Survey Reveals Luxury Marketing Gaps

NEW YORK A recent study by Echelon Marketing Group revealed luxury marketers need a better economic understanding of their target, the most affluent consumers in the U.S., and more effective means of reaching them.

“Marketers rely primarily on four categories of data—demographic, geographic, behavioral and attitudinal—however, luxury marketers not so much,” said Echelon president Don Neal. “To understand who can afford expensive products and the impact of money on their attitudes and behaviors, they also need to consider a fifth category based on economic insights.” Neal calls that fifth category “econographic” data.

Most luxury marketers operate more on intuition than this data, he said.

The study also revealed that 85 percent of luxury goods marketers want to engage in more one-on-one marketing; however, only half of them actually do so.

The study also showed consumers assume luxury brands have large marketing departments, which Neal said is not true. “Most are good at brand imagery, but not so much at data-driven marketing or focused consumer messaging,” he said.

Finally, the study revealed that e-mail is the least able vehicle for presenting a luxury brand image. More effective methods, Neal said, include direct mail, catalogs, telephone calls and special events that involve the consumers.

“When invitations are sent to a select group to test drive cars during a special event, research shows six out of 10 of them wind up buying a car,” he said.

Echelon is based in McLean, Va.

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