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Business Travellers – Marketing’s Untapped Big Spenders
Image Credit  Nick Harris Creative Commons license

Business Travellers – Marketing’s Untapped Big Spenders

Business travellers cut the figure of attractive customers for many brands. Research proves those travelling frequently for work often hold senior positions, making above-average money and are naturally more inclined to invest in technology, financial services, and high-end retail products. These are typically purchased online, since they are regularly on the go.

According to recent research at ADARA, combining insights from our global travel data stack as well as qualitative interviews, business travellers are twice as likely as the average consumer to earn salaries over $100,000 and rely on online sources much more heavily when making purchase decisions. Having a clear understanding of how to engage this group with online content, and when the best time is to capture their attention can yield significant impact for marketers. 

Purchasing platforms

As part of our studies into the travel industry, we found that four in five business travellers do more than half of their shopping online, and in addition, are three-and-a-half times as likely to have spent over $1,000 (£645) online in the past six months compared to non-travellers.

Business travellers are frequently on the move and as a result, they are much more reliant on connected devices and engaging with online content than the average population. At least nine in ten business travellers rely on their smartphone (90%) and tablet (95%) to complete purchase activity and the time business travellers spend online on mobile devices is 40% higher than the general population. Seven in ten business travellers (68%) regularly use social media and spend less than half the time watching TV as the general population. 

Big spenders 

According to our findings, business travellers typically have a preference for new technologies, cars and luxury items. They are also savvy when it comes to their personal finances, but here are some of their other key attributes:

  • Early tech adopters: Electronic goods are one of business travellers’ prime purchases with two in three (63%) spending money on technology products compared to only 46% of non-travellers. Connected technologies hold a particular appeal to the business traveller market and marketing should be targeted accordingly. For example, 13% of business travellers own a wearable device and 22% plan to buy one in the next six months compared to 8% and 13% of leisure travellers respectively. Similarly, 16% of business travellers already own a smart watch and 18% intend to buy one in the next six months compared to 10% and 10% of leisure travellers, respectively.  
  • Luxury Retail: Three in four (74%) business travellers have purchased luxury goods in the last 30 days. This compares to less than one in two leisure travellers (48%) and only one in ten non-travellers (11%). Business travellers are twice as likely to purchase high-end jewellery as leisure travellers (29% and 16% respectively). Similarly, they are almost twice as likely to purchase a luxury watch (39% and 23% respectively).
  • Petrol heads: Automotive marketing is heavily biased towards key target groups and of course those who are considering making a purchase. For business travellers, buying a new car is high on the agenda with over half (56%) looking for a new vehicle within the next year. This compares to only (38%) of leisure travellers and an eighth (12%) of non-travellers.
  • Financially switched on: Approximately a third of business travellers will consider switching their bank (32%) and home insurance provider (41%) on a regular basis compared leisure travellers. They are also much more likely to take out life insurance compared to leisure travellers with 63% investing in this compared to just 23%. Credit card rewards are also of particular appeal to the business traveller community. Seven in ten cite this as one of the key factors influencing a purchase decision. And consequently, 46% more likely to own a premium credit card than the leisure travellers.

Valuable consumers 

As the above will clarify, there is no doubt that business travellers are more willing to spend than their leisure travelling counterparts and have to represent a valuable audience for companies looking to market high-value products. They are a growing consumer demographic that is affluent, socially active and tech-savvy and should be considered a vital part of a brand’s overall marketing strategy.

Elizabeth Harz

Elizabeth Harz

Elizabeth is an experienced media executive focused on accelerating global advertising businesses for ADARA. She has spent more than twenty years using technology and insights to help marketers deliver business results. Before joining ADARA, Elizabeth held executive roles at Chegg, Electronic Arts and Yahoo! where she oversaw marketing strategies.

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