Following the Money: Marketing to Affluent Internet Users

With affluent Americans making up a greater percentage of the online population than the population at large, there are unique opportunities for online marketers to reach this high-value target segment. One tool media planners can use to accomplish this is Compete’s Behavior Match product suite — a tool that scores the entire web and generates a list of the top several thousand sites matching the segment, in this case, affluent Americans (those earning $100,000 and up).

Of particular interest here are torso websites (those getting 50,000 to 500,000 monthly unique visitors) with high composition indices of affluent Americans. These sites, although usually under-leveraged by ad networks and underused by media buyers, reach valuable niche audiences and can be efficiently and effectively used by creative brand advertisers to achieve success. Among the top torso websites that accept advertising and whose audience is overrepresented by affluent Americans are:

(The first line to be read as: In February 2008, Affluent Americans were 2.69X more likely to visit battellemedia.com than the average internet user; 26,700 Affluent Americans visited the domain in the month.)

Torso Domain Findings:

  • Composition indices of target segments among torso sites tend to dwarf those at larger sites, contributing to the efficiency of marketing campaigns on torso sites.
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, news and media and blogging sites dominate this (advertising-supported) list. Moreover, the subject matter of these sites mirrors some of the higher paying professional fields: Advertising, Business, Finance, Marketing, Media, Technology, etc.
  • In addition to looking at the overall top-indexing torso websites, media planners and brand marketers can use Behavior Match to look within specific industries. For instance, marketers looking to reach affluent travelers may seek out travel-specific websites on which to advertise:

Torso Domain Findings — Travel:

  • While larger websites and/or the online properties of more established offline brands such as Travel and Leisure or Fodors might already be sought out by marketers, Behavior Match can be used to identify hidden torso gems that might otherwise be overlooked (e.g. FlyerTalk, Cruise Critic, Cruise Mates).

Similarly, marketers looking to reach affluent financial services enthusiasts may use the tool to do the same:

Torso Domain Findings — Financial Services:

  • Although larger financial service sites such as thestreet.com (Comp. Index 111, Feb. 2008) and smartmoney.com (Comp. Index 107, Feb. 2008) may often be the target of marketers looking to reach this affluent segment, marketers can identify properties that are more effective (higher composition indices) and efficient (lower CPM) such as those in the above list.

Media planners and others can use Behavior Match to harness the power of segmentation and track the ever-changing behavior of high-value target segments (e.g. affluent internet users). Furthermore, the tool allows planners and marketers to execute highly efficient campaigns by identifying appropriate "torso" websites which, on average, have lower CPM and higher target segment composition indices when compared to those with significantly more unique visitors per month.

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