The $800 billion gold mine

Date of publication: June 15, 1991

Author: Albert J. Yesk

Abstract:

Although marketers have historically been willing to write off consumers (and their disposable incomes) when they reached their fiftieth birthdays, the TRUE potential of this population segment has finally been recognized. The Yankelovich MONITOR, now entering its third decade as the leader in tracking social values and trends, has investigated the consuming trends of the United States Mature Market and determined that this segment of the population is a difficult one to ignore. This presentation will examine and describe the attitudes, lifestyles and purchasing habits of the U.S. Mature market, based on the findings from the Yankelovich MONITOR (2,500 personal interviews with adult Americans ages 16 and over, including 800 with adults ages 50 and over, conducted annually since 1970) and the Yankelovich Senior MONITOR (a special look at the 50-plus market in the U.S. 1,3 personal interviews conducted in 1988). Topics covered include perceptions of self and aging, social relationships and the family, leisure/travel behavior, health/medical issues, money and financial attitudes as well as how to market and communicate effectively to the crucial segment of the U.S. population. By looking at the U.S. Mature Market not only in terms of demographics and behavior, but basic attitudes and values as well, we will begin to explain how these people see themselves and the world around them. We will discuss what is important to them in the current environment and what they believe in and how all these values change over time. Finally, we will show how marketers who share this focus will have a substantial advantage in dealing with this key American market of the future.

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