This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

August 17, 2011

Reaching Wealthy Consumers

Traditionally, marketers have targeted affluent consumers, because they control so much of the spending power. Not surprisingly, you will find them online. They spend an average of 20 percent more time online weekly, compared to the general population. They watch about half as much television and listen to the radio less than half as much as well.

A new study, recently released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, reveals these higher-income folks embrace digital media---and the advertising you will find there. The study, called “Affluent Consumers in a Digital World”, details the usage and attitudes of these wealthy consumers, those who live in homes and have at least $100,000 in household income. They constitute 21 percent of United States households and represent 70 percent of consumer wealth.

Virtually all affluent consumers are online. Many own tablets and e-readers. In fact, the numbers of owners have increased by 50 percent just over the past six months, and we expect continued growth. Still more good news for advertisers: more affluents view and recall seeing digital ads than their less-wealthy counterparts. They enjoy the benefits of digital media---though continue to struggle with work-life issues.

The most fascinating aspect of this study was the assessment of attitudes. Almost 80 percent of these wealthy consumers say their very lives have become “intertwined with technology” over the past 10 years. However, they are also more likely to say that their lives have become “more complicated” (59 percent) and “more stressful” (58 percent), as opposed to “more fun” (47 percent) or “easier” (33 percent).

The results of this study represent a new paradigm for brands, products, and services that look for deeper relationships with affluent consumers. Because affluent consumers’ spending power far exceeds that of most Americans, this paradigm shift (thank you, Joel Barker) has implications beyond the luxury and/or upscale markets.

This group, that used to be the toughest to reach, may now be targeted online. The majority report ownership of a number of other digital devices. Look for more smartphone and Internet advertising to target these folks who look to digital media for information and reviews of new products. Mobile advertising will continue to grow exponentially.

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