It is easy to pretend the voice on the phone is not a real person. In sales, one of the most effective things you can do is to put a face to a name and voice. Adcision Luxury Media, a online luxury advertising agency and publisher representation firm and the writers of this newsletter, have spent some quality time exploring the many tools and resources that social networks, specifically LinkedIn, provide and have found them to be tremendously useful. From identifying appropriate contacts to joining groups and finding potential clients, LinkedIn is more than just an avenue for finding a new job or connecting with old colleagues.
Most valuable of all appears to be the groups. From corporate and alumni groups to common interest, it is easy to post discussion questions, relevant news articles and meet others who are in your profession or share common goals. Here are a few Adcision has joined and recommend for those in the luxury space:
–Luxury and Lifestyle Professionals-(12,560 members)- Managed by Lionel Crochet. This group does an excellent job controlling the discussion boards and posting relevant content. Lionel tells us that, “luxury and lifestyle industries cover a lot of connecting business from travel to fashion, jewelery, architecture, design or transportation for instance. I figured those industries and its professionals collaborate enough to create a need for online networking. This may allow businesses and their associates to create bridges, ventures, deals or collaborations. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Ning or MySpace where the Group is present are meant for that and I hope our cheer number of members make more and better business thanks to “Luxury & Lifestyle Professionals.”
–Luxury Interactive– (57 members)- Managed by Steven Peters. This small targeted group will be an excellent tool for networking pre and post show for both London (March 2009) and New York (June 2009).
–The Luxury Letter– We decided to form this group for our members and encourage you all to sign up. The goal of this group is to create a controlled environment for you and your peers to exchange dialogue.
If you are a member of a group that you feel others would find valuable, please let us know by leaving a response on The Luxury Letter blog!
By Susan Adams, President of Fractional Sales Solutions
I was on an interesting webinar a few months ago that was sponsored by Google. The topic was how the affluent use the internet. I’m of the opinion that the internet is the least understood of the marketing mediums for those companies that actively sell to high net worth buyers.
The most interesting statistic from their survey was that millionaire earners are the most prolific shoppers on the internet. The reason I found this so compelling was that many wealthy shoppers are given exceptional service experiences from the retail stores they visit. So, why would they abandon these stores that cater to their needs to go shop on the internet?
It’s simple. The internet is fast and anonymous. One of the things I learned in my years of selling to multi millionaires is that they prefer to be anonymous. Most of my contact with these clients was over the phone. They rarely wanted to meet in person, and instead, preferred to speak with me over the phone.
It only makes sense that they would be attracted to the internet because of the anonymity they find using this medium. They can research a product or service from the comfort of their home or office without ever having to get on the phone and talk to a sales person. In fact, one gentleman in the survey found a $15,000 watch he wanted to buy and was completely annoyed that he couldn’t purchase it online. Instead, he had to call and speak with a sales person.
Money to Spend, But No Time to Spend It
The second interesting fact concerned the amount of time (or lack thereof) they discovered among the various groups of ‘affluents’. The more money a person has, the less time they have to spend it. This is a point I make repeatedly with my clients trying to market online to the affluent. We know they lead busy lives and have very little personal time. So, it makes sense that their first stop for any major purchase is the internet.
It’s important to remember that the average consumer spends 7 seconds on a website before they click away. While there are no statistics of this kind for the affluent niche, you can assume 7 seconds may be generous. With that in mind, take a look at your online presence. Does your home page immediately connect with a high net worth individual?
For example, if you’re a luxury resort, are you talking about family experiences, or are you highlighting the spa or the golf course? The affluent are more family-oriented than other demographic groups, so lifestyle experiences that speak to connecting with family are more likely to resonate than a description of the ‘world class spa’. If you’re wealthy, you have world class accommodations everywhere you vacation.
There were a few other important findings for marketers:
- The affluent believe that those companies NOT FOUND online have cheapened their brand
- The wealthier you are, the more likely you’ll be annoyed if you CAN’T find and purchase something online
- Brand awareness isn’t enough…you must have data to support the prospects’ need for due diligence
- Peer recommendations (testimonials) are a powerful tool among the wealthy. They all want to know, ‘Why are other people like myself buying this or looking at buying’?
Companies also need to think beyond their websites and look into other, more nonconventional, areas for advertising. I frequently remind clients that their online presence needs to go beyond websites and pay-per-click advertising.
For example, have you ever considered some of the places wealthy buyers are likely to go on the internet? Places like social networking sites, blogs and charity sites? What better place to get acquainted than a blog on a specific charity?
There are also many ‘cause-oriented’ sites like the green movement or political sites.
As with any marketing or advertising, it all goes back to understanding WHO your client is and how WHO they are helps you effectively market to them. Your marketing message shouldn’t be telling the prospect what you think they need to know, but rather finding out what they need to know about you and then crafting a message that resonates.
Why not attract the affluent with a message that says, ‘We understand who you are and why people like you purchase this product or service’.
By Adam Broitman, Director of Emerging and Creative Strategy, Morpheus Media
There is no doubt that over the past 10 years the world of media has gotten a facelift. The question I have been asking myself is–while the world of media was changing–did the definition of luxury change?
The definition of luxury has always been centered on certain core attributes–elegance, refinement, indulgence, comfort, service, quality and extravagance (to name just a few). Technology may have changed the way that certain luxuries are experienced but there is no substitution for the aforementioned qualities. In a phrase; luxury is timeless.
Given that the core attributes of luxury are timeless it is imperative that brand marketers keep up with the changing media landscape in order to present their brands in a way that highlights these attributes; the alternative is the decimation of a brand’s image and the relegation of products associated with these brands to becoming toys of the hoi polloi.
Many luxury retailers are doing a good job of replicating in store experience in the online space. On the flip side, a disturbingly large percent of luxury brands are doing an inadequate job of replicating their luxury image online. The disconnect lies in the fact that many luxury brand marketers simply don’t understand what luxury means in an interactive world. Some brand marketers do well with the surface level presentation of their brand online but completely gloss over the idea that the medium is the message. If online communications are treated like a digital magazine, a brand message can be completely distorted.
Let’s step away from the notion of luxury for a moment and think about how people access and find information online. According to the research center at the Pew Internet and American Life project, search engine usage has become the second most prevalent activity online (second only to email). 49% of internet users interact with a search engine on a daily basis (this is up from about 33% of internet users in 2002). It should come as no surprise that in an age where “google” is used as a verb, searching is the second most important online activity. What may come as a surprise to some is that higher income households are more likely to use a search engine on a given day. 62% of Internet users with a HHI $75k+ (this highest HHI bracket in this study) interact with search engines on a typical day. In light of this information brand managers that are not paying close attention to how their brand is found online have some catching up to do.
If you do a search for “Prada” on Google, the first natural ranking is from Prada. While I have a lot to say about how Prada’s site is optimized for search on the term “Prada”, I will save that for another time (or you can download the presentation I gave at the Luxury Interactive conference this year where I explore this topic further). If you do another, more focused search for “Prada sunglasses” you get the following results:
Paid Search Result Number One (paid search varies)
According to a study done by iProspect 68% of searchers will click on a result on the first page. Prada is nowhere to be found on the first page of results for the term “Prada sunglasses”. Furthermore, 39% of search users equate a company’s prominence with their position in a search engine. The sites that show up on SERP’s (search engine results pages) for the term “prada sunglasses” are not reflective of the way that most people think of the brand, and I imagine brand managers at Prada would not be happy with some of the associations that are being made through the sites found in these search results.
The new media landscape is more complex than ever before. In an era where you are how you are found, luxury brand marketers really need to take stock of how their brand is being presented to consumers. While search engine marketing may not seem like the most luxurious practice, one things is certain—findability is luxury.