A major research exercise identifying and quantifying relevant consumer groups in over 60's market: The hotel industry

Date of publication: June 15, 1989


Although the marketing world claims to have woken up to 'grey power' our experience suggests that much of the thinking behind propositions aimed at older people is still founded on cliche and misconception. We formed this view in the course of developing a new product for Trusthouse Forte, designed specifically for the over 60's market. In the process of our work we had to review a large body of existing data, research and communications, and repeatedly came up against these problems: - analysis of statistical data which was too simplistic for our purposes - segmentations of attitudinal types which we found unactionable as they were not quantified In order to develop a better understanding of the over 60's a major research exercise was conducted aimed at identifying and quantifying relevant consumer groups amongst the broad target for a specific hotel product. The results of this exercise and a subsequent communications check have important lessons for all those with an Interest in marketing directed at older people. Fieldwork took the form of in-home interviews with respondents aged 60-75. The sample was quota-controlled for sex, age and social group. The interview schedule included 53 attitude statements to which interviewees were asked to respond using a five-point semantic scale of response from "agree strongly" to "disagree strongly". The data collected was first reduced to nine factors (factor solutions of one to fifteen factors were examined). The nine factors were then used to segment the sample into clusters. Cluster solutions producing from two to twelve clusters were examined. The six cluster solution was chosen. This analysis defined six groups within the market in terms of an inter-relationship between demographics, attitudes and life style factors. The data is eminently actionable, providing at it does, a picture of different types and individuals which the marketeer can visualise and thus target more effectively.

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