The Affluents' Affinity For Digital

In our ever-evolving, digitally obsessed, internet-driven world, it is no surprise that the affluent consumers — those with the most disposable income to spend on tech-toys for both themselves and the entire family (if they have dependents) — play a large role in driving the e-commerce market.

With higher spending power, extensive and growing use of the Internet for pre-purchase research and buying, and an open attitude toward native and sponsored content, affluent consumers are extremely receptive to mainstream and luxury digital marketers, according to “The Martini Report: The Affluent Audience Online” conducted by Martini Media and Ipsos MediaCT. The study reports on the digital habits and spending of consumers with a household income of $75,000 or more. These affluent consumers have been broken down into four parts based on level of income and age to paint a clearer picture of how each sub-section contributes to the activity of the demographic as a whole.

The Hyper Affluents have an annual HHI of $250k+ and an average income of $500k+. This sub-section is the primary audience for luxury marketers and comprises 3% of the U.S. population. Their median age is 48. The Mass Affluents have a HHI of $100k-$249.9k and have a median age of 45. Collectively, they are 8x as numerous as Hyper Affluents and have higher spending power. Emerging Affluents are 18-39 with HHIs of $75k-$99.9k and are considered to be on their way towards a more elite status. Lastly, Aspiring Affluents generally have peaked in terms of future earning potential. They are over 40 and earn as much as the Emerging Affluents.

Despite the differences among the four sub-categories, as a whole, their behavior is very similar across various internet activities. All segments spend over 10 hours/week on the Internet via their computers. The number of smartphones that they own outnumbers the number of tablets that they own. On average, they spend 1.5 to 3 hours/week on the internet via mobile devices. What are they doing on the internet during all of this time? Blogging? Facebook stalking? Watching YouTube videos? Reading emails? Scanning news articles?

A portion of their time is likely dedicated to each of these; however, this research study also finds that around 82% of them spend time researching products or services that interest them, which highlights the importance of producing effective, engaging digital campaigns for marketers. These affluents consider pre-purchase research to be very important. Sites like Yelp, Expedia, and are likely referred-to to leverage previous consumers’ opinions and experiences. In addition to conducting research on things that they “would like” to buy, 60-70% actually make a purchase using their computer each week.

In order to leverage the amount of time this demographic spends online, it would be wise of marketers to pay close attention to the needs and interests of this group when it comes to producing and positioning advertisements. In addition, throwing some humor into the mix might not be a bad idea either since the study reported that the second most important factor in increasing their interest in online advertising would be “Advertising that is funny or entertaining.” As American Industrialist Andrew Carnegie said, “There is little success where there is little laughter.”

1 comment about "The Affluents' Affinity For Digital".
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  1. Ronald Kurtz from American Affluence Research Center, November 26, 2014 at 11:48 a.m.

    Marketers should really be more cautious about using generalizations regarding how affluent consumers engage in online research and purchases of various products and services. Some items, like a major appliance or a car, are likely to be researched but not purchased on online while airline and concert tickets are likely to be both researched and purchased online.

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