American Marketer


Facebook ranks 3rd for reach, 28th for engagement: report

November 10, 2014

Mercedes-Benz' build your own GLA Instagram effort Mercedes-Benz' build your own GLA Instagram effort


The mix of platforms a brand invests in changes depending on the target demographic, but traditional platforms still provide a strong foundation, according to a new report by the Shullman Research Center.

Television and magazines received high scores from survey respondents across categories, and less-frequented digital platforms such as Flickr and Skype received surprisingly high engagement levels. What this means for marketers changes on a case to case basis.

"Traditional still has reach, the digital big picture is clearly emerging as a very engaging, but lacks reach in certain respects," said Bob Shullman, founder/CEO of the Shullman Research Center, New York.

"It's a big menu," he said. "But it's a very challenging environment.

"It depends on who your target is, your budget and the objectives of what you want to do."

The "Communicating with Luxury, Affluent and Wealthy Consumers in Today’s Cross-Media World" report looks at 68 online and offline platforms form the perspectives of reach and engagement. A total of 1,665 respondents across five income brackets were surveyed.

Continual change
Marketers continually puzzle over where and how they can reach consumers.

In the past several years, digital marketing has occupied essentially every brand that wants to grow. Social media and mobile have revolutionized how brands interact with consumers, and key platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have risen to the top.

While traditional mediums such as print and television have waned in the past decade, they still remain go-to platforms. Television had the highest reach among consumers ultra-affluent consumers in the survey, followed by Facebook, emails and Web sites.

Lancome Genefique email

Lancome email

Respondents reported having the highest interest in advertisements found on unexpected, outlier platforms. Skype, Flickr, Tumblr and Pinterest surprisingly were deemed the most engaging platforms for affluent consumers.

According to the survey, these platforms are more engaging than the prince of social media, Instagram.

However, marketers have to balance engagement and reach. Some of the more obscure platforms may have high engagement from regular users, but the reach is often minimal.

Bally Tumblr

Bally's Tumblr

Conversely, while Facebook engagement may be lower, the platform's massive reach is the real strength.

Mr. Shullman also noted that out-of-home advertising, especially during events, is an effective way to attract consumers.

In the now

A recent report by the Shullman Research Center found that consumers across demographic categories, especially the ultra-affluent, will be shopping at online-only retailers this holiday season.

Although consumers will also be spending time in department stores and other retail locations, the prevalence of online-only retail preference speaks to a growing demand for convenience. As consumers weigh their purchasing options, the outcome often comes out in favor of online shopping (see story).

Looking toward the holidays, marketers will likely invest in the platforms that are known to boost interaction and sales.

"Either [marketers] can pay for reach, or they can influence consumers to talk about their products and services," Mr. Shullman said.

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, staff writer on Luxury Daily, New York