Marketing English Language Services to a Mature Audience: A Comparative Study of Japan and South Korea


Jeremy Chambers

ADVAN College of Foreign Languages, Japan.

*Corresponding author: Jeremy Chambers, Ph.D.

Published: November 20,2018


As the population of the world ages there is increasing need for an assessment of the marketing strategies that are used to target the elderly. The literature relating to the marketing of foreign languages to the elderly is sparse. Although academicians are divided on the specific age at which a customer transcends to the mature market many agree that this market can begin with members 50years and over. Neilson and Curry (1997) and Moschis (2003) have written in depth expositions on the strategies that ought to be used in respect to members of the mature audience. Using the Moschis Framework, this research explored the marketing techniques used by private English conversation schools in Japan (called eikaiwas) and South Korea (referred to as hogwans) to attract members of the mature audience. A qualitative approach was used to garner the data needed using in depth interviews and archival research. Twelve participants were interviewed. These participants were School Presidents, Administrators and Marketing Officers from Japan and South Korea. The results showed that Japan and South Korea enacted very different marketing strategies in respect to members of the mature audience. Japanese marketers are more prone to appeal to the younger self referent ages of the elderly through their use of younger looking models, brighter colored pamphlets and creative settings for advertisements. Koreans are more conservative in their approach and are inclined to appeal to the nationalistic tendencies of older Koreans. However, both groups use similar segmentation techniques with age being the dominant variable. It is recommended that further research incorporates other segment of the mature audience like the very old and be expanded to look at the marketing strategies that could be effective in marketing online English courses to Asian customers 50 years and over.


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How to cite this paper

Marketing English Language Services to a Mature Audience: A Comparative Study of Japan and South Korea

How to cite this paper: Chambers, J. (2018). Marketing English Language Services to a Mature Audience: A Comparative Study of Japan and South Korea. The Educational Review, USA, 2(11), 514-525.