Friday, November 08, 2013

Do You Know Who Your “Affluencers” Are?

Hope you don’t mind if we correspond via good old fashioned email. Much as we’d like to be tweeting you, we just can’t get this weekly rant off our chests in only 140 characters. Likewise, we love it when you respond (pro or con)--take all the space you need to share your thoughts.

Have you hear about this new demographic group called the Affluent Influencers (a.k.a. “Affluencers”)? We hadn’t either until iProspect’s latest research came across our radar this week. Affluencers have the financial means to make all manner of serious buying decisions for their personal and business lives. But, they also have wide followings, so when they green-light something, they influence many others and deliver “an exponentially larger total reach both in traditional, offline word-of-mouth, and in online/social space,” according to researchers.

For more on this topic, see last week’s post about knowing your WoMi (word of mouth score).

So who are Affluencers exactly? They’re about evenly split between Boomers, Gen Xers and Millenials and slightly more male than female. The common thread is that they have household incomes of $100K+, they’re well educated and they have the ability to affect the purchase decisions of others.

There’s a pretty good chance you have Affluencers on staff. Many of your clients and prospects fall into this group as well. You might want to look carefully at how you’re communicating with them. Here’s why:

  • Millennials like to author and create content, while Baby Boomers like to listen and watch the Gen Xers prefer curating content and commenting in the social space
  • Millennials are the most likely to engage via social media daily (57%), followed by Gen Xers (45%), and Baby Boomers (37%)
  • Millennials are willing to pay for online news access, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers aren’t
The research looked at Affluencer values, preferences, and behaviors across the three generations of Millennials, GenXers, and Boomers. Though they share many commonalities, each generation also has unique needs, says the report.
  • Millennial Affluencers are more likely to respond well to messages with social benefits (fitting in, being admired, etc.) while Boomer Affluencers are more focused on personal benefits.
  • A substantial percentage of Millennial and Gen X Affluencers access the web regularly via their smartphones (69% and 58%, respectively), or their tablets (45% and 34%, respectively).
  • A notable percentage of Affluencers regularly read print magazines (YES they read print) and are substantially more likely than their affluent but non-influential counterparts to read publications in the buying guide, cars/automotive, technology, and classified advertisements categories.
Researchers say Affluencers are respected “experts” because they are well informed and eat up buying guides, Q&A pages, advice columns:
  • 90% of Affluencers research products and services online.
  • iProspect research showed that 78% of Millennial and 66% of Gen X Affluencers use their mobile devices like a computer, checking e-mails and performing web searches.
The iProspect report suggests that marketers use research findings and company data to create highly targeted customer profiles. The study shows that:
  • 50% to 65% of Affluencers (depending on generation) are always the first among their friends to try new products and services, making the concept of “NEW” an appealing message.
  • 56% to 65% of Affluencers (depending on generation) are willing to spend money to save time, making efficiency a valuable benefit.
  • Millennial Affluencers are more than four times more likely than Boomer Affluencers to create online content, making them much more likely to engage in participatory brand activities.
Macro View

Despite all the doom and gloom expected as a result of the partial government shutdown last month, sales and hiring actually accelerated in the service sector last month. U.S. payrolls advanced by 204,000 jobs last month,
the Labor Department said today—almost double what economists were forecasting. It’s really not even worth tracking the official unemployment rate anymore since the feds claim it actually increased to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent last month. More on that disconnect next week.
More good news, The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said Tuesday that its service-sector index rose a full point to 55.4 last month—any reading above 50 is considered an expansion. The ISM index covers about 90 percent of the U.S. workforce, with heavy representation in financial services, healthcare, construction and retail. What’s more, the annual growth rates estimated for the U.S. recently came in at 2.8 percent in Q3—the fastest quarterly increase in output so far in 2013.


When it comes to reaching your target market, it’s not just connect with a single person, department or household; it’s about connecting with everyone who’s influenced by the decisions made by that person, department or household. As we discussed last week, good new travels fast, but bad news even faster. Choose you messaging carefully in this age of viral, exponential communication touch points.
More tips can be found on the FREE Resources page of our website.


Tags: iProspect, affluent influencers, Affluencers, Institute of Supply Management, jobs report, Twitter 

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