How luxury brands can market to affluent customers with Podcasts

#AudioInsights       #Audio ads       #Marketing Strategy

Suzi Kuban

Suzi Kuban

Whether you’re the high-end business or an agency managing luxury brands, your marketing mission is clear; bring awareness and prove the value of the product/service among affluent customers. To do this, selecting the right media channel is paramount.

On the subject of marketing to affluent customers, I came across some interesting data. While a couple of years old, from our work with luxury clients it still proves to be true today:

“People with high disposable income (a.k.a “affluent” – those making $100k+ income) are less reactive to straight advertising.”

The report I mention is the U.S. Purchase Influencers 2019 Report. Inside it says 46% of affluent consumers feel overexposed to ads while using search engines. Additionally 37% feel the same about online video. BUT! Here’s where it gets interesting. At the same time, affluents (and Millennials too!) state they have made a purchase in the past 6 months as a result of podcast advertising. This compares to video and search. This suggests podcasts are one of the more powerful media channels for this segment.


Why podcasts work for luxury brands

In a nutshell, the three big reasons podcast marketing works are because they are popular, attention on what’s being heard is high, and people trust what they hear.

For luxury brands that means it is a media that can demonstrate quality, expertise, and value – all wrapped up in a creative that’s full of story, emotion and aspiration.

Another key benefit is relevance. With millions of shows, aligning to contextually relevant content and targeting specific demographics is easy.

How to use podcasts in luxury marketing

One great approach to audio marketing for luxury is podcast show creation.  Launching a branded podcast helps with targeting people that listen to your topic of interest. Plus it adds value to the listeners by being educational, entertaining, authentic, and impactful.

Before you start thinking that creating a show is too much; hear me out. It doesn’t need to be daily uploads or 1,000’s hours of scripts.

Creating a podcast could be similar to what we used to experience with print magazines. Years ago many luxury brands like Cartier would release periodic glossy magazines diving into themes, lifestyles, trends etc. In our case, the podcast is an updated digital reinterpretation of this concept. A seasonal podcast that takes a more thoughtful approach to marketing; giving a distinct way of expressing the brand’s value without being straight advertising.

You see many brands such as Gucci, Chanel and Dior using podcasts as a channel to get their information and brand to a specific audience in a different, and more intimate manner.

You can use your show to discuss trends and talk to customers, experts and celebrities while remaining in line with your core brand values. This approach positions you as an absolute expert and influencer in the sector.

Two other podcast advertising ideas

If show creation is too much or you just want to dip your toe into audio advertising, show sponsorship and Dynamically Inserted Ads (DIA) are also great strategies to communicate with affluent audiences.



With DIA you can address a larger audience while still in the intimate setting of podcasts. Perfect for brand awareness campaigns. There is a diverse range of 2 million shows across various hosting platforms allowing for deep targeting. The mass reach and contextual relevance of DIA are the two essential ingredients for successful high-end campaigns. We recently completed a campaign for Valentino to promote the Voce Viva Eau de Parfum. We were able to reach National and expat females aged 18-34 years old, living in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. We achieved a 96% listen-through rate, and the brand lift study shows improved likeability of the brand by +27 points and increased purchase intention by +18 points.



Sponsorship of a show that has an established audience boosts trust and buy-in as well as awareness. When a show features your brand they’ll bring it to life without being straight advertising. And as we learned earlier, this is what affluent customers want. There are a few approaches, the most popular being hosts reads and product placement. With product placement, you will feature in the episode content itself in a casual manner. The host will organically use your brand/product/service within the conversation. Host reads are scripted ads with a call for listeners to visit a website or some other action and then dynamically inserted. Learn more about sponsorships and podcast influencers. Learn about branded podcast shows here 

The bottom line

With luxury leaders like Chanel and Cartier already utilising audio marketing, the podcast trend is here to stay. Now marks a time for all high-end brands to rethink the traditional idea of showcasing a luxury product in a visual manner. Instead move to a value-based strategy that uses audio to tell a story, and trigger emotion and aspiration.

Move away from the look of luxury to the sound of luxury.

The podcast medium is cheaper than TV or print advertising but does require creative and targeting thoughtfulness to be effective. This is because the podcast connection to an audience is much more intimate than video or social. Partnering with audio producers and marketers that can direct on story-telling, platforms and performance will give you the best ROI.

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