How to reach High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs)
by Garett Farrell

A HNWI is generally considered to be those with liquid assets (after liabilities) of £1m+. There are also Very HNWIs and Ultra HNWIs who fall into even higher brackets of liquid asset value – think royalty and footballers!

Targeting high net worth individuals (HNWIs) has always been challenging, but as media has fragmented, so too has the sought-after targets for luxury and financial brands. The days of simply buying a print ad in the FT are long gone.

These affluent individuals possess considerable financial resources and wield significant purchasing power, however, reaching HNWIs requires a nuanced approach, especially considering recent developments such as the demise of cookies. So, let’s explore effective strategies for targeting HNWIs both on, and offline.

Effectively reaching HNWI’s online

Forbes 2023 High Net Worth Survey found that the majority of HNWI’s now buy most of their luxury goods online, so for brands to continue to target these specific audiences after the end of 3rd party cookies, new methods will be required.

In the absence of third-party data, this means alternative targeting methods such as contextual advertising and first-party data. Contextual advertising involves placing ads on websites relevant to the content being viewed, thereby reaching HNWIs based on their interests rather than their individual browsing history.

Similarly, leveraging first-party data allows brands to target HNWIs using their own customer data, ensuring privacy compliance while still delivering relevant and personalised experiences.

How about social?

Social networks have emerged as powerful platforms for reaching HNWIs, offering unparalleled opportunities for engagement and interaction. However, not all social networks are equally effective in reaching this affluent audience.

Instagram, with its visually driven interface and emphasis on lifestyle content, has become a favourite among luxury brands seeking to connect with HNWIs. Similarly, LinkedIn provides a professional platform for targeting HNWIs in a business context. With its emphasis on networking and industry insights, LinkedIn offers a valuable opportunity for B2B (and increasingly B2C) brands to engage with affluent decision-makers in a more professional setting.

Or influencers…

You may think influencers are a new channel, but they certainly aren’t in the world of luxury. Take Rolex, they leveraged influencers right from the start, partnering with Mercedes Gleitze in 1927. She took on the challenge of swimming the English Channel in just under 16 hours and wore a Rolex Oyster timepiece, proving that it was indeed waterproof!

Should you consider premium publishers?

Another option for reaching HNWIs is a media buy with premium publishers. This could take the form of standard display, video, or a content partnership. By aligning with reputable publishers, brands can enhance their credibility and reach a targeted audience with relevant and engaging content.

Effective offline channels

In addition to online strategies, offline channels can also be effective in reaching HNWIs, particularly in highly curated environments such as wealthy neighbourhoods or exclusive sporting events such as F1, tennis, golf and rugby.

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising in airports or wealthy neighbourhoods provides a captive audience of affluent individuals who are likely to be receptive to advertising messages. With eye-catching displays and targeted messaging, DOOH advertising can make a lasting impression on HNWIs during their daily routines.

A further option could be Taxi media, which offers another opportunity to reach HNWIs in urban environments, where affluent individuals are often on the move. By placing ads on taxis, brands can capture attention in high-traffic areas where other forms of advertising may be less effective.

Reaching high net worth individuals online requires a strategic approach that combines innovative digital strategies with traditional offline channels. By leveraging social networks, premium publishers, offline channels, and influencer partnerships brands can effectively engage HNWIs and drive success.

March 21, 2024

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