Purse strings and wallet depth are not the only things that separate the wealthy from the rest of the population – their media consumption does, as well. A survey conducted by Ad Age two years ago claimed that approximately 90% of affluent Americans (defined as those with a household income of at least $100,000) still consumed their news through printed magazines or newspapers. This surprised both members of the media and the general public. With many print publishers either folding or converting to solely digital since 2011, in addition to the vast adoption of mobile technology, one would assume that this number has at least slightly changed. However, what brands should really pay attention to is the unbiased way the affluent consume their news, regardless of the channel.
Don’t Discount Traditional Media
We’ve already discerned that the rich don’t take issue with picking up a newspaper or magazine (or having it delivered to their front door). Twenty-four percent of Affluents read at least one of the national daily newspapers (the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc.) every day, according to a 2012 survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT Mendelsohn. They also listen to more radio than the general population – an average of 10.6 hours per week – while watching television just under 17 hours per week.
The Wealthy Use Online More
One would assume that the extra exposure to traditional media would mean lower Affluent use of digital and social; however, this is not the case. As a matter of fact, according to an infographic distributed by Column Five Media, wealthier Americans use the Internet 19% more often than the general population. In addition, a LinkedIn study highlighted by Business Insider discovered that about 90% of affluent consumers use social media, with 44% using it to engage with financial institutions specifically. Affluents also show slightly greater product awareness after being exposed to a digital ad than the general public (51% vs. 47%). Meanwhile, according to a May 2013 article by Examiner.com, more than half own smartphones and nearly twice as many as last year downloaded magazine apps (4.7 million) and newspaper apps (seven million).
What Does It All Mean?
The increased multichannel consumption by wealthy individuals reiterates the importance of an integrated marketing approach. Brands, specifically in the growing luxury space, have numerous touch points to consider when executing a campaign due to what seems to be the sporadic and multi-channel nature of Affluents. Retailers may want to rethink a strategy that neglects print media or radio. On the contrary, some luxury brands have still been slow to adopt emerging technology, such as mobile, although it appears that others are finally making the jump. Our company found that 85% of luxury brand marketers plan to increase digital marketing spend in 2013. Yet, regardless of whether a brand needs to adopt either more digital or traditional tactics, the point is that integration remains key. The concept is just magnified when targeting the affluent.