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The Segmentation of Elderly Consumers: A Literature Review

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The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the techniques used in marketing and consumer literature for segmenting elderly consumers as a target market. A systematic review of a five-decade period (1970-2018) of academic research in the marketing field was carried out in order to identify four segmentation approaches (i. e., generational; age; socio-demographic, physicalsocial and psychographic; gerontographic) employed in finding clusters of elderly consumers. The study underlines the need to consider the heterogeneous nature of elderly consumers' values and lifestyles in segmentation strategies, emphasising that demographic changes alone are not adequate to define effectively market segments. Segmenting consumers on chronological age can show several limitations, therefore, marketers should consider other factors and approaches when structuring effective targeting strategies. Results also provide confirmation that the old stereotypes about elderly consumers - which depicted them as poor, sick, inactive, and scarcely inclined to spend their money - are largely outdated. Furthermore, the role of mixed approaches in segmenting for the elderly is discussed, together with implications for companies when considering the actual needs of these consumers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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