Direct Marketing, Direct Selling, and the Mature Consumer: A Research Study

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This book reports and interprets the results of a major research study that investigated the shopping behavior of the mature consumer with regard to the principal types of direct response marketing: catalog shopping, direct mail, media ads, telephone solicitation, direct selling, party-plan selling, and in-home demonstrations. Sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the Andrus Foundation, the project represents the most thorough treatment of the older consumer published to date. Marketing managers, direct marketing specialists, and retailers will find here the data they need to make informed decisions and develop appropriate marketing strategies for reaching a growing, and often relatively affluent, segment of the U.S. consumer population. The study was based on an 8-page questionnaire to which more than 2500 subjects nationwide responded and which yielded information on respondents' willingness to purchase from various direct sources, actual purchase behavior, preferences for purchasing from direct sources, likes and dislikes about in-home shopping, and the characteristics that influence purchasing decisions. The authors also compared shopping behaviors and attitudes of older consumers with younger groups and analyzed differences on the basis of demographic and psychological variables. A wide range of practical findings issued from the study, including the fact that many mature consumers associate high pressure sales tactics with in-home shopping and evince a high degree of distrust of direct selling techniques. In the final chapter, the authors present practical recommendations for formulating and maintaining a marketplace offering that is satisfying to the mature shopper. Numerous tables and figures illustrate the statistical conclusions drawn from the study.