked as an editor and publisher for a number of periodicals, including senior editor for Black Enterprise, the leading magazine chronicling African-Americans in business.

Smikle presently resides in Chicago with his wife, Renee Ferguson, an award-winning investigative reporter at WMAQ-TV, and son, Jason.


Target Market News was founded in 1988 with a mission to provide news, information and research on the nation's largest ethnic group, African-American consumers. Based in Chicago, it is the only company of its kind in the industry.

The company publishes Target Market News, a trade magazine. The publication features reports on advertising, marketing, research, public relations, media and the latest business developments and statistics related to the black consumer market. The Target Market News Daily Bulletin is an electronic newsletter that delivers up-to-the-minute developments in African-American marketing and media.

Target Market News, Inc. also publishes The Buying Power of Black America, an annual report which details and analyzes the purchases made by African-American households in 500 categories of products and services. In addition to the national edition, individual reports are available for each of 30 largest black consumer markets.  The report is the nation's most widely quoted information source on the spending habits of African-Americans.

Target Market News hosts conferences and trade shows that present the most up-to-date research and trend data available on African-American marketing, media and consumer behavior. These events bring together corporate executives and companies with expertise in advertising, marketing, and media that target black consumers. These exchanges of information take place through panel presentations, workshops and informal networking sessions.

Since 2001, The Marketing to African Americans with Excellence (MAAX) Summit ) has offered An annual two-day conference examining the latest research and trends in African-American marketing, advertising and research. The event, which takes places in Chicago, has attracted hundreds of key executives from major corporations.

The Marketing to African Americans with Excellence (MAAX) Awards were introduced in 2006 by Target Market News. The awards program recognizes the contributions, innovations and exceptional performance of African-American professionals in the fields of marketing, advertising, media, public relations and consumer research. Eligible candidates are selected by the editors, writers and contributors of Target Market News, and are considered on the basis of the longevity of their careers and the professional accomplishments that distinguish them within the industry.

The African-American Magazine Summit was founded in 2003. It is the only forum to bring together black magazine publishers and executives and the marketers that do business with them. Through this unique Summit, new insights and opportunities are being forged for black-oriented magazines and advertisers that target the African-American market.

The African-American Internet Summit was launched in 2008  and is the the only such gathering of its kind in the nation. The Summit brings together leading consumer marketers, advertising agencies, and Internet-based companies in a long-overdue, comprehensive examination of how African-American consumers utilize the Web for information and entertainment. 

For the latest information, data and trends on African-American consumers, visit Target Market News online. By logging on at, you can read news, excerpts from our reports, review black consumer statistics, as well as order publications and register for company events.

For information on how we can be of service to your company, contact our office at 312-408-1881 or visit




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