Advocates are High Earners By John Stanley In previous articles and conference presentations Iï¿½ve often talked about getting your consumers to become advocates, hence our popular conference presentation ï¿½Ban the Customer and Grow Your Businessï¿½. But what is actually happening out there? According to research by Maritz Loyalty Marketing and reported in the St Louis Newswire on February 8th in America, the richer you are, the more likely you are to be an advocate. According to the research carried out by Gail Sneed of Maritz Marketing the tipping point is a salary of US$123,000 and above. The Tipping Point According to Gail, at that point 70% of consumers are more loyal to businesses that provide a rewards program that they feel they can relate to. This market segment will spend more time doing their research to find a loyalty program that suits their needs and provides them with rewards they can relate to. But what are those rewards? Many reward programs are linked to frequent flyer miles programs that provide free travel to loyal customers. This market sector often travels and more travelling may not be the incentive that turns them on. Gailï¿½s research reinforces this, with 70% of those questioned in this demographic group demanding rewards. 62% are requesting free travel. But what is even more interesting is that 50% of this demographic group will actually ï¿½re-giftï¿½ their rewards to family, friends and work colleagues. They are Truly Loyal 31% of consumers drop in and out of loyalty programs and rarely stay in them for two years. But the rich are loyal. Only 10% of those surveyed drop out in a two year period. This indicates that they do their homework before joining and then stay in the ï¿½loopï¿½ to ensure they get their just rewards. In fact, 95% of them redeem their points for rewards compared to 79% in general surveys. This shows that this market is serious about the rewards game. As Maritz Loyalty Marketing points out, this is a market sector that does not need to save money, but is the sector that uses rewards points the most to save money on household items rather than accumulating them for the trip of a lifetime. Multi Credit Card Users 45% of high income users have a stash of credit cards in their wallets and purses with 41% using a main bank credit card. What is most interesting is that 64% of them would use their main bank credit card more often if they perceived the rewards justified it. To highlight this, in the USA, 92% of this target group have investment products, 64% have mortgages, but only 17% and 40% respectively use their main bank to purchase these. Now thereï¿½s an opportunity for a bank to gain market share! Especially as 75% of this group actually says they will shift if the incentive is there. Where Does This Leave the Retailer? Target marketing is a real key to success, and according to this, targeting the high earners could be a real bonus. More and more businesses are segregating their consumers and providing different packages. The airline industry does this with Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze customers. Why not develop a similar system in general retailing? The future of marketing will be about splitting consumers into Generation Y, X, Jonesï¿½, Baby Boomers and Greying Tigers. Perhaps we should also be looking at an income split as well to grow the business.