AIB Guest Lecturer: Amanda Grocock
As the practical business school, AIB invites industry leaders to speak to students at its local Adelaide campus. On-campus marketing students had the opportunity to learn about a key retail landmark in South Australia from Amanda Grocock, Marketing and Events Consultant at the Rundle Mall Management Authority.
Having led marketing efforts for Rundle Mall for the past two years, Amanda Grocock has seen the unique challenges and opportunities this local landmark faces.
Described as “South Australia’s premier retail destination and meeting place,” the 528 metre strip is visited by approximately 23 million people each year, with more than 85 per cent of tourists visiting at some point during their stay in Adelaide.
According to Amanda the precinct employs approximately 5000 retail and office workers and is often looked upon, especially by the media, as a measure of economic health for South Australia.
But despite major changes and a $30 million redevelopment project, challenges for the mall continue in the form of competition from local shopping outlets and the growing popularity of online retailers.
“In order to drive foot traffic, we need to understand what barriers we face. Competitors are an obvious one, but in the new world of digital and economic caution, our competitors are much more than a traditional list,” Amanda said.
“Research shows 61 per cent of our target market (35 year old females from a higher socio-economic group) have made a purchase online within the past 3 months, and their average spend online per month is $400,” she said.
“That clearly indicates there is a shift in mobility from bricks and mortar retailers which is detracting from our target market.”
One advantage that retail precincts have over online competitors is the value of providing the tactile and social shopping experience for visitors.
Easier said than done for the Rundle Mall Management Authority, who are tackling a target market that includes absolutely everyone.
“The mall’s market is absolutely everyone from all ages, genders, backgrounds, etc. which means keeping foot traffic is often a matter of marketing for everyone,” Amanda said.
“Rundle Mall’s customers, in broad terms, fall into five categories: city workers; city residents; visitors and tourists; students; and shoppers,” she said.
For Amanda, the result is a combination of events, media and marketing that will intrigue each area of the mall’s target market including:
- Tourist applications and sporting events to engage visitors to the City;
- Unique magazine, which is distributed through metropolitan Adelaide and specifically designed for shoppers;
- Outdoor advertising that is particularly effective for city residents; and
- Adelaide City Mag, which Rundle Mall sponsors as it is an effective method of communicating with city workers.
“We also use social media to engage with our very active younger demographic and we are very proud to announce that Rundle Mall just cracked the 40,000 Facebook followers mark, which makes it one of the most followed shopping precincts in Australia,” Amanda said.
“We are committed to strategically re-positioning Rundle Mall as more than a street in the minds of our customers, but as a precinct, within which our stakeholders and ratepayers reside.”
Asked for her advice for other bricks and mortar retailers dealing with the increasingly blurred line between online and physical shopping precincts, Amanda said, “Innovating and entrepreneurial thinking will continue to expand the realms of possibility when it comes to supply chains, technology, and execution.”
“So if we marketers always keep the customer in mind, no matter who they are, and bring creative customer-centric solutions to all the business problems, marketing or strategic marketing should be an integral part of business moving forward,” she said.