The fourth quarter is always the busiest time for consumer marketers. They spend more on media and, in theory, they drive more money through increased holiday sales. This may result in high ROI, but in today's fractured media landscape, a marketer needs to go much further to better understand how each channel affected the affluent consumer's path to conversion. There's no better time to remember that proper marketing analysis requires an attribution strategy, and marketers who want to do attribution correctly need to get involved early in the process, building their quarterly strategies with robust post-campaign attribution in mind.
This month's column builds upon last month's column, "If You Think All Millionaires Are The Same, Think Again," and delivers our current insights about how millionaires differ from the average American in the way they communicate with other consumers and how they view and hear marketers' messages and advertising. The wealthy, defined for this column as America's millionaires with personal liquid assets of $1 million or more, differ from the average American, and they differ from each other as well, especially when you look at them across generations.
In case you haven't noticed, the times they are a-changin', wreaking havoc on many businesses. In particular, the jewelry industry is being hit especially hard. To help jewelers find ways to adapt to these changes, we met with several of them from across the U.S. recently to discuss strategy.
In the past 10 years, new forms of digital media have empowered brands more than ever to build two-way relationships with their clients and fans. When people talk about their favorite brands, products and services, it can often sound like they're reminiscing about an old friend, or describing a family member. Brands, especially those in the luxury sector, need to realize this and begin envisioning the relationships they build with their clients as social, and not only commercial. What does this mean for brands today?
Recently, the concept of the HENRY - High Earner, Not Rich Yet - has become very popular with marketers, especially those looking for audiences with the potential for high discretionary spending. Advertisers looking to reach consumers on their way toward affluence have likely viewed this audience as the perfect target for their advertising campaigns. In some respects, they'd be correct, as HENRYs represent consumers who likely meet many of the qualifications for affluence.
Affluence marketers define their targets in many different ways (for example, by income, wealth, generation, buying habits, gender, or attitudinally). We believe that affluence and wealth are in the eyes of consumers and marketers. This column provides selected insights regarding wealthy American consumers (18 or older) in total and among adults with personal liquid assets of $1 million or more segmented by generation. Based on our survey and on Bureau of the Census statistics, we estimate there are 19 million millionaires as defined by their personal liquid assets.
Millennial shoppers wield an ever-increasing share of the dollars that are spent in the luxury market. Professionals have been looking for new ways to market their brands to these elusive customers in the hope of growing their customer base - all while conserving the exclusivity and prestige of their brands. How can luxury brands continue to build intimate relationships with their clients and brand ambassadors as they always have, but at a scale that generates a healthier bottom line?
Just look at this month's New York Fashion Week. Or actually, let's throw it back to the 1850's when top couture houses in France held private fashion shows for their most prized clients. The high-end fashion world has always been good at making sure no one outside of their exclusive circle has access to their products. Talk about defining affluence.
Industries like insurance are struggling to capture the attention of younger generations because fewer of these consumers are conforming to the "normal" behaviors these marketers have come to expect. While marketers still have a massive base of older consumers to fall back on at the moment, surviving market disruption will come down to how they adapt to consumers' attitudes in both the near and distant future. For many businesses targeting the affluent, it's time to begin retooling their products and marketing strategies based on the preferences of the new generations.
Specialty retailers, if you aren't convinced that you are positioned for the next big trend in retailing, then here is more proof. Another of the 'big boy' retailers, Neiman Marcus, is looking to a specialty retailer to help it restore some of its lost magic and learn some new tricks about how to sell in today's rapidly evolving retail landscape. Neiman Marcus just partnered with Story in New York City to tap its young, urban sophisticate customers and get some much needed buzz going about what it has to offer.