“How do you market to affluents?” is a typical question a brand will ask any agency. Affluents represent the “white whale” of marketing that can prove elusive and hard to capture. And their capture does represent a “whale” of a purchase where your typical affluent may drop $2,500 on a luxury item.
In order to capture an affluent consumer, you must start to understand their behavior in order to create a holistic strategy to capture their dollars.
Multi-Screen is key
Your affluent customer today in 2013 is extremely tech savvy and in order to reach them your brand needs to be in many places at the same time. You need to be on their iPad, on their Galaxy S10 and in their MacBook Air. Today, affluents have 2x the smartphone mobile penetration than the general population and have up to three digital devices they can use to interact with your brand.
Therefore in order to connect with an affluent, a brand must have digital assets that conform to each individual digital channel, without breaking the bank to develop them. Responsive design has made it so a brand can create dynamic websites on mobile, tablet and desktops, all from the same website. This enables a brand to reach their audience in the best possible light, without having the prospect pinch and tap to zoom in, because if they have to do that they are more likely to hit the back button.
Search and Reviews
Not surprisingly, affluents are looking for information on luxury brands and the products, and they use Google to seek them out. According to the search giant, they search with intent – 68% will use search on their road to purchase. This can be as simple as looking for a store that carries the product, to checking out online reviews for the product they are thinking about purchasing. Consider that according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, over 60% of people will do research on a brand before going to the store and even considering a purchase. Each of these consumers will need to be convinced first to enter your store before they are convinced to buy a product.
In order to reach the affluent prior to entering the store, luxury brands need to have a robust search strategy and the resources to ensure that they are in the top 10 of Google, where Chitika found that over 92% of clicks occur. Further, they need to be diligent about monitoring reviews and responding to negative feedback quickly, to ensure that a competitor isn’t tarnishing their brand. Reaching affluents to create a positive vibe during the research phase only helps move consumers into the store and bring them closer to purchase.
According to Google affluents are what can be described as “kind of loyal.” According to their data, about 84% of affluents belong to airline loyalty programs, and 71% of them have downloaded apps to their devices from loyalty programs. Each affluent has, on average, 10-11 loyalty programs that they currently use, and as brands capture the affluents’ attention on various devices to persuade them through search and good reviews, using loyalty programs will only increase their retention. But this needs to be done the right way. If 78% would stay in a luxury hotel if the price were right, it would make sense that by offering a free night package to a business traveler, for personal use, may help sway them towards your brand. Further any VIP packages to highly loyal participants with “exclusive” access will also appeal to an affluent.
In conclusion, marketing to affluents needs to involve at minimum three tactics to increase the odds of success. First is to be able to reach them on mobile, tablets and desktops. Second is to use search and reviews so a brand can persuade them to enter the store, and lastly once they have bought the product, use loyalty and exclusivity to lure them back to purchase again. With some creativity mixed into the tactics, it becomes more likely a brand can land the affluent “whale.”