Increasing elder consumer interactions with information technology

Michelle Hough, Andrzej Kobylanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Purpose - Advances in health care are enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives. Although the use of information technology can improve the quality of life for the elderly, many older consumers choose to limit their interactions with information technology and so may be denied its potential benefits for enhancing quality of life. This paper seeks to explore factors impacting the engagement of consumers aged 65 and older with higher forms of IT, primarily PCs and the internet, and to examine the potential effectiveness of marketing methods toward improving diffusion and increasing engagement. Design/methodology/approach - Citing published research and using previously known models (TAM and Trocchia and Janda's interaction themes) the study highlights possible ways of using marketing tools to increase elder consumer interaction with IT. Findings - Marketers should focus efforts on reference group affiliation, nature of social relations, perception of reality, and physical dexterity as the interaction themes on which to focus marketing efforts, because they seem to be a most effective mechanism for influencing engagement. Research limitations/implications - The paper represents an initial attempt to identify potential influences toward increasing the IT adoption by elder consumers. It presents a theoretical framework for the future investigation of the diagnosed problem: what are the ways of successfully influencing the adoption of information technology by older consumers by using traditional components of marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place)? Originality/value - In the fast pace of technology advancement and the potential for assistance for elder members of society, the paper discusses how to market the use of IT to consumers aged 65 and older and considers the factors that could be related to product, price, place, and promotion in this context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Consumer Marketing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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