5 Myths About Marketing to Affluents Online

5_Myths_about_Marketing_to_Affluents_OnlineLast week, we came across an interesting piece of research regarding affluents and digital media we thought we should share.It was conducted last year by Ipsos Mendolsohn in association with the Interactive Advertising Bureau and concerned the use of and attitudes towards digital media by affluent consumers. In this case, 'affluents' were defined as those with household incomes over $100,000 (the top 20% of earners).  And although the study was conducted exclusively in the US, we believe thay many parallels would be found amongst UK affluents.The findings concurred with our own experience but conflicted with many of the myths that circulate about affluent consumers, namely:1. Affluent Consumers are More Difficult to Reach than their Less Affluent CounterpartsThis is certainly true of traditional media channels such as TV and radio - in both cases the research found that affluents spent just half of the time consuming TV and radio content than the general US population did - but not of digital media, where it was found that affluent consumers were easier to reach.The reasons? They're more likely to use the internet (98% vs. 79% of the general US population), spend more time online (26.2 hrs per week vs 21.7 hrs per week) and are more likely to own digital devices such as smartphones and tablets when compared to the general population.In fact, 79% of them agreed that their lives had become 'intertwined with technology'. 2. Affluents Don't Like Online AdvertisingIn fact, affluents were more likely to understand and support (57% vs. 53%) the ad-funded content model than the rest of the US population, realising that publishers needed advertising to support their online activities.3. They're Too Busy to Consume AdvertisingNot true, at least according to this research.  88% had recalled seeing a digital ad compared to 85% of the general US population. And the number of ads they recalled seeing was higher too - 21 in 7 days vs. 20 for the general population. And because of the higher penetration of smartphones, they were more likely to have been exposed to mobile advertising (42% vs. 39% for the general population).4. They May See Online Advertising, But They're Not as Likely to Respond to ItWrong again.  Affluents were more likely to become a fan on a social networking site after seeing online advertising, more likely to make purchases (both online and offline) and more likely to share information via email, Twitter or Facebook etc.5. Affluents are Less Likely to Share Information About Themselves OnlineIn fact, the research found US affluents were happier to share information about themselves (32% vs 26% of the general US population) in order to get a better customized online experience.In the UK too, affluent consumers are more likely to be online, will spend more of their time online and will access the internet via a wider range of digital devices than their less affluent counterparts. Given this, the reticence of premium and luxury brands to engage deeply in digital channels becomes all the more puzzling.In truth, they should be innovating at the sharp end of digital media and many of the successful brands, such as Burberry, are doing exactly that.