In her continuing series, we welcome special guest, Stelter Editorial Director, Katie Parker.
My favorite content reviewer is my father. Now 74, he was a long-time video producer (he was a LaserDisc pioneer), who now lists his hobbies as writing his memoir, managing his finances, supporting important-to-him nonprofits, playing with his granddaughter and exercising.
…basically the perfect sounding board for my planned giving marketing packages.
I recently brought him a stack of material—print and digital—and interviewed him as he consumed it. It’s a qualitative study of one, but I always get something out of our conversation.
Here are ten tidbits, straight from Dad:
1. “If the mail looks like solicitation—is it asking me for money?—it goes straight to the trash.”
2. “I can’t read this size of text.”
(Katie note: Here are some suggestions on designing for seniors.)
3. “This picture [eyeing a mailer from his alma matter] doesn’t look like the classrooms I remember. The outside of the building didn’t change; the inside is unrecognizable.”
4. “I scan. Make it easy.”
5. “I like this headline about besting Uncle Sam. Everybody wants to win at tax time.”
6. [Opens his email on his iPad.] “I like emails with buttons. They’re easy to navigate.”
(Katie note: Americans age 60+ are increasing their screen time.)
7. “Ah, tips on creating and recording passwords. I can’t remember any of mine.”
8. [All the pieces fall out of an envelope when he opens it upside down—a cover letter, the newsletter, the reply device and return envelope.] “Whoops. Did the order matter?”
9. “Once I celebrated my 70th birthday, all my mail became people asking for money.”
10. “This IRA thing [the qualified charitable distribution] is wonderful! Give this to your mother.”
(Katie note: Why the beginning of 2020 makes a great time to market QCDs.)
And a bonus reaction (my personal favorite):
[After a break, Dad can’t find his reading glasses and sets aside all his mail.] “I’ll read these tomorrow.”
These experiences are just my dad’s—a Midwesterner, married, in good financial standing—representing just a sliver of the conversation. I want to know: Do you run anything by your parents or older relatives/neighbors/friends to get a fresh take? What have you picked up?