The wealthiest American consumers, those in homes with at
least $100,000 annual incomes, have long been difficult for marketers to reach
through traditional media like TV and radio, but “Affluent Consumers in a
Digital World,” a study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
finds these higher-income Americans embracing digital media and its ads.
The study, conducted for the IAB by
Ipsos Mendelsohn, which has been surveying the affluent market since 1977,
found that 98 percent of affluent consumers use the Internet, as compared with
79 percent of the general population.
They spend 26.2 hours online weekly, 17.6 hours watching
TV and 7.5 hours listening to the radio. The general population, on the other hand,
spends about twice as much time weekly with TV and radio 34 hours and 16 hours,
respectively and just 21.7 hours on the Internet.
“Affluents have long been one of the hardest to
reach and most important consumer groups,” said Sherrill Mane, senior vice
president of Industry Services, IAB.
“They’re now more important than ever – not only do
they control most consumer spending power, but they may be the key to leading
our economy out of the recession. And the new research shows that when it comes
to digital media, the old paradigm has been superseded: the wealthiest
Americans use digital media far more than their less affluent counterparts,”
According to the survey, affluents overall currently
comprise 21 percent of U.S. households, have 70 percent of all consumer wealth,
and spend 3.2 times more than other Americans on purchases.
This sought-after segment, using the Internet to a
greater extent than other Americans, tends to recall more ads and to be more
aware of advertised brands, products and services. Eighty-eight percent of
affluent consumers recalled being exposed to one or more digital ads during the
previous week, compared with 84 percent of non-affluent Internet users.
Within these groups, affluents recalled 21.1 ads on
average, versus 20.2 for non-affluents.
Compared with non-affluent consumers, affluent consumers
are also somewhat more likely to be aware of new products (55 percent vs. 49
percent), new companies (51 percent vs. 49 percent), and new websites (46
percent vs. 44 percent) after viewing digital ads.
In addition, 59 percent of affluent consumers reported
taking action based on a digital ad during the preceding six months.
While that number doesn’t differ significantly from other
Internet users, it is of great significance to advertisers seeking to reach
this elusive, yet important, market segment. The combined reach, exposure and
influence of digital as an ad vehicle to affluent households is simply
The receptivity of affluent Americans to digital advertising
is underscored by their greater understanding of the ad-supported web model and
the benefits of ad targeting, as compared with non-affluent consumers.
Part of what affluent consumers want (37 percent vs. 32
percent for non-affluents) from that customized experience are ads relevant to
their current shopping interests.
Affluent consumers have increasingly come to desire
relevant and customized experiences, in part because they are living
Virtually all the affluent are online. Their ownership of
tablets and e-readers has increased by 50 percent over the past six months, and
shows every indication of continued growth. They have come to expect the
benefits of digital media, even if it doesn’t alleviate all work-life pressures.
By Telecomlead.com Team