In last month’s column, “Targeting In 2014: High Income or High Net Worth?,” I highlighted some differences in the size of the “upscale” market depending on whether a marketer targets by household income (there are about 7 million adult consumers with very high incomes or cash flows — $250,000 or more in household income — as of 2013 according to the U.S Census Bureau) or by net worth (the estimated number of millionaires is approximately 20 million according to our survey).
The difference in the estimated number of prospects, about 13 million adults depending on whether one targets by high income or high net worth, induced quite a few January column readers to contact me regarding what happens “big picture” if and when marketers start digging deeper and assessing the millionaire marketplace by gender. Do millionaire men and women have the same points of view regarding the future, and are both men and women planning to buy the same products and services in the near future? The estimated number of female millionaires is the same as male millionaires — about 10 million — so gender matters.
Big picture: millionaire men and women have different viewpoints regarding the economy, with 52% of millionaire men being optimistic looking forward compared with 42% of millionaire women. And their top financial goals again vary by gender. Notably, both genders are concerned about remaining financially independent (54% of the women and 51% of the men cite this as a key goal).
When asked about having enough income for retirement, 61% of the women indicated this was their goal, while only 45% of the men did the same. When asked about having enough money for unexpected emergency expenses, half of the women (51%) cited this issue as a goal while fewer men (39%) were concerned. Then, when asked about keeping up with inflation, about a third of the men (34%) indicated this was one of their financial goals, while it was cited by almost half of the female millionaires (48%).
When millionaire men were asked what they are planning to buy in the near future, two-thirds (67%, or almost seven million millionaire men) stated they are planning to buy one or more luxuries during the next 12 months, compared with less than half of the women (44%, or slightly more than four million millionaire women).
And when one digs deeper into millionaire luxury buying plans by gender, men are more likely to be planning to take a luxury vacation (38% compared with 26% of their female counterparts) and buy a piece of fine jewelry (26% compared with 15%). The female millionaire, on the other hand, is more likely to be planning to buy or lease a luxury car, SUV, or truck (18% of the women compared with 11% of their male counterparts). Finally, she is more likely to plan to buy designer clothing or evening apparel (17% of the women are planning to buy these items compared with only 7% of men).
Most important, it’s quite clear that all wealthy people are not alike, and that gender plays a key role in understanding how to target them. Indeed, the battle of the sexes continues, and the marketers who truly understand those differences between men and women will be more likely to prevail.