In recent years many luxury goods providers have shied away from online marketing as they perceived these channels would ‘de-value’ their brand. But more and more research and success stories are showing that the most wealthy spend time and money on the internet when looking for luxury brands and luxury goods. As the demographic and geographic spread of wealthy individuals changes so the need to appeal to these select consumers online grows.
As social media emerged as a marketing channel many luxury companies believed the ‘open’ nature of social media would not align well with the exclusivity of luxury and high-end business. However a recent report by Spectrum revealed that nearly 50% of UHNI (ultra high net-worth individuals) had used facbook in 2011. Many other reports and surveys support these findings. Wealthy individuals are known to be highly technically literate, this is understandable as more and more wealthy individuals are making their fortunes from tech companies. HNWI’s are also early adopters of new technology, and are one of the leading demographics for sales of tablets and smartphones. Adapting marketing strategies to target these new devices is key to appealing to these potential customers.
Many luxury brands have reported marked increases in revenue after moving their marketing spend to online from traditional channels. The fashion group Burberry showed a 25% increase in profit in the second half of 2011 which it attributed to re-allocating it’s marketing spend to online channels, replacing glossy magazine ads with facebook campaigns. Luxury brands are leading the global recovery post recession and many of these brands associate their strong growth to embracing online and social media maketing.
It is no secret that the international distribution of wealth has changed dramatically in recent years, particularly following the global recession. The annual Forbes rich list (demonstrated in a useful interactive map here shows a huge shift of the ultra wealthy to the emerging markets often referred to as BRIC (Brasil, Russia, India and China). Companies marketing products and services to wealthy individuals (such as the luxury yacht, property and chalet companies Relevance currently represents) can no longer rely on traditional media outlets concentrated in the western world to reach them. Online marketing provides exposure to a global market open to all, by utilising a multi-lingual web presence your business can reach the select consumers it needs to drive revenue.