Marketing Debate Essay

Words: 1081
Pages: 5

Is Consumer Behavior More a Function of a Person’s Age or Generation?

MKT 6661 Strategic Marketing Management

Troy University

A heavily debated issue between marketers is what drives consumer behavior? There are two noted positions in this debate, one that believes that age differences are the deciding factors of a consumer’s wants and needs and others make the case that cohort and generation effects are better suited to uncover the consumer’s desires. Marketers have a major responsibility to identify and reach out to the marketplace and find out what influences an individual’s purchasing decisions. Rather these decisions can be sorted based on a group of individuals shared experiences or by simply bunching these
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population and were born between the years of 1946 to 1964, the sixth cohort are the Generation X’ers who were born between the years of 1966 and 1976 and make up approximately twenty two percent of the U.S. population, and lastly there are the N-Gens, born from 1977-1987, and make up twelve percent of the U.S. adult population.( Bidwell 2009) Though these cohorts span over a number of years they are all linked by a series of events that follow a chronological order. Even though a cohort places consumers in segments based on lifestyles but the time in which these events occurred can have drastic effect on their purchasing choices.
Looking at the metrics of generational marketing on surface can resemble age-based marketing very closely. This is not an intentional consequence to be vague in practice or by definition but help narrow the message down that the marketer is trying to relay. Take a look this table that depicts the six U.S. Generations. Generation | Date of Birth | Number | Age (in 2010) | Pre-Depression | Before 1930 | 12 MM | 81 and above | Depression | 1930-1945 | 28 MM | 65-80 | Baby Boom | 1946-1964 | 80 MM | 46-64 | Generation X | 1965-1976 | 45 MM | 34-45 | Generation Y | 1977-1994 | 71 MM | 16-33 | Generation Z | After 1994 | 29 MM | Less than 16 |
(Marketing to the Generations 2010)
Looking at the table, generation analysis and Cohort effects follow a very similar chronological order