Marketing To High Net Worth Individuals? Here’s Our 5 Tips

Published 2 years ago
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The end of the year is approaching, and while high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) will be focused on financial and tax planning, marketing professionals should be focused on how to better reach HNWIs.

According to a new report, HNWIs in the U.S. grew their wealth by 12.3% in 2020 (despite the pandemic). The tech industry led the way—accounting for 29% of HNWIs’ wealth earned in 2020.

What else is on the rise? New platforms, decreased attention spans and more content than any one person could consume in an average lifetime. Which means that, as a marketer who wants to connect with this cohort of consumers, you must be strategic by meeting HNWIs where they are—with what they want. 


To help you do that, Forbes recently surveyed 250 HNWIs from North America, EMEA and APAC to gather insights into how they’re managing their money, creating wealth and engaging in philanthropy. Using findings from our survey and anecdotes from Forbes Wealth Summit, we compiled five key themes that are top of mind for today’s wealthiest. 

With millions of HNWIs and thousands of brands vying for their attention, this is how you make sure your brand—and your content—stands out.

1. Environmental, Social and Governance 

Investors increasingly apply non-financial factors like ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) when analyzing risk and growth opportunities. Today’s investors want to ensure their investments aren’t funding unethical actions and affirm that they are investing in fixing problems—from inequality to climate change to equitable corporate governance. Data backs this up.

Our research found that 62% of HNWIs said making an impact (ESG, social justice, equity) was their primary goal today. Sixty two percent also said ESG/impact funds are a significant part of their portfolio.


2. Enduring Impact 

Impact creates opportunity. So it’s no surprise that investor interest in sustainable, responsible, and impact investing (SRI) has been increasing year over year. In fact, when we asked HNWIs about the most important financial lessons they’ve learned that they’d like to pass along to the next generation, 56% said to prioritize ESG investing.

We’ve also seen the power of impact firsthand through our work with Nuveen. The global investment manager wanted to reach financial advisors and empower them to incorporate impact strategies into their client portfolio. We worked together to activate a 2x award-winning approach to reach investors who achieved attractive returns while creating an enduring impact on the world. 

3. Blockchain and Crypto

More and more HNWIs are paying attention to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Our research found that while ESG was a top priority for HNWIs with themed investments, disruptive tech (e.g., blockchain, robotics, autonomous and electric vehicles, 5G) took second place.

Plus, the crypto market itself has reached an eye-popping $2.3 trillionCathie Wood, the founder, CEO and CIO of Ark Investment Management, spoke at Forbes Wealth Summit about how we’re in early-stage growth of the market. Wood also discussed how convergence among and between technologies is causing creative destruction and growth—signaling that this is only the beginning of innovation and an area many HNWIs are closely watching. 


4. Highlight a Holistic View 

Skip the myopic focus, said Ben Dell, the founder & managing partner of Kimmeridge, at this year’s Wealth Summit. Dell wants to see individuals activating in their community and taking a more holistic approach. While Dell’s comments were in reference to bringing us to net-zero, marketers can glean a valuable insight—to not lean on short-sighted or short-term solutions to reach consumers.

HNWIs are thinking forward too. When we asked them about their primary investment goals five years from now, 41% said preserving their wealth for future generations. And when we asked HNWIs about the main reasons they turned to or planned to turn to ESG investments, 85% said ESG represents long-term thinking. So, to truly provide value to this group, marketers must highlight a holistic view.

5. Return on Investment 

One way to consider this ROI is by thinking about time. As a marketer, you want to reach HNWIs where they are and give them value for the time they spend engaging with your brand. After all, these HNWIs know very well that time is money. How do you make the most of their time?

Take Forbes, for example, where more than 13.3M visitors will spend more on products from a brand they trust—reaching 92.5% more quality seekers than the next leading competitor. Our audience is also 60% more likely to have an HHI of $150K+ and encompasses 56% of all C-Suite leaders. So, you want to make the most of HNWIs time? Connect with them on


By Sonya Matejko, Forbes Staff