A study released by Martini Media today reports agency executives estimate that 37 percent of mass marketers’ branding dollars are spent in digital marketing (online display, video, mobile), whereas only 31 percent of luxury marketers’ budgets are spent in that space. At the same time, research indicates that trend shifting in the next year, with a greater migration of luxury advertising spending from traditional display advertising into rich media.

San Francisco-based Martini Media, is a leading digital media and content platform for engaging with affluent audiences. The company’s publishing network includes 1,000 invite-only sites and premier publications like Tennis.com, Hemmings Motor News, and World Golf Tour, and reaches over 125M monthly unique users. Martini’s Luxury Brand Advertising 2012 Outlook study, developed in partnership with veteran research expert Michele Madansky and Digiday, polled over 345 luxury brand marketers, including Aston Martin, Baume and Mercier, Jaguar, and others, media agencies that represent the brands, and others.

The survey reveals what luxury brand marketers consider to be the most important factors when investing in online advertising. According to Madansky, “Luxury brands already know that affluent consumers are spending more time on digital and have become more difficult to reach through traditional media. This study’s intent was to gain a better understanding of what opportunities and issues are top of mind when luxury brands consider marketing to affluent consumers online.”

The study concentrated on four main focal points:

  • How luxury brand marketers are allocating dollars across digital platforms.
  • The most important factors in selecting digital media.
  • How the marketers measure success.
  • Which luxury advertisers are perceived to be doing a good job online.

As technology has evolved, so too has the advertising landscape. Luxury brand marketers now must focus on connecting with their mobile, active audience. Luxury marketers are increasingly focused on video and social media for their digital dollars. SiSoMo – sight, sound and motion – of online media is beginning to wean luxury advertisers away from the presumption that only glossy print magazines or television can adequately portray their goods in the right light.


Of course, this isn’t to imply that display advertising will ever go away entirely, and luxury marketers’ fondness for premium publishers, won’t decrease just because of how the consumer is engaging this media. The Tiffany’s kiosk display at Union Square in San Francisco adds ambiance, presence and glamour to the shopping district, but among luxury marketers already reaching their consumers online – digital media is perceived as more effective. So what may be next is an infusion of the two mediums complementing one another, and a greater reach amassed by the aggregation of niche media.