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Affluent Consumers: Is Your Media Strategy Working?

15 Oct 2018 Marlea Clark

in Media, Digital, Social Media


According to the 2018 U.S. Purchase Influencers Report, 25% of affluent consumers say that they have bought something as a result of an ad, compared to 40% of adults in the under $50K income bracket. Media consumption increases with income, posing a challenge for marketers to accurately target wealthy consumers who have many options to choose from—and more money to spend.

In fact, affluent consumers have so many media options that their advertiser recall rates are shockingly low compared to their media usage and exposure. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t influenced by media.

So, what media makes affluent consumers press the purchase button and spend their money?

The Basics: More Money Equals More Media Options

TV, search engines, and smartphones top the list for affluent consumers. 83% report watching TV on a weekly basis, and 81% report using a search engine and smartphone on a weekly basis, respectively. 

So, they’re digitally plugged in. However, TV and digital aren’t the only media formats playing a key role in the lives of affluent consumers; they also listen to the radio and receive direct mail at higher rates than lower income brackets.

Affluent Consumers Feel Overexposed to Ads, But Can't Recall

Here’s where it gets interesting: affluent consumers are reporting high ad exposure rates, but lower advertiser recall. This correlation stands across media type, and when it comes to search and digital video, it’s even stronger. 

46% of affluent consumers feel overexposed to ads while using search engines and 37% feel the same about online video, yet retention levels are low in that area. Only 14% and 9% of consumers with income over $100K recall brands while using search engines and online video, respectively.

Does Low Recall Equal Low Purchase Influence?
The answer is no, but your strategy must incorporate the right media.  A deeper analysis is needed to evaluate and ensure that affluent consumers are hearing the message, considering it, and then acting on it with their valuable dollars. One of the reasons low recall isn’t so harmful is word-of-mouth; if one person doesn’t see an ad, their friend may have, and personal recommendations often lead to a consideration, followed by a purchase.

Despite low recall, 3 out of 4 affluent consumers say they have been influenced to make a purchase by one of the following forms of media, ranked by consumer preference:

1. Family/friend recommendations

2. Consumer reviews online

3. TV ads

4. Email Marketing

5. Catalogs and/or direct mail

6. Social networks 

7. Search engines

8. Magazine ads

9. Print newspaper ads 

10. Radio ads

11. Online video

12. TV product placement

13. Movie theater ads

14. Smartphone ads

15. Tablet ads

16. Promotional products

17. Outdoor ads

18. Video game ads

Overall, legacy media like radio and print still drive the wealthy consumer to purchase, contradicting the current assumption that these media aren’t useful anymore. And, while they claim to “tune-out” the actual advertisers they feel exposed to on search engines and online video, affluent consumers still attribute purchases to that media. Another interesting point? Lower-income consumers are more likely to say that ads seen on smartphones influence their purchase habits, even though affluent consumers report seeing them more.

Women’s Marketing has a deep history in analyzing consumer behavior and advising brands on the right strategy to reach them. If you want to know more about what makes your target audience say, “I’ll buy that,” give us a shout today!

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Source: 2018 U.S. Purchase Influencers Report

Media Digital Social Media