Implications for Practitioners

  • George P. Moschis


Although the life course paradigm has been largely ignored by researchers, as a multidisciplinary integrative research framework, it has the potential of helping them address areas and issues of interest to marketers and public policymakers in an innovative way. It can address research questions particularly relevant to marketing strategy, such as market segmentation and market targeting as well as issues regarding customer relationship management (CRM). This chapter offers implications for action in the areas of marketing and public policy with illustrations of applications of life course notions to research questions in select areas of corporate and public policy.


  1. Andreasen, A. R. (1984). Life status changes and changes in consumer preferences and satisfaction. Journal of Consumer Research, 11(3), 784–794.Google Scholar
  2. Atchley, R. C. (1987). Ageing: Continuity and change (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  3. Balkwell, C. (1985). An attitudinal correlate of the timing of a major life event: The case of morale in widowhood. Family Relations, 34(4), 577–581.Google Scholar
  4. Bird, S., & Tapp, A. (2011). Fear and fire: Ethical social marketing strategies for home fire safety for older people. Paper presented at World Social Marketing Conference, 11–12 April, Dublin, Ireland. Retrieved January 13, 2017, from
  5. Cole, C. A., & Gaeth, G. J. (1990). Cognitive and age-related differences in the ability to use nutritional information in a complex environment. Journal of Marketing Research, 27(2), 175–184.Google Scholar
  6. Correia, S., & Elliott, R. (2006). An examination of internet user profiles in the mature tourism market segment in South Africa. Consortium Journal of Hospitality & Tourism, 10(2), 47–62.Google Scholar
  7. Cox, D., Cox, A. D., & Moschis, G. P. (1990). When consumer behavior goes bad: An investigation of adolescent shoplifting. Journal of Consumer Research, 17(2), 149–159.Google Scholar
  8. Elder, G. H. (1974). Children of the great depression. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Elder, G. H., & Johnson, M. K. (2002). The life course and aging: Challenges, lessons, and new directions. In R. A. Settersen (Ed.), Invitation to the life course: Toward new understanding of later life. Part II (pp. 49–81). Amityville, NY: Baywood.Google Scholar
  10. Elder, G. H., George, L. K., & Shanahan, M. J. (1996). Psychosocial stress over the life course. In H. B. Kaplan (Ed.), Psychosocial stress: Perspectives on structure, theory, life course, and methods (pp. 247–292). Orlando: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  11. Featherman, D. L., & Lerner, R. M. (1985). Ontogenesis and sociogenesis: Problematics for theory and research about development and socialization across the lifespan. American Sociological Review, 50(5), 659–676.Google Scholar
  12. Gennep, V. A. (1960). The rites of passage. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  13. Gentry, J. W., Kennedy, P. F., Paul, C., & Hill, R. P. (1995). Family transitions during grief: Discontinuities in household consumption patterns. Journal of Business Research, 34, 67–79.Google Scholar
  14. George, L. K. (1993). Financial security in later life: The subjective side. Philadelphia: Boettner Institute of Financial Gerontology.Google Scholar
  15. Giele, J. Z. & Elder, G. H. (1998). Life course research: Development of a field. In J. Z. Giele & G. H. Elder (Eds.), Methods of life course research: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (pp. 5–27). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  16. Gonzalez, A., & Paliwoda, S. (2006). Segmenting the older consumer for online travel. The Marketing Review, 6(4), 331–348.Google Scholar
  17. Gould, S., Considine, J. M., & Oakes, L. S. (1993). Consumer illness careers: An investigation of allergy sufferers and their universe of medical choices. Journal of Health Care Marketing, 13(2), 34–48.Google Scholar
  18. Harrison, R. L., & Gentry, J. W. (2007). The vulnerability of single fathers adjusting to their new parental role. European Advances in Consumer Research, 8, 312–313.Google Scholar
  19. Hetherington, E. M., & Baltes, P. B. (1988). Child psychology and life-span development. In E. M. Hetherington, R. M. Lerner, & M. Purlmutter (Eds.), Child development life-span perspective (pp. 1–19). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  20. Kamakura, W. A., & Novak, T. P. (1992). Value-system segmentation: Exploring the meaning of LOV. Journal of Consumer Research, 19(1), 119–132.Google Scholar
  21. Kotler, P. (1992). Marketing Management (8th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  22. Kumar, V., & Rajan, R. (2009). Nurturing profitable customers. Strategic Finance, 91(3), 27–33.Google Scholar
  23. Lee, E., Moschis, G. P., & Mathur, A. (2001). A study of life events and changes in patronage preferences. Journal of Business Research, 54(1), 25–38.Google Scholar
  24. Lewit, E. M., Coate, D., & Grossman, M. (1981). The effects of government regulation on teenage smoking. Journal of Law and Economics, 25(3), 273–298.Google Scholar
  25. Marketing Communications. (1988). Survey: Age is not a good indicator of consumer needs. 21(November), 6.Google Scholar
  26. Mathur, A., & Moschis, G. P. (2005). Antecedents of cognitive age: A replication and extension. Psychology & Marketing, 22(12), 969–994.Google Scholar
  27. Mathur, A., Lee, E., & Moschis, G. P. (2002). Market segmentation based on life events. Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research, 5, 234.Google Scholar
  28. Mathur, A., Lee, E., & Moschis, G. P. (2006). Life-changing events and marketing opportunities. Journal of Targeting, Measurement, and Analysis in Marketing, 14(2), 115–128.Google Scholar
  29. Mathur, A., Moschis, G. P., & Lee, E. (2008). A longitudinal study of the effects of life status changes on changes in consumer preferences. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36(2), 234–246.Google Scholar
  30. Mayer, K. U., & Tuma, N. B. (1990). Life course research and event history analysis: An overview. In K. U. Mayer & N. B. Tuma (Eds.), Event history analysis in life course research (pp. 3–20). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  31. Mergenhagen, P. (1995). Targeting transitions. Ithaca, NY: American Demographics Books.Google Scholar
  32. Moen, P., Dempster-McClain, D., & Williams, R. (1992). Successful aging: A life-course perspective on women's multiple roles and health. American Journal of Sociology, 97(6), 1612–1638.Google Scholar
  33. Moody, H. R. (1988). Toward a critical gerontology: The contributions of the humanities to theories of aging. In J. E. Birren & V. L. Bengtson (Eds.), Emergent theories of aging (pp. 19–40). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  34. Moschis, G. P. (1987). Consumer socialization: A life-cycle perspective. Boston: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  35. Moschis, G. P. (1989). Cigarette advertising and young smokers. Journal of Advertising Research, 29(2), 51–60.Google Scholar
  36. Moschis, G. P. (1992). Marketing to older consumers. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.Google Scholar
  37. Moschis, G. P. (1993). Gerontographics: A scientific approach to analyzing and targeting the mature market. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 10(3), 43–53.Google Scholar
  38. Moschis, G. P. (1996). Gerontographics: Life-stage segmentation for marketing strategy development. Westport, CT: Quorum.Google Scholar
  39. Moschis, G. P. (2007a). Life course perspectives on consumer behavior. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 35(2), 295–307.Google Scholar
  40. Moschis, G. P. (2007b). Stress and consumer behavior. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 35(3), 430–344.Google Scholar
  41. Moschis, G. P. (2012). Consumer behavior in later life: Current knowledge, issues, and new directions for research. Psychology & Marketing, 29(2), 57–75.Google Scholar
  42. Moschis, G. P., & Mathur, A. (1992). How they are acting their age. Marketing Management, 4(2), 41–50.Google Scholar
  43. Moschis, G. P., & Mathur, A. (2006). Older consumer responses to marketing stimuli: The power of subjective age. Journal of Advertising Research, 46(3), 339–346.Google Scholar
  44. Moschis, G. P., & Mathur, A. (2007). Baby boomers and their parents. Ithaca, NY: Paramount Market Publishing, Inc.Google Scholar
  45. Moschis, G. P., Lee, E., & Mathur, A. (1997). Targeting the mature market: Opportunities and challenges. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 14(4), 282–293.Google Scholar
  46. Moschis, G. P., Lee, E., Mathur, A., & Strautman, J. (2000). The maturing marketplace. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.Google Scholar
  47. Moschis, G. P., Mosteller, J., & Kwai Fatt, C. (2011). Research frontiers on older consumers’ vulnerability. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 45(3), 467–491.Google Scholar
  48. Moschis, G. P., Lee, E., Mathur, A., & Rigdon, E. (2015). A study of delayed purchases of enabling products: The case of hearing aids. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 39(4), 350–366.Google Scholar
  49. Nagel, T., & Holden, R. K. (2002). The strategy and tactics of pricing. New York: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  50. Nimrod, G. (2013). Applying gerontographics in the study of older Internet users. Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 10(2), 46–64.Google Scholar
  51. Noble, S. M., & Schewe, C. D. (2003). Cohort segmentation: An exploration of its validity. Journal of Business Research, 56(12), 979–987.Google Scholar
  52. Novak, T. S., & MacEvoy, T. P. (1990). On comparing alternative segmentation schemes: The list of values (LOV) and values and lifestyles (VALS). Journal of Consumer Research, 17(1), 105–109.Google Scholar
  53. O’Bryant, S. L., & Morgan, L. A. (1989). Financial experience and well-being among mature widowed women. The Gerontologist, 29(2), 245–251.Google Scholar
  54. Parke, R. D. (1988). Families in life span perspective: A multilevel developmental approach. In E. M. Hetherington, R. M. Lerner, & M. Perlmutter (Eds.), Child development in life span perspective (pp. 159–190). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  55. Passuth, P. M., & Bengtson, V. L. (1988). Sociological theories of aging: Current perspectives and future directions. In J. E. Birren & V. L. Bengtson (Eds.), Emerging theories of aging (pp. 333–355). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  56. Pearlin, L. I. (1982). Discontinuities in the study of aging. In T. K. Hareven & K. J. Adams (Eds.), Aging and life course transitions: An interdisciplinary perspective (pp. 55–74). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  57. Pechman, C., Levine, L., Loughlin, S., & Leslie, F. (2005). Impulsive and self-conscious: Adolescents’ vulnerability to advertising and promotion. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 24(2), 202–221.Google Scholar
  58. Rapkin, B. D., & Fischer, K. (1992). Personal goals of older adults: Issues in assessment and prediction. Psychology and Ageing, 7(1), 127–137.Google Scholar
  59. Reinartz, W., & Kumar, V. (2003). The impact of customer relationship characteristics on profitable life duration. Journal of Marketing, 67(1), 77–99.Google Scholar
  60. Rentz, J. O., & Reynolds, F. D. (1983). Separating age, cohort, and period effects in consumer behavior. Journal of Marketing Research, 20(1), 12–20.Google Scholar
  61. Rice, F. (1995, June 26). Making generational marketing come of age. Fortune, 110–114.Google Scholar
  62. Rutter, M. (1996). Transitions and turning points in developmental psychopathology: As applied to the age span between childhood and mid-adulthood. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 19(3), 603–626.Google Scholar
  63. Schewe, C., & Meredith, G. E. (1994). Digging deep to delight the older consumer. Marketing Management, 3(3), 21–35.Google Scholar
  64. Schewe, C. D., Meredith, G. E., & Noble, S. M. (2000). Defining moments: Segmenting by cohorts. Marketing Management, 9(3), 48–53.Google Scholar
  65. Settersten, R. A., & Mayer, K. U. (1997). The measurement of age, age structuring, and the life course. Annual Review of Sociology, 23, 233–261.Google Scholar
  66. Sthienrapapayut, T. (2017). Application of the life course paradigm to family life cycle and later life stage consumer behaviors (Unpublished Doctoral dissertation, College of Management, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand).Google Scholar
  67. Sthienrapapayut, T., Moschis, G. P., & Mathur, A. (2018). Using gerontographics to explain consumer behaviour in later life: Evidence from a Thai study,” Journal of Consumer Marketing, 35(3), 17–27.Google Scholar
  68. Wagner, J., & Hanna, H. (1983). The effectiveness of life cycle variables in consumer expenditure research. Journal of Consumer Research, 10(3), 281–291.Google Scholar
  69. Wells, W. D. (1993). Discovery-oriented consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 19(4), 489–504.Google Scholar
  70. Wells, W. D., & Gubar, G. (1966). Life cycle concept in marketing research. Journal of Marketing Research, 3(4), 355–363.Google Scholar
  71. Wheaton, B. (1990). Life transitions, role histories, and mental health. American Sociological Review, 55(2), 209–223.Google Scholar
  72. Wilkes, R. E. (1995). Household life-cycle stages, transitions, and product expenditures. Journal of Consumer Research, 22(1), 27–42.Google Scholar
  73. Williams, P., & Drolet, A. (2005). Age-related differences in responses to emotional advertisements. Journal of Consumer Research, 32(3), 343–354.Google Scholar
  74. Yang, Z., & Netemeyer, R. G. (2015). Differential effects of parenting strategies on child smoking trajectories: A longitudinal assessment over twelve years. Journal of Business Research, 68(6), 1273–1282.Google Scholar
  75. Yoon, C., Cole, C. A., & Lee, M. P. (2009). Consumer decision making and aging: Current knowledge and future directions. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 19(1), 2–16.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • George P. Moschis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MarketingGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations