Reaching The Wealthy, a.k.a. Millionaires

Recently, my columns have been focusing on wealthy consumers and, in particular, millionaires, those consumers with a net worth (total assets less total liabilities) of $1 million or more. These columns have generated some fascinating feedback from interested readers regarding which media channels are the most engaging in delivering advertising to these wealthy consumers — about 20 million adults according to our survey's projections based on Bureau of the Census estimates.

In our latest survey wave, we asked two questions that we believe provide useful insights for advertisers and their agencies to consider as they determine where and how to engage millionaires with meaningful advertising messages. The first question relates to the media platforms on which consumers recall seeing or hearing advertising in the past 30 days, while the second assesses consumers’ level of interest (engagement) with the advertising they saw or heard on these specific media platforms. 

While we included about 33 specific advertising platforms in this survey (and some of them currently reach very small numbers of wealthy audiences), this column focuses only on the top 20 based on their estimated reach. Notably, even though digital media tends to be a major focus of many advertisers and their agencies today, the well-known traditional channels (television, direct mail, printed magazines and newspapers, and radio) continue to be among the top 20 platforms that reach millionaires today. In rank order, the top 10 places where wealthy consumers recall seeing or hearing advertising in the past 30 days are:

  • Television (with a 58% recall)
  • Websites (46%)
  • In mail sent to the home (44%)
  • Printed magazines (43%)
  • Printed newspapers (42%)
  • In e-mails (35%)
  • In Facebook (34%)
  • Radio (34%)
  • Inside stores (31%)
  • On billboards (28%)

The platforms ranked 11 through 20 regarding their estimated reach among millionaires include digital newspapers, smartphones, movie theaters, YouTube, shopping malls, gas stations, digital magazines, tablets, Twitter, and medical offices. 

When we then review millionaires’ level of interest or engagement with the advertising they saw or heard on the 20 different platforms, the top 10 in rank order are:

  • Printed newspapers (with a 74% level of interest/engagement)
  • Digital newspapers (70%)
  • Twitter (69%)
  • Medical offices (67%)
  • Shopping malls (64%)
  • YouTube (62%)
  • Digital magazines (60%)
  • Radio (56%)
  • Printed magazines (56%)
  • In Facebook (55%)

Notably, 5 of the top 10 platforms based on interest or engagement are traditional, while five are digitally delivered and, of these five digital platforms, only Facebook was among the top 10 in estimated reach. The media platforms ranked 11 through 20 regarding their level of interest or engagement among millionaires include television, e-mails, inside stores, smartphones, tablets, websites, in mail sent to the home, movie theaters, billboards, and gas stations. As we expected, the digital platforms are now important channels among the wealthy and we believe they will become more important to advertisers and agencies that focus on the wealthy as the media landscape continues to evolve.

Looking forward, our survey will continue to track wealthy consumers’ usage of the many media platforms now available to all consumers, as well as new platforms that we expect will emerge.

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