This paper seeks to show the different impacts of demographic development on International Marketing and how enterprises may deal with this phenomenon. With the worldwide population ageing, new markets and new opportunities are opening for entrepreneurs. This shift in demographic development mainly concerns developed and few new industrialized countries at the moment. We may assume that emerging countries will have to face the same consequences on marketing to older adults when the reach a certain level of development. However this paper will focus on developed countries, which are the most concerned by marketing to older consumers. In the context of demographic development, older markets have become a major segment for marketers to deal with. However many studies show that this market is still unknown or at least badly known. What is the real impact of demographic development on international marketing? Why do marketers have so much of difficulties to deal with this population although it could be a very lucrative market?
[...] However according to Wolfe the main mistake of the marketers is not to consider ageing as the accomplishment of self-realization. Similar or approaching statements could be found in other studies. Carrigan and Szmigin (1999) quote studies led by Long (1998), Lee (1997), Miller (1993) and Treguer (1998) which show that marketers do not target older consumers because it is not a guarantee of success as far as younger consumers are concerned. Marketing to older consumers was for a long time seen as marketing to and considered as a “kiss of death”. [...]
[...] The next stage (the 1980s), marketers began to take the demographic development into account and considering the 50-plus segment as important in reason of their “large number and wealth” (Moschis, 2003). However, the knowledge of mature markets is quite recent and partially known as it is pointed out by Rizad Ahmad (2002). For instance, marketers and managers only have general ideas and stereotypes on older markets. Furthermore, according to Ahmad it is difficult to “pin-point” this segment, nevertheless old consumers are less likely to change their habits than younger consumers. [...]
[...] Wealth is definitely one of the main reasons of why older consumers represent a very important marketing segment nowadays Further more, according to a survey published in “WirtschaftsWoche” 81% of persons over 50 years at least partly agree to the fact that they will rather go for a good life than to save (Source: GfK). Even though “having money does not mean spending (Moschis, 2003), we cannot deny that wealth of older people pushes them to spend for specific needs. [...]
[...] David Wolfe (1997) develops the theory of “Developmental Relationship Marketing” which consists in to add human development to relationship marketing. This method shows how mind and brain process information. This process changes with age so that we do not perceive and advertisements the same way whether we are 40 years old or 60. According to Wolfe, older people are more sensitive to emotion than younger adults but less sensitive than the younger to the opinion of the others. For example it would be mistake address direct messages to older consumers with individual arguments as it would be a risk of polarizing consumers. [...]
[...] V Conclusion This paper presented the impact of demographic development on international marketing with the example of older markets. We saw that demographic changes have important repercussions on marketing methods. It seems essential to mention that one of the most important issues with demographic development is the ability for marketers to adapt to a new context. Indeed, older markets are a great opportunity for marketers to make money, however the several mistakes which have been done over the past years have damaged the effectiveness to target older consumers. [...]
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