It comes as no surprise to us, of course, but it was satisfying to see the recent results of the 35th annual Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluency Survey which examines the lives, lifestyles and habits of those Americans who report an annual income in excess of $100,000. According to the survey released last month, gay folks are 25 percent higher in annual income and 16 percent higher in net worth than their straight counterparts. The survey also found LGBTs are more likely to vote, more likely to attend live theater and museums, spend more time on the internet, use smart media more often and read a wider genre of print publications.
Again, no surprises here, we have long known that the LGBT community possesses very attractive attributes for advertisers. Not only is there more money to spend, LGBTs are much more willing to spend that money on new products and luxury brands that “resonate with their attitudes and values.”
In other words, if you court them properly, they will come — to your business. Of course these findings are generalizations and not every LGBT is rich, or only buys their clothes at Saks. However, the results of the Affluency Survey, along with results from the recent Community Marketing Survey I told you about last month, clearly point to a market segment that is both moneyed and eager to spend with brands that have the foresight to reach out.
The Ispos Mendelsohn Survey (see above) also took a look at media use by Affluents (defined as those 18 years and older with a household income of more than $100K). Internet use is universal among this group with much of the growth coming from a growing use of well-known brands including Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon. The interesting finding here was that that usage has increased 20 percent in the past year. In addition, ownership of smartphones has grown by 10 percent, e-readership almost tripled and tablet ownership more than quadrupled.
You might think that this increased use of the internet, mobile devices and e-readers would lead to a decrease in other forms of media consumption but not so. Measures of print use remain essentially unchanged from 2010: 82 percent read at least one of the 152 publications Ispos Mendelsohn measures, reflecting an audience of almost 48 million affluent adults, who on average read more than six different publication titles.
These findings point to real growth in the hunger for content and connectivity among the affluent. As I have suggested strongly in past newsletters, your business must have a strong internet and social media presence in order to capture your market — particularly if your market includes those with the most buying power.