State of Play : State of Play - Issue 3
STATE OF PLAY | ISSUE THREE version of the quinoa salad in two to three years or so -- the challenge is to derive a broader experience. " Regarding changeability and the dynamic nature of the consumer markets, Salt believes no city in the world compares to the Australian state capitals -- Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. For a venue manager or operator, this is a fantastic and highly volatile space to be playing in. "The significant transformation took place in the 1980s and 90s, and continues," says Salt. "The greatest force reshaping our future is our immigration program and particularly the source of migrants coming from overseas. " As well as attracting people, we have become a target for wealth generated outside Australia. According to Salt, people do not live where they produce wealth -- in the 1990s the greatest wealth was generated in the Middle East, in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, but people sought lifestyle and entertainment in Dubai. "Make your money in one country, spend your money on entertainment in another," he says. Today's greatest wealth-generating region is China; however, it does not offer lifestyle and entertainment, while nearby Australia certainly does, particularly with many direct flights, offering a fabulous holiday destination, within 8000 kilometres. "Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide will be lifestyle cities for wealthy middle class Chinese in the future," says Salt. "It's your opportunity to capture a share of that -- here is the customer of the future." BABY BOOMER POWER Salt has gained much attention identifying certain tribes in our society -- such groups as PUMCINS, the 'Professional Urban Middle Class In Nice Suburbs' who "generally have goat's cheese in their fridge" . In terms of those seeking entertainment, however, Salt sees enormous potential in the Baby Boomers, those in the 50-plus age bracket with more spare time and disposable income. Life expectancy is longer; there is more desire to develop interests and enjoy life. "They've got 20 years into the future, an income stream through super or part- time work; they're people looking for engagement, entertainment and adding value to their lives," says Salt. "I think that's the growth area going forward, certainly for the next 10 years." A FABULOUS EXPERIENCE While gaming is part of the story, Salt believes there's a bigger picture to explore. People are looking for a reason to come together and be engaged -- which provides venue owners with great opportunities. "This is where venue owners need to think outside the box regarding the experience they offer," says Salt. "It's up to clubs to re-imagine a modern venue where, yes, there's a gaming option if you want, but there's also a whole range of other almost community activities. " Paul Carew, General Manager of TGS, supports Salt's notion of embracing future shifts and exploring ways to enhance customer experience, raising two significant macro factors to consider. First, technology such as the competition of readily available home entertainment such as Netflix, and, second, the sophistication of today's more discerning customers, who have more options for spending their money. "The biggest challenge is to get them out of their home and into your venue," Carew says. "And then give them an experience that will make them want to come back. " While gathering information is highly useful in identifying customers and understanding their needs, Carew also believes in the importance of excellent and highly personal customer service. While you can't control what the government does or consumer confidence, you can control a customer's experience as they walk in the door, rewarding them for making the effort to choose your venue. "For me, that's the missing link," he says. "As an industry, if we can nail that -- that's our greatest competitive advantage."
State of Play - Issue 2 NSW
State of Play - Issue 4