Old Age. New Opportunity.

2015-08-01 - MS - Avenue of Honour - Customers- Cathie, Alex Margaret 22POSTED BY SARLA HOLMES – 98358963.

Shopping Centres traditionally focus on the family demographic. Understandably given the lucrative nature of the market.

According to University of Wollongong Professor Beder , under 18 Australians “have an average $31.60 to spend each week and…influence more than 70 per cent of their parents’ clothes and fast food purchases (Beder, 1998).” As a budding marketeer…this isn’t to be sneezed at.

But with declining market share as a result of strong competition, a declining product life cycle (Lee et al. p.81) and reducing marketing budgets, it was time for Market Square Shopping Centre to change.

We needed to stop what everyone else was doing and do something different.

But how?


strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats: an analysis of a product made before it is marketed (www.dictionary.com).

Our weaknesses from our SWOT analysis were evident.

We were older. We were smaller. We weren’t glamorous. We were technologically challenged.

But could our weaknesses present us with our greatest opportunities?

Older? More familiar!

Smaller? Easier to navigate!

Not glamourous? Relevant! Affordable!

Technologically challenged? Good old fashioned customer service – with real people to help you in the car park!

So who would these features be attractive to?


Make mine granny smith.

When it comes to apple pie, the large pieces often taste the best! And in this case, it was no different.

Shopping Centre catchment is largely associated with geographic proximity and the local population were heavily weighted to the mature aged.

The over 50s population for the City of Greater Geelong‘s represents 34.4% of the total population and the Borough of Queensclilff‘s is over 54% of all residents. A region where residents are dying faster than they’re being born.

32% of the overnight visitor market are also aged over 55 (Ruzzene, Ainsaar & Josephson, 2016, p.27).

Furthermore, “Visitors to the region are more likely than total Regional Victoria visitors to …go shopping for pleasure,” (Ruzzene, Ainsaar & Josephson, 2016, p.23).

Although I digress, it illustrates the magnitude of  opportunity available for businesses willing to put time into dissecting readily available data.

Action time! We had an attractive market with particular needs that we could leverage our corporate strengths and deliver to Geelong’s largest population segment (Iacobucci, p.28)!



So could it be profitable?

“Older couples who are empty nesters start dreaming of spending their greater discretionary income on travel and hobbies (Iacobucci, p.29).”

Good news for the Centre’s travel agency. Oh and for the retailers. Turns out shopping is a popular hobby.

And talk about growth potential.

According to McCridle Research there 
50 in Australia than
age by 2020 – reflecting
 the early 70s.

Furthermore, none of the competition were targeting this potentially lucrative market.

So from hip and happening and hip hop to new hips, we jumped into market diversification.


It’s not just real estate that is all about position.

We had found an attractive market to target, now it was nigh time to design a product with benefits the target segment would value.

Introducing Experience With Us – celebrate your experience with freebies for over 50s every Tuesday.


Apart from actively communicating with this demographic for the first time, it also encouraged patronage on a traditionally quiet trading day (Tuesdays) and clearly positioned the new product to the price conscious over 50s customer.

Hero images, wording (including size of writing) and ‘freebie’ offers were specifically chosen to appeal to this market.

Popular offers were repeated in other months and new offers trialed to create a real customer intimacy strategy (Iacobucci, p.62).

As critical stakeholders in the campaign, it was imperative retailers (distributors) were on-board with the campaign by ensuring value add.

For example, Gloria Jeans Coffee provides a free coffee. In return they get paid cost price by Centre Management for the coffee and receive free advertising to attract new and existing customer patronage, giving the cafe the opportunity to up-sell and provide excellent customer service to encourage return visits.

The promotion mix was regularly varied to test effectiveness, but included advertising in Senior’s features in local newspapers (The Independent, p.19) and publications (What’s On Magazinne, p.45), in-Centre promotions (free-standing, convenience and lift posters, digital channels, etc.), flier distribution by the Centre’s car park staff and relevant retailers, participation in the local council Senior’s Festival, etc.

Despite segmentation and target skeptics like Malcolm Wright, since the inception of the award winning campaign (2014 Australian Marketing Institute Marketing Excellence Awards), Experience with us has produced measurable competitive advantage, improved customer intimacy and increase pedestrian traffic to the Centre.

Have you considered how old age could bring new opportunities to your business?

Additional References

Beber, S 1998, Marketing to Children, New College Institute for Values Research, Sydney, Australia, retrieved 6 August 2016, <https://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/children.html#fn2>.

Iacobucci, D 2013, Marketing Management (MM4), Student Edition, South-Western, Cengage Learning, Mason, Ohio, United States of America.

Lee, MY, Atkins, KG, Kim, YK and Park, SH 2006, Competitive Analyses between Regional Malls and Big-box Retailers: A Correspondence Analysis for Segmentation and Positioning, Volume 13, Number 1, retrieved 8 August 2016, Tennessee, United States of America, <http://www.lcis.com.tw/paper_store./paper_store/JSCRV13_1A4CompetitiveAnalyses-20141210221931406.pdf>.

Ruzzene, M, Ainsaar, T & Josephson, C 2016, Greater Geelong & The Belarine Tourism Development Plan, North Fitzroy, Australia, retrieved 7 August 2016, <http://www.tourismgeelongbellarine.com.au/media/23814/geelong-and-the-bellarine-tourism-development-plan-jan-2016v2.pdf>.

William, R, Swinyard and Heikki, R 1994, The six shopping worlds of baby boomers, Utah, United States of America.

Wright, M 1996, The dubious assumptions of segmentation and targeting, MCB University Press, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


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