Commentary

Traditional Media Consumption Still Strong

Last month, I reviewed affluent consumers' recall of and interest in the advertising they saw or heard in selected media channels or platforms by different household-income levels ($75,000 or more —the top 39% of all American adults, $250,000 or more — the top 3%, and $500,000 or more — the top 1%). Marketers who focus on consumers who buy luxury goods or services then contacted me and asked if I could expand on what I had reported by helping them understand which media platforms and channels they should consider using to most effectively reach those consumers. They also asked if we could include the 61% of American adults with household incomes below $75,000 (the "average" Americans who buy luxury products or services from time to time, especially in more "affordable" categories: cosmetics, fragrances, wines and spirits, etc.). This report now includes those "average" American adults.

In our latest survey wave, we asked three questions that provide insights for luxury marketers to consider as they decide where and how to engage their target audiences. The first question relates to consumers' plans to buy any luxury products or services during the next 12 months; the second question addresses the media platforms where consumers saw or heard advertising in the past 30 days; and the third assesses consumers' level of interest in the advertising they saw or heard on these specific media platforms. In the exhibits that follow, notable differences are highlighted in yellow.

About one in three (34%) of all American adults reported in our most recent survey that they plan to buy a luxury product or service during the next 12 months. As might be expected, the likelihood of buying luxury increases as household income increases.

Likelihood of buying luxury

All

Adults

HHI $75,000+

HHI $250,000+

HHI $500,000+

%

%

%

%

Definitely/probably will buy luxury

34

40

69

74

Probably/definitely will not buy luxury

66

60

31

26

To assess how to reach luxury buyers, we divided the four market segments of interest (all adults and the three household income segments) into consumers who are planning to buy luxury and those who are not. Of the 21 media channels and platforms measured, five of the top seven channels or places to reach all American adults continue to be traditional channels (television, magazines, etc., with websites ranking second and social media ranking seventh). Among all adults planning to buy luxury, only magazines' and social media's relative positions increase among these seven channels when compared with those not planning to buy luxury. Among more affluent consumers (the top 39% — household income $75,000+), those planning to buy luxury tend to pay more attention to advertising than all Americans do. They also appear to favor traditional print (magazines and newspapers), while digital channels (websites and social media) are also reaching a greater proportion of these valuable luxury prospects. For the more upscale $250,000+ or $500,000+ household-income adults, traditional print channels remain strong as far as reach goes, while social media's and websites' reach declines. 

Advertising seen or heard in past 30 days:

All Adults

HHI $75,000+

HHI $250,000+

HHI $500,000+

Plan to Buy Luxury

Plan to Buy Luxury

Plan to Buy Luxury

Plan to Buy Luxury

Total

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Television

71

64

74

82

78

81

78

74

76

Websites

50

45

52

74

58

66

68

67

57

Magazines

48

54

44

73

50

76

67

72

47

Radio

48

42

51

60

59

64

70

65

64

In mail sent to your home

43

36

47

59

54

57

60

53

63

Newspapers

39

42

38

64

47

61

70

59

64

Facebook and other social media sites

38

45

35

58

35

44

33

36

26

Billboards

30

28

32

57

34

47

48

40

29

Shopping malls

21

26

18

48

22

40

24

35

27

Gas stations

21

22

21

39

23

23

17

27

20

Smartphones

21

33

15

43

12

33

21

32

10

Movie theaters

19

23

17

33

21

44

28

28

24

Tablets

15

19

13

33

15

29

29

36

25

Medical offices

13

22

8

22

12

13

10

15

4

Bus stops/subway stations/train stations

9

12

7

15

7

14

5

9

5

Elevators

6

15

2

18

4

15

9

15

11

Office building lobbies

6

9

5

17

4

8

8

5

2

Airports or airport lounges

5

8

4

21

7

30

33

40

16

Sporting stadium or arenas

5

7

4

12

6

12

 9

12

12

Inside airplanes

3

8

1

11

2

18

20

24

8

Health clubs/gyms

2

2

2

11

3

11

2

9

2

None of these

12

4

15

4

14

3

6

5

17

In addition to the potential reach of the 21 channels and platforms measured in the survey, we also probed consumers about their interest in the advertising they see or hear in these platforms. According to our survey, there are large differences in the potential effectiveness of advertising, depending on the platform a luxury marketer might select. Among all American adults who are planning to buy luxury, advertising "inside airplanes" tops the list of potential platforms for generating interest. Notably, though, that channel reaches only 8% of all adults planning to buy luxury (position 19 out of 21 measured platforms). So that readers of this paper will not have to refer to the prior exhibit to review the potential reach of each of the 21 channels profiled, the exhibit that follows this one summarizes potential reach and effectiveness for those planning to buy luxury for all four market segments.

Notably, as marketers start targeting higher-income adults who plan to buy luxury, the traditional channels tend to rise to the top positions for generating interest in the advertising they include.

All Adults

HHI $75,000+

HHI $250,000+

HHI $500,000+

Considerable or some interest in advertising seen (among those who saw advertising in past 30 days on that media platform)

Plan to Buy Luxury

Plan to Buy Luxury

Plan to Buy Luxury

Plan to Buy Luxury

Total

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Inside airplanes

84

92

36

53

16

34

33

33

22

Magazines

71

84

62

79

57

66

41

57

50

Television

70

82

64

73

58

59

35

57

37

Smartphones

68

82

53

56

41

45

47

48

33

Newspapers

66

79

59

71

56

65

36

63

54

Medical offices

64

79

44

69

50

57

10

42

53

Tablets

62

80

49

54

42

43

18

49

15

Airports or airport lounges

59

82

32

51

57

24

25

26

20

Facebook and other social media sites

59

76

47

70

43

40

33

34

49

Office building lobbies

56

79

36

31

64

38

10

34

21

Radio

56

72

50

60

41

55

22

57

24

Websites

56

78

46

75

41

55

25

48

23

Health clubs/gyms

53

76

40

34

22

66

60

61

23

Shopping malls

51

70

38

56

44

50

20

29

15

In mail sent to your home

48

62

43

54

43

38

24

34

23

Movie theaters

44

60

33

65

35

41

39

44

47

Sporting stadium or arenas

42

52

33

62

53

62

13

49

14

Elevators

41

46

18

42

3

36

6

33

13

Bus stops/subway stations/train stations

36

54

21

62

45

41

39

40

49

Gas stations

36

47

30

42

32

23

25

25

8

Billboards

35

48

30

51

38

40

18

23

11

The following exhibit summarizes the rankings of the 21 channels and places by potential reach and then potential effectiveness among those consumers who plan to buy luxury during the next 12 months sorted by estimated reach among all adults. The effectiveness rank is based on those who saw or heard advertising on the particular channel or platform listed. The top seven in each column are highlighted in yellow.

Plan to Buy Luxury

Rankings of potential reach of advertising platforms and of potential effectiveness of the advertising seen on each platform

All Adults

HHI $75,000+

HHI $250,000+

HHI $500,000+

All Adults:

Reach

Reach

Effec-tive-ness

Reach

Effec-tive-ness

Reach

Effec-tive-ness

Reach

Effec-tive-ness

%

Rank

Rank

Rank

Rank

Rank

Rank

Rank

Rank

Television

71

1

3

1

3

1

5

1

3

Websites

50

3

10

2

2

3

8

3

8

Magazines

48

2

2

3

1

2

2

2

5

Radio

48

5

13

5

10

4

7

4

4

In mail sent to your home

43

7

15

6

13

6

16

6

13

Newspapers

39

5

9

4

4

5

3

5

1

Facebook and other social media sites

38

3

12

7

5

8

15

9

15

Billboards

30

9

19

8

17

7

14

7

21

Shopping malls

21

10

14

9

12

10

9

11

18

Gas stations

21

12

20

11

18

14

21

14

20

Smartphones

21

8

5

10

11

11

10

12

9

Movie theaters

19

11

16

12

7

8

13

13

10

Tablets

15

14

6

12

14

13

11

9

6

Medical offices

13

12

7

14

6

18

6

16

11

Bus stops/subway stations/train stations

9

16

17

18

8

17

12

19

12

Elevators

6

15

21

16

19

16

18

16

17

Office building lobbies

6

17

8

17

21

21

17

21

14

Airports or airport lounges

5

18

4

15

16

12

20

7

19

Sporting stadium or arenas

5

20

18

19

9

19

4

18

7

Inside airplanes

3

18

1

20

15

15

19

15

16

Health clubs/gyms

2

22

11

20

20

20

1

19

2

Looking forward, our ongoing survey will continue to track response to the many media channels and platforms available to luxury consumers.

1 comment about "Traditional Media Consumption Still Strong".
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  1. Michael Lisboa from The Kizmo Group, July 4, 2013 at 1:41 p.m.

    Thank you for posting your research results. Just wondering what your survey population was (how many people in each category - average to affluent -- responded to your survey)?

    Thanks again for a very interesting article.

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