The grey awakening: a South African perspective

Justin Beneke (School of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Nicole Frey (School of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Ruth Chapman (School of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Nontuthuzelo Mashaba (School of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Tatum Howie (School of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Publication date: 22 March 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This article is the culmination of an exploratory study into the mature market (defined as over the age of 55) in South Africa. The article aims to focus on the mature market's media consumption, perception of portrayal in the media, adoption of technology, and outlook on life – all of which influence their spending patterns in their twilight years.

Design/methodology/approach

The study gained an international perspective of the mature market through the literature on the subject. Empirical analysis of the South African market was thereafter conducted through a lifestyle survey of 117 respondents living in metropolitan areas. The data were imported into – and analysed using – Statistica for descriptive and clustering purposes.

Findings

The mature market is, unsurprisingly, most in favour of traditional media channels. To this end, television, radio, magazines and newspapers still remain an effective means to communicate with this market. Use of mobile phones and the internet was observed – although in a limited sense. A negative attitude towards advertising was observed on the whole, with individuals within this cohort feeling neglected in favour of younger consumers. The variables Age, Income, living standard measure (LSM) groupings and Internet usage, when utilised in conjunction, appear to be an effective differentiator of the mature market in South Africa. Three lifestyle clusters were discovered by the study, namely: Old optimists, Young up‐beats, and Younger opinionists.

Originality/value

It has been established that the mature market is a lucrative one for retailers. However, the majority of studies have been focused on developed nations such as the UK and the USA. This study brings about an emerging market perspective.

Keywords

Citation

Beneke, J., Frey, N., Chapman, R., Mashaba, N. and Howie, T. (2011), "The grey awakening: a South African perspective", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 114-124. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363761111115953

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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