Luxury brands are stepping up their video and mobile marketing in 2012, finds Martini Media, the digital media and content platform for engaging affluent buyers. The company polled more than 345 luxury brand marketers, including Aston Martin, Five Star Alliance, Jaguar, Virgin Airlines, and their agencies as well.
Martini Media conducted the research with research guru Michele Madansky and Digiday. Madansky said "Luxury brands already know that affluent consumers are spending more time on digital and have become more difficult to reach through traditional media."
Luxury brands plan to spend more on digital, and half believe that growth will be greater than 10%. Half believe digital is more effective at driving retail sales as well. Taking what digital formats they use more of as an indicator of what they believe works and what does not, 69% of those brands and agencies are increasing their use of video in 2012; 68% are increasing mobile, 48% social media, 45% rich media, 29% search, 18% standard display, and 10% TV/IPTV.
Those brands who master the digital platform include BMW, Burberry, Chanel, Lexus, Mercedes, Tiffany, Cartier and Tag Heuer. And what they do differently is engage. "Those audiences have more dollars than time and expect an engagement experience that standard banner units do not deliver," said Martini Media CEO, Skip Brand.
Burberry, the UK fashion brand, is particularly clever. As LuxuryDaily reports, Burberry sponsored the Weather Channel app for iPad throughout the Olympics and into August. This is its weather-themed campaign that comprises a app sponsorship with out-of-home ads in flagship cities, plus social media. But it is a single campaign: "The leitmotifs of British weather and London, specifically, have been featured consistently throughout its campaigns and messaging," Rebecca Robins, London-based European director for Interbrand told LuxuryDaily.
iProspect in May found that 40% of affluent males shop online at least twice a week, and those who shop multiple times spend more than $30,000 annually. Luxury menswear leads as a category, growing at a rate of about 14% per year. iProspect defined an affluent male as being 18 years or older, with a household income of at least $100,000.
But—let's be honest—not everyone who buys luxury goods can afford them, and social climbers and "wanna-be's" comprise a sizable market segment. Yahoo finds that of the 56 million Americans shop for luxury goods; 60% are non-affluent (see graphic). Yahoo also found that consumers spend 3x more time online during the path to purchase a luxury item than for non-luxury goods, and they will browse the category weekly; they may not buy that Tag Heuer watch today, but they will dream about it and "visit it" for weeks and months. The upshot is that marketers have a long-tail window of opportunity to engage luxury goods buyers and to affect consideration and preference.