Inconspicuous, But Influential

According to a new survey from Mediamark Research & Intelligence, 11.5% of the U.S. adult population are the key influencers of other people when it comes to word-of-mouth communications regarding personal finance.

This segment of approximately 25.4 million adults, dubbed "Big Circle Influentials," are at par with the national average age for adults, and have only 4% higher household income than the national average of $65,500, but they score well above the national average for key financial and wealth indicators.

According to the MRI study, Big Circle Influentials are:

  • 33% more likely to own a home valued at $500,000 or more
  • 157% more likely to have made 10 or more investment transactions in the last 12 months
  • 109% more likely to own securities with a value of $150,000 or more
  • 44% more likely to have sought financial planning and/or money management advice

Anne Marie Kelly, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning at MRI, says "It's vital for financial advertisers to be able to identify Big Circle Influentials because these thought leaders advise family, friends, neighbors and colleagues, as well as people they don't necessarily know, through viral and social networks... targeting on demographics alone would not allow marketers to reach this key segment."


Profile of "Big Circle Influentials" in Personal Finance


BigCircle Influentials

Total U.S. Adults

   Average Age



   Average Household Income



Percent More Likely Than Average U.S. Adult to.....

   Own a Home Valued at $500,000 or more



   Have Acquired Securities and Investments in Last 12 Months


   Have Made 10+ Investment Transactions in Last 12 Months


   Have Securities Valued at $150,000 or more


   Own an IRA


   Own a 401K


   Seek Financial Planning Counsel


Source: MRI 2008 Omnibus Study

Kelly concludes that "Word-of-mouth influencers vary from category to category, but among them one thing remains constant: their ability to impact the attitudes and behaviors of the people within their sphere of influence."

For more information, please visit

1 comment about "Inconspicuous, But Influential".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Mark Wellman from Webster Atlantic Corporation, December 29, 2008 at 12:48 p.m.

    It would be helpful if the media use trends of these influentials was revealed in this study.

Next story loading loading..