X-Message-Number: 5206
From:  (David Stodolsky)
Subject: Marketing: Age, sex,  and death anxiety
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 95 21:52:16 +0100

High school students, employed adults (mean = 42 yrs), and retirees 
were interviewed. A different pattern of concerns was found
for each age echelon (Stricherz & Cunnington 1981-2):

Students concerned most about:
S1) loss of loved ones
S2) death as a punishment
S3) finality of death

Working adults concerned most about:
W1) pain in dying
W2) premature death 
W3) (very low concern about impact on others)

Retirees were concerned about: 
R1) becoming helpless and dependent on others
R2) impact on loved ones

>From a marketing standpoint, these results suggest market segmentation
with different messages to different age groups. Result S1 suggests
that students might be good "salesmen" in reaching loved ones. S2
suggests that they might be a poorer market themselves, but S3 pushes
in the opposite direction.

W2 suggests that a 'medical time-travel' slant might sell well in
adults. I find W3 a bit odd. How does this interact with the high
levels of responsibility for family income? (High levels of life 
insurance coverage?)

R1 suggests that individualistic appeals may be counter productive in
retirees, since it brings this negative concern into focus, unless
cryonics can be offered within a voluntary deanimation framework.
This might also sell well to working adults, because of W1.
R2 suggests that retires would be the ideal 'market' for the student
'salesman' (to people within the same extended family).

Results summarized in Kastenbaum (1992, p 157).

The idea that death anxiety increases with age is not supported.
Only 7 of 100 very old (old-old) persons feared death. The young-old,
those crossing from mid-life to 'old age', were actively confronting
their finitude, while 2/3 of older persons had a predominantly positive
conception of dying and preparation of death (Munnichs, 1968). 
Summarized in Kastenbaum (1992, p 156).
This period of transition to old age might then be a crucial time for
presentation of marketing messages.

Women generally show higher death anxiety than men, but were also
more likely to believe in an afterlife (p. 152- 153).

To some extent, these findings contradict the demographics found in
cryonics organizations. The higher death anxiety would lead to a greater
number of women, for example. This could indicate a mis-targeting
of the market, which focuses on the harder to recruit men?

To answer these questions, systematic demographic data is needed from
cryonics organizations. I hope at least age and sex info is being
captured on all requests for info, suspension paperwork requests, etc.

Marketing questions, the question of patient growth rates, etc.
could be answered if someone was analyzing the data on a yearly basis.
A uniform demographic data format is needed. 


David S. Stodolsky      Euromath Center     University of Copenhagen
   Tel.: +45 38 33 03 30   Fax: +45 38 33 88 80 (C)

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