According to a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, reported by Direct Marketing News, affluent consumers are more willing to share their information for a personalized experience than the general population. IAB commissioned Ipsos Mendelsohn to survey 2,088 adults and found that 32% of affluent customers (household income over $100,000) were willing to share their information online, versus 26% of the general population.

Affluent customers spend an average of four more hours online weekly than the general populace, and watch almost half as much TV. It seems that affluent consumers are more reachable via digital channels, and more open to trading information for something to enhance their user experience with more relevance. Now that seems like good news for the email marketing industry!

More time online may be the reason why more affluent consumers are willing to “give to receive.” Perhaps they are a bit more comfortable in the digital world due to acclimatization.

Sherrill Mane, SVP of industry services at IAB, said the findings suggest affluent customers appreciate something which increases relevancy and efficiency in their lives.

“They’re open to the notion of quid pro quo: I will share, I will give you something about myself, if you give me what’s relevant to me. I think that’s kind of groundbreaking,” said Mane. “It shows you how well they understand the value proposition of sharing information in order to get something. These are people who are very busy, and I think to them if advertising can help organize their lives and make their lives more efficient, they will participate in that process.”

I don’t believe that these numbers reveal any secret knowledge on the part of affluent consumers. Groundbreaking yes, but only because this demographic is seemingly setting the path for the rest — as I said, I suspect they are simply ahead of the pack because they tend to be more wired.

The good news is that consumers are beginning to realize that they are active participants in the dialogue with brands. For a quality relationship which adds value to their lives, they understand they have to participate.

The issue for marketers to consider is how easy you want that participation to be for them. Do you want to force subscribers to fill out forms and check boxes in preference centers, thus taking up more of their time or do you want that relationship to be built in real time based on their choices and behavior, thus saving your subscribers time and increasing your value to them with enhanced relevancy?