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Name: Casey Dugan

Topic: I am studying how the marketing and advertising techniques companies employ to sell
their products differs based on ages of the target markets.
Research Question: because I want to find out if companies manipulate consumers and exclude
certain markets based on age
Audience and Significance: in order to help cell phone companies understand how they
narrow their markets by targeting only specific consumers (generally younger demographics)
limiting both the opportunities of the company and the consumer.
Context: This issue is important and timely because cell phones are a part of our everyday life.
They connect friends, families, and co-workers. Companies that refuse to incorporate the older
points of view into their products leave older generations of society out the tech age. Complex cell
phones marketed to young people can illicit a thats not for me response.
Exhibit: To illustrate my discussion of cell phone marketing being exclusionary, I plan to focus on
advertisements of cell phone companies like Apple, and Samsung (the two companies with the
largest market share in the cell phone industry) and analyze the techniques and decipher their
target markets. Academic research will also help me to understand the goals of these companies
and the role cell phones play in the ever-changing technological world.
Key Sources:
"Cell Phone Gender Gap to
Narrow in U.S.; Age
Research Fuels Marketing
Strategies." Wireless Insider
19.25 (2001): 1.

Scholarly Article

Pringle, David. Softer

Cell: In Mobile
Phones, Older Users
Say, More is Less; all
the Features just
Confuse, they Tell
Vodafone, so it Tries
Making a Simple One;
Pushback from Young
Staffers., 2005.

Scholarly Article

"Parental Regulation of
Child's Cell Phone, by
Child's Age and Gender,
2009." Electronic America.
Ed. Stephen Meyer. 2011

Scholarly Article

Background on how certain

companies employ various
techniques based on who
they want to market to
whether it be age, gender, or
Counterargument: Older
people want simple phone
and do not want to be
pressured or included in the
technological age.

Theory: Cell phones

connect and play a large
role in the lives of children.
Parents need to adapt as
well whether they are

ed. ed. Detroit: Gale, 2011.

Gitlow, Lynn. "Technology
use by Older Adults and
Barriers to using
Technology." Physical &
Occupational Therapy in
Geriatrics 32.3 (2014):

Scholarly Article

willing or not in order to

keep tabs on their children.
Theory: How when exposed
to the technology the
quality of life of older
adults can be improved.

Exploratory Draft
1. I plan to argue that cell phone companies marketing techniques and products are exclusionary.
Companies limit exposure to older target markets leaving them on the outside when it comes to
technology. Cell phone companies need to alter their marketing and their products in order to
incorporate more of society. I find this topic interesting because every time my Grandma would go
to get a new phone the sales rep would always talk her out of an iPhone and she would agree
saying she saw all those commercials and it was for kids. However she is always wondering why I
cannot FaceTime her and its because she doesnt have the iPhone. I know she has the capability to
use one but she along with companies doubts her abilities. Its not that older generations are
incapable of using new technology; companies just do not make an effort to incite change.
Currently Apple and Samsung market to the young generation of consumers even if they arent the
one purchasing the products but their parents are. Apps are made for children to play with before
they can even talk. These companies have children to grow up with their products and become
loyal to the brand but what about older people. How are they exposed? Many say they are resistant
to change and do not want new technology and they stick with what they know. I hope to decipher
if this is a decision of the older generation or is the decision of marketing companies deciding they
are not a worthwhile market?
2. The audience of my paper is the cell phone companies that manufacture and sell the phones to
consumers. They are the one who will benefit from opening up their markets and their advertising
techniques. Although the older consumers will benefit, it is the companies that need to make the
change. The companies are the ones in a position to change the perceptions of cell phones and
technology and make them more convenient and acceptable for older people.
3. Arguments: Cell phone companies discriminate based on age when it come to their products
and advertising. By focusing on older markets companies can augment their market shares and
hopefully connect older people with the world. Real world examples of how markets exclude older
people from their marketing goals will illustrate the problem. Then I will provide possible
solutions to the problems and the eventual outcomes if the problem is left unsolved and then if it is
4. When I first began my research it was difficult to find sources that applied to my research.
There is little literature that applies directly to what I am looking for and had to narrow down
exactly what I was looking for. My current sources have pieces of their work that apply to cell
phones and older people. One I found even has a counter argument that provides insight into why
older people do not want to be exposed to complex new technologies. However the point remains
that if older people were exposed to technologies that would appeal to them yet connect them to
the world in a new age way both older people and companies would be better off.
5. One concern I have with the project will be the lack of academic research on the topic. There
were a few databases during the library visit that did not have information regarding cell phones

and older target markets. Another concern is that I will begin to get too bogged down in research
and the topic start too broad and need to be narrowed down as time goes on.