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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

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Published in the Irish Marketing Review, 1994, vol.7, pp.16-30.


The “senior market” – males and females of 65 and over – is of enormous size and growth potential worldwide and commands sizeable financial resources. Yet stereotypical thinking abounds when it comes to this senior market: over 65s are too “rigid” to innovate; they lack spending power; it is inappropriate to segment this apparently homogeneous market. However, recent research is indicating that the opposite is in fact the case. Despite this evidence, few firms appear to operate the marketing concept in a comprehensive fashion for older consumers; their response is at best lacklustre, at worst denigratory. This article attempts to understand some of the reasons underpinning this negativity, as well as why and how they might be overcome. The success stories of the senior market portend that the greatest rewards will accrue to those firms which turn away from an unflattering negative image of the older consumer and direct their efforts instead towards a segment which is active, engaged and discerning.


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