Gill Walker’s Marketing Ideas

Gill Walker, who had a background in advertising and spoke on marketing to older adults, told us that 3 million Australians were born before 1946 and 86% of them are retired. 70% have been to Bunnings in the last 3 months which might encourage U3As to hold a sausage sizzle to recruit new members. 75% read local newspapers and a similar percentage read direct mail which may encourage U3As seeking to connect with prospective members. By contrast the percentage of seniors with internet access (61%) is below average, though later Tom Holloway, of World U3A [?-Ed.] said that the take-up rate of technology by seniors was very good.

Ms Walker had many ideas on promotion. Some examples were:-

• In terms of publicity material good design is ageless, while bad design is ageist. High contrast of colours is a must and the headline in a brochure needs a solid colour as background, not scenery. Depicting a group of oldies is better than an individual. Consistency of image / message is vital i.e. appearance of brochure and letterhead should be the same.
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• Maximum window for renewal notice is 1 month ahead. Consider offering 3 or 5 year membership. • Use Meeters and Greeters who are very good at their job. • Press Releases need to be news. Remind news outlets you are Not for Profit as there is some compulsion for them to publicise. • List address with Google as Business Partner and include on Google Maps. • Register with Source Bottle (for free) and list events. • Consider an alliance with a local company having an older workforce.