Wealth in the U.S. is growing. Affluent consumers have more cash post-recession and are ready to make investments. Whether in fashion, jewelry, auto, real estate – it’s not about the statement, but all about the sentiment. It’s about how that brand or product makes them feel. The aspirational consumer still exists but, it is the traditional luxury consumer who will build a long term relationship and be a brand ambassador.
I had the pleasure of hosting a webinar today, Engaging The Re-Emerging Affluent Consumer, with Steve Kraus, SVP, Chief Insights Officer at Ipsos and Ginette Wright, VP of Luxury Marketing at NRT.
From the Ipsos Affluent Survey, Steve shared the latest data showing that Affluent optimism about the economy is nearly at a 4-year high, and is particularly strong among sub-segments such as Affluent Millennials, Affluent Men, and Ultra Affluents ($250k+ HHI). As a result, he finds that Affluents are “rising up the hierarchy of needs,” and spending more in highly-discretionary areas such as travel, leisure, experiences and luxury. Looking ahead, Affluents are expecting a better year in 2015, both personally and economically, and this optimism is shaping their willingness to spend, as well as their desire to be more aggressive with investments than last year.
Representing a leading luxury real estate company, Ginette also shared that there is a greater strength of the top 1% in the U.S. market. There’s so much growth that there is sometimes a lack of inventory. And who’s driving the buying? No surprise …the Millennials. They have a stronger interest in buying and, on average, spend more. But the fact they buy much differently than the traditional needs to be considered.
So, what does this all mean?
The economy affects behavior, demographics dominate buying trends, and the increased challenge of finding the right people, at the right time, in the right channel continues to press hard on luxury marketers.
We all hear a lot of buzz about data-driven marketing, but how a company embraces it is going to dictate how it is going to thrive. Data is data. It’s only when data is aggregated, analyzed, and turned into insights, that it will drive value to your customers and add to your bottom line.
And it’s not managed by one person or one department. It now requires a company effort and corporate alignment to effectively manage a data driven strategy
It’s time to evolve. Things to consider:
- Personalization: Using data to personalize and customize experiences is going to help make a brand stand out from the noise, deliver value, and ultimately create a brand ambassador.
- Prospecting: Using predictive analytics and look-alike modeling allows marketers to look at their best customers and find more who look just like them.
- Circle of Friends: Analyzing a high potential client or prospect and uncovering their sphere of influence can further build your target audience.
And finally, a motto to live (or work) by… Marketing is what you say. Value is what you do.
Creativity, witty messaging, special promotions can only get you so far…it’s only when you speak to the heart (mindset, passions, and values of your customers) and deliver customized products and authentic experiences, that you deliver value and gain brand loyalty.
So, in the name of love, what’s your strategy?
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