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Ladies' Launchpad / Kathy McShane

Published 11:28 am, Saturday, January 11, 2014
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If you want to win the heart and soul -- and the spending money -- of the "affluent" segment of the population, then you must have a rigorous and strategic digital strategy.

The affluent sector is fascinating to study and a challenging segment to which to market. Therefore, you need to have great insight into what makes affluent people tick. They are certainly a group that deserves a lot of attention, since they have great influence on the success of people who market to them.

One of the key insights into this market is its reliance on technology.

Using this as a starting point, let me give you a few reasons to meet these consumers where they like to be.

In many cases, affluent people are early adopters of everything new and fun. In fact, technology has become the new "aspirational" buying experience. Because of their high disposable incomes, the affluent are frequent purchasers of high-end goods and services. In addition, the majority of them plan to make those purchases digitally.

They describe themselves as very busy people. The Internet is ubiquitous within this segment of society. They feel that technology is an essential part of both their professional and personal lives. They believe that it would be impossible to live without the digital space in which they engage for hours per day. They spend quite a bit of time "show-rooming" -- going into a retail store, finding an item and then going online, while in the store, to compare prices.

Taking a vacation from technology is not part of their lives. Most affluent consumers admit to taking a smart phone, tablet or laptop -- or all of these -- on vacation. They tend to conduct banking, check emails, search maps/directions, check places to sightsee or eat and stay up on the news even while away.

Because of both their social status and purchasing power, they have a great deal of influence over brands.

So if you are serious about acquiring and keeping these customers, then you need to understand how they make their purchases. Do your homework. You will recognize that your marketing strategy to the affluent has to be heavily dependent on technology.

Kathy McShane is managing director of Ladies Who Launch, Connecticut. She can be reached at kmcshane@ladieswholaunch.com or ladieswholaunch.com.southwestct.