Targeting ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) with a net worth of $25 million USD all the way up to several billion has always been the holy grail of luxury marketing. Especially in ultra-high-ticket business models like superyacht or private jet sales, UHNWIs have always been the prime target. But with a net worth that high comes a certain difficulty in terms of targeting and, more importantly, reaching these VIPs. There are no foolproof methods for selling to multi-millionaires and billionaires, but this article will show you some important steps you can take to ensure that your campaign gets in front of the right people and nudges the UHNWI in question to reach out to YOU.
UHNWIs are hard to reach
(be it in-person or online)
Money-rich, time-poor, as the old saying goes. As an UHNWI you most likely will be running multiple businesses, manage a variety of financial assets or a whole family estate (stock portfolios, real estate, intellectual property, etc.), and deal with a large amount of staff and employees at the same time. Finding time to think about a new jet, a new yacht, or any other ultra-high-ticket item (be it for leisure or convenience) might be a second priority next to running your business and taking care of your family and friends (who in a lot of cases rely on you for financial support and problem solving as well). Getting attention from these people even for things that would help them or add joy to their lives is the most difficult challenge a luxury marketer can face in his or her career.
UHNWIs don’t make large
purchase decisions alone (usually)
If your business is real estate, and you are flying more than 100 hours every year across the world to visit a variety of development projects, wouldn’t having a private jet be nice? Or maybe in times like these when privacy and social distancing on a superyacht is the perfect opportunity to still have a nice summer vacation, wouldn’t it be great to have a vessel available at command? The real problem for these people is not really how to afford these items but which business jet or super yacht they should buy. They might be asking themselves questions like:
What kind of yacht is perfect for me? How can I make sure it fits my needs? What should the interior look like? How can a purchase like this reduce my tax exposure or help me increase tax write-offs? Should I pay cash for it or get financing? Is it going to be family friendly? How do you get the whole thing from A to B and deal with customs, legal registrations, and licenses? What about all the technological considerations?
At the end of the day, UHNWIs need help with making these large purchases, because simply relying on honest and transparent feedback from sales reps and brands is not going to be enough for them.
Their inner circle is
the key to influencing them
So, ultimately, our marketing should not only address the UHNWI directly, but also address the concerns and information needs of all the people involved in researching brands and options for them. Convincing a spouse, a personal assistant or a designer who works with a billionaire is the actual key to getting your marketing and offer in front of the prime decision-maker.
Who is usually part of their inner circle?
It really depends on the high-ticket business model you are in. For a $100k travel travel package, addressing the needs of the UHNWI, the spouse, and maybe a personal assistant or a private travel advisor might be enough in most of cases. The same goes for a hospitality loyalty program, an ultra-luxury suite or a vacation rental as well as for a lot of charter business models out there. Although charter companies in business aviation should also take corporate finance and legal departments into consideration. The difficulty starts in superyachting and new or owned jet purchases. All of a sudden, you need to deal not only with spouses and kids but also with lawyers, interior designers, naval architects, sales brokers, CFOs, CPAs, and more. It is not uncommon to have more than 10 people being involved overall several months in the commission of a new business jet or a superyacht. That is a lot of people that need to be convinced and satisfied.
How do you target their inner circle?
We recommend using an account-based approach where you start creating individual personas based on the typical advisors in your most common sales scenarios in addition to profiling only the UHNWI. For that you need to gather enough market and sales intelligence, deep dive into your CRM and analytics, study the results of previous campaigns, and layer demographics, geography, psychographics, neuromarketing insights, and media consumption behavior you have on these people over each other to model clear patterns of motivation and objection. In addition to that, you should have a good idea of how and where to advertise to these people. This means incorporating the emotional, career, and information needs of all these advisors as well as the core motivations and purchase triggers of your UHNWI into your content marketing, copywriting, video marketing, ad-creative, email templates, media channel selection, and so on. Sounds complex? We are not finished yet.
How do you target the UHWI?
Essentially, after mapping out the personas, this question should already be answered, at least partially. But to make it more clear, there are two major approaches to campaign planning based on having the right personas.
1) You create content and a unique web or app experience that targets the psychological profile of the UHNWI persona directly. Then you advertise it in the right places (on & offline) and, at the same time, you include pieces of information, reference material, and lead magnets specifically created for the respective advisor personas so that these people have all the initial information at hand once they start engaging with your brand.
2) You create several mini-campaigns on a variety of channels that engage estate lawyers, sales brokers, naval designers, etc. to position your brand as the go-to provider of products and services for UHNWIs in your space. You offer lead magnets, content, and materials that address their needs and showcases your brand. Eventually, they will put your name forward, and dialogue will ensue if their VIP is considering a high-ticket purchase. Of course, parallel to that can try to target the VIP directly but this will not be the main effort of the campaign.
How should I prioritize my budget
for my next UHNWI campaign?
Small advertisers with low 5 figure budgets most likely won’t have enough budget to engage in either of these strategies. They are best advised to design a simple funnel, make it creatively appealing, target it to the UHNWI persona that is most likely to engage directly with cost-effective media channels such as Google, Facebook, and so on and hope for the best. Large advertisers should explore and embrace the earlier mentioned strategies aggressively and should also be willing to invest a certain % of their eventual profit margin in marketing instead of planning fixed annual or quarterly budgets. This in turn allows them to diversify their media buys, create multiple funnels (a whole framework actually), and create content and lead magnets for all advisors and VIPs involved in the digital campaign.
What is the role of sales when it comes
to selling to UHNWIs?
Marketing can only do so much. Once your CRM starts filling up with a certain amount of inbound leads sales needs to take over and start developing these relationships and dialogues while luxury marketing can support them with collateral, lead or account nurturing, and useful data on the jet and yacht USPs that are important for the campaign. Ultimately both sales and marketing need to work closely together across the whole buyer’s journey to sell these ultra-high-ticket items consistently and on a large scale. If you need help targeting and attracting UHNWIs, fill out our callback request form.