Affluent consumers more likely to share information online: study

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Affluent consumers are more willing to share their information online in exchange for a more personalized experience than the general population, according to a study released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on August 1.

The survey of 2,088 adults, conducted by marketing research firm Ipsos Mendelsohn, found that 32% of affluent consumers – defined as those with a household income of more than $100,000 – were willing to share their information online, compared with 26% of the general population. In addition, they spend more time on the Internet. According to the study, affluent consumers spend 26 hours per week online, while the general population spends 22 hours online weekly. Ninety-eight percent of affluent respondents and 79% of the general population said they use the Internet.

Sherrill Mane, SVP of industry services at IAB, said that the findings indicate affluent consumers' desire for more streamlined advertising because of their heavier digital media diet.

“They're open to the notion of quid pro quo: I will share, I will give you something about myself, if you give me what's relevant to me. I think that's kind of groundbreaking,” said Mane. “It shows you how well they understand the value proposition of sharing information in order to get something. These are people who are very busy, and I think to them if advertising can help organize their lives and make their lives more efficient, they will participate in that process.”

Mane said that it's important for advertisers to market to affluent consumers via digital channels, because the demographic is harder to reach through traditional means. According to the study, affluent consumers only spend 18 hours per week watching TV, compared with the general population's 34 hours per week.

“The gestalt is that not only can you find [affluent consumers] in digital media to a greater degree than almost any other medium, certainly any other mass-medium, but they're actually as engaged if not more engaged,” Mane said.

The study also found that affluent consumers on average recall 21 of the ads they've seen in a given 7-day period. The recall ticks only slightly higher than the general population, but Mane said that it must be considered in the context of the ads that the demographic views.

“Recall is never a really high metric. It's always certain kinds of really big, major creative ads that get remembered,” said Mane. “So to report that kind of recall, they actually have to be paying attention.”

Affluent consumers were more likely than the general population to have learned about a new product through an online ad, 55% versus 51%. Mane said it's important for marketers to get their products in front of affluent consumers because the demographic is twice more likely to make a purchase and spend 3.2 times more money when they do purchase.

Ipsos Mendelsohn conducted its survey between February 22 and 28.

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