Commentary

Accessing Affluencer's Influence

According to iProspect’s latest research from Andrea Wilson, VP, Strategy Director, Affluent Influencers, by having the financial means, attention and authority as well as broad access and reach, are valuable because they can support brands directly from their own buying decisions, and have the ability to influence others, delivering an exponentially larger total reach both in traditional, offline word-of-mouth, and in online/social space.

The study uncovered the “Affluencer’s” attitudes and preferences about everything from friendship and money to how they use technology and make buying decisions:

  • Millennial and Gen X generations are very digital and very active, while Baby Boomers are more selective and less digital
  • Millennial and Baby Boomers do what they want, while there is a drastic difference between the Gen Xer’s regular activities and what they are passionate about
  • Millennials like to author and create content, while Baby Boomers like to listen and watch the Gen Xers prefer curating content and commenting in the social space
  • Millennials are the most likely to engage via social media daily (57%), followed by Gen Xers (45%), and Baby Boomers (37%)
  • Millennials are willing to pay for online news access, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers aren’t
  • Baby Boomers are the most likely to bank online at least once per week (70%), followed by Gen Xers (64%), and Millennials (60%)

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The Affluent Influencer, or “Affluencer,” is a key demographic for online retail brands. This group combines affluence (household income of $100K+) with influence (the ability to affect the purchase decisions of others) and has great potential to increase awareness of and affinity for brands.

The Affluent Influencer (Affluencers)

Household income

%  of Respondents

   $100-149K

61%

   $159-199<

23%

   $200-499K

13%

   $500K+

3%

Gender

   Male

60%

   Female

40%

Ethnicity

Mostly white

Education (≥ Bachelors  degree)

   Millennials & GenX

47%

   Boomer

40%

Work (full time)

   Millennials

80%

   GenX

85%

   Boomer

60%

Source: iProspect, October 2013

The research looked at Affluencer values, preferences, and behaviors across the three generations of Millennials, GenXers, and Boomers. Though they share many commonalities, each generation also has unique needs, says the report.

  • Millennial Affluencers are more likely to respond well to messages with social benefits (fitting in, being admired, etc.) while Boomer Affluencers are more focused on personal benefits
  • A substantial percentage of Millennial and Gen X Affluencers access the web regularly via their smartphones (69% and 58%, respectively), or their tablets (45% and 34%, respectively). Millennial Affluencers also access the Internet via smart TVs (18%) and game consoles (15%)
  • A notable percentage of Affluencers regularly read print magazines and are substantially more likely than their affluent but non-influential counterparts to read publications in the buying guide, cars/automotive, technology, and classified advertisements categories

Affluencers are respected “experts” because they are well informed. Buying guides, Q&A pages, advice columns, and other informational content represent an important content marketing opportunity to feed the Affluencers’ desire for knowledge and know-how.

  • 90% of Affluencers  research products online.
  • A majority of Affluencers also routinely make purchases online
  • Millennial Affluencers are 253% more likely than their affluent but non-influential counterparts to make daily purchases. Similarly, Gen X Affluencers are 50% more likely to make weekly purchases, and Boomer Affluencers are 24% more likely to make monthly purchases.

Mobile is a huge opportunity for forward-thinking online retailers, says the report.

  • eMarketer reports that e-commerce sales volume transacted via mobile devices will increase from 15% to 24% between now and 2016.
  • Nielsen research indicates that two-thirds of smartphone users and four-fifths of tablet users make online purchases from these devices even when using them at home.
  • comScore numbers show that 48% of the time spent online in the retail category was spent on mobile devices.
  • iProspect research showed that 78% of Millennial and 66% of Gen X Affluencers use their mobile devices like a computer, checking e-mails and performing web searches.

Though mobile device shopping is clearly here to stay, not all marketers are doing it and not all those who are engaged know how to do it well, opines the report. It’s more than just responsive design. It’s about creating a smart mobile experience with relevant features that align with the preferences and needs of Affluencers.

The report suggests that marketers use research findings and company data to create highly targeted customer profiles. The study shows that:

  • 50%–65% of Affluencers (depending on generation) are always the first among their friends to try new products and services, making the concept of “NEW” an appealing message
  • 56%–65% of Affluencers (depending on generation) are willing to spend money to save time, making efficiency a valuable benefit
  • Millennial Affluencers are more than four times more likely than Boomer Affluencers to create online content, making them much more likely to engage in participatory brand activities

Values and Attitudes

New Trends

Millennial Affluencers

GenX Affluencers

Boomer Affluencers

Love to buy the latest tech gadgets

70% agree

65% agree

46% agree

Try to vacation in a different place each time

69% strongly agree (158 index)

66% strongly agree (159 index)

55% agree

Always first among friends to try new products & services

65% strongly agree (212 index)

61% strongly agree (205 index)

50% strongly agree (127 index)

Always like to try new brands

64% strongly agree (161 index)

 64% strongly agree (180 index)

54% strongly agree (129 index)

Know the latest trends before friends

57% strongly agree (244 index)

52% strongly agree (187 index)

36% agree

Buy the newest fashion brands & styles available

45% strongly agree (254 index)

38% strongly agree (158 index)

20% agree

Source: iProspect, October 2013

Younger generations aligned in strong attraction to “new.” Millennial and Gen X Affluencers are very closely aligned in their positive attitudes toward new products, services, and brands. Messaging that showcases the concepts of “new” and “latest” will play well with these groups.

Boomer Affluencers are more middle-of- the-road. Boomer Affluencers still value new brands, products, and trends, but tend to place a lower priority on the “new” attribute as compared to the strong enthusiasm of the Millennial AIs and Gen X AIs.

Boomer Affluencers are least confident about knowing the latest trends before their friends and are least likely to buy the latest fashion brands and styles. Paired with their responses on the topics of popularity and acceptance, these attitudes would seem to indicate that they are not overly concerned about staying ahead of the curve, at least in the fashion category.

Not only do Affluencers buy your products, they also convince others to buy your products. Make sure that your marketing is designed to reach this critical audience through targeted relevance, concludes the report.

For more information from iProspect, please visit here

 

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