Defining the "Affluent Influencer"

By understanding the underlying characteristics of today's most powerful consumers, marketers can develop successful strategies that drive long-term customer engagement and brand advocacy.

In the past, marketers have primarily focused their efforts and resources on engaging the affluent and the influential. However, with skewed definitions of these key demographics driving decisions, most neglected to embrace today's truly powerful consumers. Now, according to iProspect, marketers must adjust their practices in order to connect with and engage the new, powerful breed of influencer that has come to be. As part of its "Affluent Influencers" study, iProspect defines the key traits of this emerging demographic and how their preferences, differences, and crossover points blur the lines typically drawn among Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers.

The study, which surveyed 1,922 affluent adult respondents, shows that, while the affluent (those who earn a household income of $100,000 or more) and the influential (those that influence other consumers' purchase decisions) hold much power, it's where these two groups converge that has the greatest impact. Today's multichannel landscape incorporates the mediums and devices with which these consumers connect each day, bringing all marketing strategies and tactics together, generating continuous conversations, and eliminating isolated interactions. Dubbed "Affluencers" by iProspect, this group carries more potential value than any other, as they not only support brands through their own purchase decisions, but they also have the ability to influence other consumers across channels-a significant factor in today's increasingly competitive world.

The following statistics examine overall "Affluencer" attitudes and preferences, exploring how technology and everyday life impact their buying decisions:

  • While 60 percent of "Affluencers" are male, and 40 percent are female, 62 percent of this group brings in an annual income of $100-149K. Only 4 percent earn more than $500,000 per year.
  • Overall, the average "Affluencer" is white, has obtained at least a bachelor's degree, is married or living with his or her partner, and has children.
  • Millennials are most receptive to mobile phone advertisements, while Gen Xers respond well to leisure activity ads. Baby Boomers are least likely to engage.
  • Though Millennials are willing to pay for online news access, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers aren't.
  • Millennials are the most likely to engage via social media daily (57 percent), followed by Gen Xers (45 percent), and Baby Boomers (37 percent).
  • However, Baby Boomers are the most likely to bank online at least once per week (70 percent), followed by Gen Xers (64 percent), and Millennials (60 percent).
  • Millennials typically offer advice on luxury goods and services, relationships, and fashion, while they often seek advice on skincare, books, and childcare.
  • While Gen Xers offer advice on home d?r, luxury goods and services, and childcare, they seek advice on books, relationships, as well as food, drink, and clothing.
  • Baby Boomers usually offer advice on cars, finances, and home d?r, but they often seek advice on fashion, pet care, and cars, as well.

Key takeaway: Though each demographic exhibits its own distinct habits, all of them hold influence within their networks. However, marketers have yet to establish strategies that effectively reach and engage these "affluential" groups. For instance, Millennials and Gen Xers are very digital and very active, while the Baby Boomer generation tends to be more selective and less digital. Millennials also like to create content, while Baby Boomers like to listen and watch, and Gen Xers prefer curating content and commenting in the social space. By understanding the ways these groups interact and influence their personal networks, companies can tap into these behaviors in order to engage and excite consumers, providing great content and relevant messaging that promotes long-term customer relationships and brand advocacy.