How to Target UHNWIs in Monaco

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Rumble Romagnoli   Contributor

How to Target UHNWIs in Monaco

Photo: Tom Wheatley/ Unsplash

UHNWI Targeting: How To Target Monaco’s Rich 

Monaco is well known for its unique wealth status, with one in three people living in the tiny sovereign state being millionaires. Some 32% of the 38,000-plus residents living in Monaco are said to be HNWIs, with the number of millionaires having increased by 12% between 2013 and 2018, according to the 2019 Knight Frank Wealth Report. Another telling fact is that in 2020, Monaco recorded an inflow of capital worth between 5 and 7 billion euros, with one in 29 residents now being considered UHNWIs, which is defined as $30 million or above by Mansion Global. With real estate prices at an average of 50,000 € per square metre, this level of wealth is perhaps unsurprising.

Second to Monaco's unique wealth status is its diminutive size, which makes its monied population an unusually captive audience. The world’s second smallest nation after the Vatican City, the Principality is famously just 0.78 miles square, making it one of the densest countries on the globe. With such a potentially lucrative market, how best can luxury goods and services tap into the psychology of Monaco’s rich and market their products to this highly attractive consumer group? 

A profile of Monaco’s rich

The majority of Monaco's 38,100 residents are foreigners, with only around 9,000 having actually been born there, according to the Principality’s official statistics. There are currently 139 nationalities represented in Monaco, with French, Italian, Swiss and British nationals making up the majority of the foreigners resident in the Principality, according to “Monaco in Figures – 2020 Edition”, published by the Monegasque Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (IMSEE). Several other nationalities, namely Belgian, Russian, German, Danish and the United States of America have communities numbering in the hundreds. 

The average age of Monaco residents is 46.4 years old, with the majority being married and more than 46% being in full time employment, according to Monaco en Chiffres 2020. When they are not working, there is a huge gamut of sporting and cultural activities that residents can take advantage of, such as The Monte-Carlo Opera, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, The Philharmonic Orchestra, the F1 Grand Prix and Rolex Masters Tennis, to name but a few. There are also a number of associations and membership clubs which are extremely popular amongst Monaco’ wealthy residents, such as The Yacht Club de Monaco, The Automobile Club de Monaco and the Monte-Carlo Country Club. The Club des Residents Etrangers de Monaco (CREM) is also a highly-sought after venue amongst the Monaco expat community. 

UHNWI targeting online 

There is an old misconception among luxury brands that digital marketing is incompatible with the luxury industry, and that UHNWIs do not use social media platforms or buy online. However, in 2021 this is simply not the case. A study conducted by PwC found that 98% of HNWIs access the internet daily and that the world’s wealthiest now expect online and digital functionality in many aspects of their lives. 

A variety of different digital methods are proven to be effective in raising awareness of luxury products, and they work best when combined. Use search engine optimisation to ensure that your website is visible when HNWIs are entering search terms into Google, making localised search terms including ‘Monaco’ a core part of your SEO strategy. You may think that using terms like ‘luxury’ would boost your chance of reaching the ultra-rich, but actually we have found that wealthy people don’t typically describe their chosen activities and services as luxury, thinking of them instead as an everyday occurrence. 

You should also think strategically about the languages that your website is published in. English and French are the most commonly spoken languages in Monaco, so ideally your website will be offered in both, but you could also consider translating pages into Italian or Russian to appeal to others, depending on your target audience.

Use digital advertising to reach your audience by ensuring that you are targeting Monaco at a country level - this will ensure that you are reaching people who own property in the Principality, excluding most people who work there but don't actually live in Monaco, who are likely to be less affluent. The audience for digital advertising in the Principality is already so small that we would advise not specifying a device, in order to give your ads the best chance of being seen.

Social media is a great way to build brand awareness. Reach Monaco’s rich by geo-tagging Monaco on your posts, using highly targeted hashtags, tagging luxury publications, and researching to understand the content that wealthy people want to find and consume. On Instagram, you can also try tagging Monaco-centric and/or relevant luxury brands in your posts. Blogging and digital PR are ideal for targeting this niche group, making sure your brand’s editorial pieces can be found in Monaco publications - just make sure that the content is engaging and relevant for your elite audience, ideally with some stunning visuals to accompany the articles.

How to target Monaco’s rich offline

An international crowd, residents predominantly travel to and from Monaco via Nice Côte d’Azur International airport, which boasts the second biggest private aviation terminal in France with 156,000+ VIP passengers each year. As vaccination programmes continue and global travel becomes part of everyday life once more, advertising opportunities there and at Monaco’s heliport in Fontvieille can offer considerable brand exposure, as do OOH (out-of-home) marketing products in and around the Principality, especially during hotly anticipated events such as the F1 Grand Prix. 

Despite travelling frequently, the population of Monaco is a tight-knit community which frequents an exclusive number of restaurants, bars and boutiques. Depending on your brand, one option would be to partner with one of these establishments frequently visited by HNW and UHNWs, associating your service or product with a business that is already trusted by Monaco’s elite. However, this isn’t something that should be done without a strong strategy, as it will only work if your brands make sense together. 

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Rumble Romagnoli   Contributor

Rumble Romagnoli is the founder and president at Relevance, a full-service luxury digital marketing agency specialised in targeting UHNWIs. Rumble has 25+ years of experience working in digital and has helped over 200 businesses – from international companies to start-ups – navigate their marketing approach. He excels in defining online strategies and concepts for exclusive and luxury brands through digital marketing, especially for superyachts, aviation, real estate, luxury travel, hotels, beauty and fashion. In addition, Rumble frequently gives talks at marketing and digital conferences, and is also an adjunct professor of Digital Marketing at the International University of Monaco.