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A guide to marketing to high-net-worth individuals

High-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and ultra high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) represent a highly attractive and lucrative audience. But, as these groups represent less than 1% of the world’s population, how do you get this incredibly elite audience to take notice of your brand? 

If you’re looking at marketing to high-net-worth individuals then you’ll need to re-consider traditional digital marketing strategies and instead turn to bespoke campaigns that are tailored specifically at grabbing the attention, and hopefully influencing, this niche consumer group.

Rumble Romagnoli, CEO of the award-winning digital marketing agency Relevance, has been helping luxury brands reach some of the wealthiest individuals in the world for more than a decade. Here he shares some top tips to getting this niche market to notice you. Here are some things to consider when marketing to high-net-worth individuals.

Why do you need a digital strategy to target high-net-worth individuals? 

Romagnoli: A recent report by professional services firm PwC found that 98% of HNWIs access the internet daily, with affluent consumers spending up to three hours of their personal time online every day. So, employing the right strategies when marketing to high-net-worth individuals can reap dividends.

Additionally, UHNWIs have traditionally been early adopters of emerging products, including digitally-delivered services and technology, meaning a mastery of digital marketing is essential. 

Indeed, the right digital marketing strategy can not only effectively communicate with your target audience, but it also provides better value for money than traditional marketing methods. And, since digital advertising is a lot easier to track, thanks to CRM and Marketing Automation, you can provide a healthy ROI.

It’s important to remember than targeting high-net-worth individuals and ultra high-net worth individuals is a highly specialised area of marketing as campaigns need to reach a completely different audience than the mass market. When putting together a digital marketing campaign designed to influence the purchasing decisions of some of the world’s wealthiest individuals you need an out-of-the-ordinary approach.

 

What are some of the buying habits of HNWI and UHNWIs?

Romagnoli: Truly understanding what high-net-worth clients want is paramount to putting together a digital marketing strategy. 

Indeed, at Relevance we have created an extensive database of UHNWIs and HNWIs to better ascertain the buying habits of this unique consumer group. This database is split into 10 key groups, including sports professionals, celebrities, entrepreneurs, trendsetters and influencers, business owners, financiers, top-lawyers, partners of UHNWIs , politicians and the independently wealthy. This allows us to profile UHNWIs, research and better understand their habits and therefore enables us to target them using bespoke digital marketing campaigns.  

Increasingly, HNWIs and UHWNIs are seeking luxury brands that match their interests and passions. So, you need to truly understand what these are in order to craft engaging, and thoughtful digital marketing strategies that captures the attention of the world’s wealthiest. 

While the definition of what a HNWI and UHNWI will vary from brand-to-brand they will always be defined differently from any other consumer group because their buying habits are completely unique. 

Additionally, the buying habits and preferences of HNWIs and UHNWIs is constantly changing and evolving, especially with the increasing boom in millennial HNWIs and UHNWIs, and what may resonate with one consumer, may not resonate with another. Indeed, a recent Deloitte report pointed to the fact that until 2020, the aggregated net worth of global millennials is predicted to more than double compared to 2015, with estimates ranging from US$19 to 24 trillion.

Finally, this lucrative consumer segment is far more likely to make purposeful purchases when acquiring a luxury item, rather than make spontaneous purchases, meaning that any digital marketing strategies have to be consistent in the long-term. With HNWIs and UHNWIs it’s all about creating a brand experience and fostering brand loyalty.  

With this in mind, you need adaptable and highly flexible strategies when marketing to high-net-worth individuals, ones that can be fine-tuned and adjusted as the world of luxury evolves and changes. Additionally, HNWIs and UHNWIs are increasingly seeking one-off experiences and exclusive previews, so this should be reflected in any digital marketing strategies that you adopt.

 

How does this elite audience use the internet? 

Romagnoli: How HNWIs and UHNWIs engage with brands digitally is entirely different from the average consumer, so digital marketing campaigns have to be very carefully thought out as they are aimed at just a very small group of consumers. 

In order to reach HNWIs and UNHWIs you need to understand what platforms they are active on, from niche social media platforms and websites dedicated to luxury brands and sumptuous lifestyles, to blogs, publications, and channels specifically aimed at resonating with this highly elite audience. 

Evidence also points to the fact that most UHNWIS and HNWIs are more likely to use mobile search than desktop search, so with this in mind, you’ll need to make sure that all of your digital strategies incorporate sites that are optimised for mobile users when marketing to high-net-worth individuals. Based on the PwC report “HNWIs and Digital” 85% of HNWIs use more than three digital devices, and 98% access the internet/apps daily. See WealthArc. 

 

What are some key strategies to target high-net-worth individuals? 

Romagnoli: Key strategies that you adopt will, of course, depend on the ultimate goal of the luxury brand, however specialised SEO landing pages, carefully planned advertising campaigns, and engaging social media posts are all tried-and-tested techniques to reach UHNWIs.

Additionally, well written blog posts that truly speak to this elite audience, in addition to well researched and in-depth editorial articles are a great way to build brand awareness while creating a story around your brand. 

You’ll also want to consider where your target audience is in the world and whether your content would benefit from being written in multiple languages. At Relevance we offer a multilingual approach offering expert written content in not just English, but Russian, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Arabic….the list goes on, thanks to our extensive network of SEO specialists and local market experts. This all helps ensure our clients never miss a customer. 

Finally, search engine optimisation, which makes sure your website is visible when HNWIs and UHNWIs enter search terms into Google that relate to your product or service, will help ensure the right qualified audience can find you. But, in order to do this effectively you need to really consider your target audience and understand what UHNWIs are searching for. Tip, it’s unlikely to be ‘luxury’ or ‘expensive.’

 

How do you target the world’s wealthiest on social media? 

Romagnoli: As long as you have a cutting-edge social media manager, social media can be a very powerful tool for targeting high-net-worth individuals. Indeed, the use of social media to directly communicate with customers in a purposeful yet informal way has allowed a huge number of luxury brands to significantly grow over the last couple of decades. 

Indeed, social media forms a significant part of consumer’s decision-making process and research points to the fact that affluent consumers regularly use social media platforms, with 99% visiting social media platforms and spending close to 90 minutes per day on them. 

Key things to consider are the importance of targeting locally, ensuring you reach areas where HNWIs and UHNWIs are likely to living or visiting; utilising demographics provided by social media platforms, including grouping this elite consumer audience by gender, age, and marital status, for example; targeting based on career, ensuring you are advertising to people who you know can afford your product; interests, allowing you to target people who are most likely to be interested in your brand; and education – for example if you want to capture the attention of UHNWIs targeting those who have schools such as Harrow or Eton listed on their page would be a good place to start. 

At Relevance we have executed numerous social media campaigns for a range of high-profile clients. One of our key strategies includes segmenting audiences into 10 personas to better identify who to target.

One way in which we target HNWIs is by location targeting, this includes researching postcodes and towns which have a high-density of high-value properties worth over £5million.  

We then apply layered interest targeting, which involves researching brand, activities and behaviours associated with HNWIs. For an individual to fit into our criteria they would have to match all layers of our interest and location targeting.  We also target by demographics, such as language and age. All of this ensures a highly qualified audience.

Finally, consider which social media platforms match your qualified audience best when targeting high-net-worth individuals, for example, LinkedIn is a very powerful tool when you have a very specific audience in mind, based on job roles and industry sector, while Instagram and Facebook are the best place for travel posts, due to their visual nature.

To find out how Rumble and his team of experts at Relevance can add value to your digital marketing campaign and help you reach some of the world’s wealthiest, visit Relevance.

 

Rumble Romagnoli, CEO at Relevance.

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