To Reach the Affluents, Marketers Move Online

Marketing to affluent consumers used to mean targeting them with ads in upscale print publications. But this audience has largely moved online. And when their numbers are measured, as Ipsos Mendelsohn has recently done, affluents comprise a sizeable and attractive target, so marketers are likely to change their strategy.

Some research shops, including Ipsos Mendelsohn, prefer to include all consumers with a household income exceeding $100,000 in the affluent demographic. Using this measurement, 58.5 million U.S. adults belong in this category. A more meaningful picture of affluence might be found in the numbers of consumers who earn over $250,000, etc. When looking at affluent consumers, their household incomes break out as follows:

  • Between $100,000 and $150,000: 58%
  • Over $150,000 but less than $250,000: 32%
  • Over $250,000: 11%

But not everyone in this group considers themselves affluent. Mark Dolliver, eMarketer analyst and author of the new report, “Affluents: Demographic Profile and Marketing Approaches” says, “The vast majority of affluents do not regard themselves as rich, however, and don’t spend as if they were.” Dolliver points out that these consumers will purchase a luxury item if the quality is there. But this kind of spending is not ‘default mode’.

As marketers try to reach these consumers, they must consider their media use. One key detail is that this group watches far less TV than the average consumer – only 17.6 hours per week compared to 34 hours a week. But these consumers spend as much as 26 hours a week online while the average time spent with this media format is 21.7 hours. As marketers connect with affluent consumers who are online, they should know that specific formats are particularly effective: email ads, sponsored websites that appear during search results, and ads that target the affluent demographic as well as what the consumer is searching for.

[Source: Reaching the Affluent Market Online. Emarketer​.com. 1 Feb. 2012. Web. 14 Feb. 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.