The Emerging High‐Tech Consumer – A Market Profile and Marketing Strategy Implications

Sudha Jamthe (sudha@web‐, Founder and Director, Web‐Net Group)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 1 April 2000




Jamthe, S. (2000), "The Emerging High‐Tech Consumer – A Market Profile and Marketing Strategy Implications", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 172-185.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The Emerging High‐Tech Consumer is a collection of articles by industry experts and academicians edited by Allan C. Reddy to bring us up to date about the changing trends in the Internet consumer and the marketplace and the impact of this on the marketing strategy of firms.

In Chapter 1 Mr Reddy awakens our interest to continue with the book, which I could not put down until I reached the end. He begins by introducing the high‐tech consumer in terms of demographics and their differences from other consumers. Then he brings us to a common understanding by defining and explaining the nature of high‐tech markets. The high‐tech consumer he describes as anyone who purchases and consumes innovative products and services from general goods to electronics.

The rest of the book contains the following articles covering the various segments of high‐tech consumers, and the impact of ongoing changes in the Internet such as quality, innovation and the impact of the Internet as a distribution channel. These chapters include:

  • “High‐tech consumers and business‐to‐business markets” by Bruce D. Bustik and Allan. C. Reddy.

  • “The Internet as a medium in delivering education” by Ron Barnette and Allan C. Reddy.

  • “The Telecommunications Act and the high‐tech consumer” by James A. Muncy.

  • “The high‐tech innovator: a model and scale for measurement” by Jacqueline K. Eastman.

  • “Quality and the high‐tech consumer” by Claude R. Superville and Allan C. Reddy.

  • “Global consumers” by Niren M. Vyas and Allan C. Reddy.

  • “Distribution considerations in marketing to high‐tech consumers” by Carol C. Beinstock.

In Chapter 2, Bruce D. Bustik and Allan Reddy explore the Technology Life Cycle concept in the business‐to‐business market. In the third chapter they investigate the use of the Internet as a distance education medium. Mr Barnette shares his experience and expectations in using the Internet to improve learning effectiveness. Chapter 4 is James A. Muncy’s coverage of the impact of the Telcommunications Act on high‐tech markets. Jacqueline K. Eastman offers an innovation scale to target high‐tech consumers in Chapter 5.

Chapter 6 provides an in‐depth coverage of quality and quality control in the realm of high‐tech markets. Claude R. Superville and Allan Reddy give the history and evolution of TQM and how it ties in to high‐tech marketing. This chapter contains ten pages of detailed mathematical formulae as they explain statistical process control and Cumulative Sun charts.

The next chapter is a must‐read, by Carol C. Beinstock, who writes about distribution considerations to high‐tech consumers. She divides this chapter into sections discussing:

  1. 1.

    (1) environmental factors and their impact on high‐tech marketing;

  2. 2.

    (2) distribution intensity considerations;

  3. 3.

    (3) the role of wholesalers and retailers as channels to high‐tech consumers.

Beinstock discusses sociocultural and technological changes. She sees alternative channels evolving from growth in multimedia, interactive and satellite technologies.

Niren M. Vyas talks about globalization of the world in Chapter 8. It would help in future revisions of this book if this chapter covered how this ties to the Internet and its potential use for MNCs marketing locally in each global market.

Mr Reddy concludes the book in Chapter 9 by addressing marketing strategy implications of all the above mentioned readings. This is a very important chapter as it summarizes all our learning from the book and ties it back to traditional marketing concepts such as the 4 Ps and points to important trends we need to watch out for as high‐tech consumer marketers.

All through the book, Mr Reddy maintains an easy‐to‐understand language and flow. This book also contains a wealth of information in the Appendix, which covers how to use the Internet as a research medium, the concept of Internet marketing and just‐in‐time retailing, all explained with examples relating to marketing. The book is a must‐read for both business executives of high‐tech firms and other manufacturing and retail firms and research scholars looking to find out about marketing to high‐tech consumers and the changing trends in the marketplace.

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