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Introduction to ABF Marketing Strategy

Head of Marketing Peter J. Cox

On appointment to the position of ABF Head of Marketing in October 2017 my first project was to analyse the state of the market both Internationally and in Australia, examine competitors, the changes in consumer behaviour and look at the performance of bridge at a player, club, state, congress and ABF level. The report also looks at the previous ABF Marketing Plan 2014-17 and whether the objectives were achieved.

This is covered in my report “The Future of Bridge – The Need for Change” which I have presented to the ABF Councillors, the Tournament Organisers, to the NSWBA and the VBA committees and to other people in the Australian bridge scene.

The second step was to provide an ABF Marketing stand at the Canberra, Gold Coast, ANOT, VCC and the ANC Congresses to demonstrate the services and benefits that the ABF provides to members and clubs including marketing workshops, Teacher and Director training and accreditation, Newsletters, Congresses, international team selection and insurance covers for clubs and personal travel.

This has given me the opportunity to meet many of Australia’s leading players, teachers, directors, tournament organisers, club officials and ABF members and to hear their views on the strengths and weaknesses of bridge in Australia.

Next was to get an updated view from earlier research in 2011 about the views of our members on a number of aspects of bridge and what they want out of bridge. This turned into a major project that was finally sent to 1,650 congress players and to which we got a terrific response from over 500 members.

This is  included as the ABF Marketing Survey 2018 plus the raw comments and suggestions from 288 respondents. I hope you will enjoy the read.

I had the opportunity on the Gold Coast to make a two hour personal presentation to the President of the World Bridge, Gianarrigo Rona, of the above reports. It is probably fair to say that he was surprised to come to Australia to find so many facts and research on Bridge.

All of these discussions and research has been to provide an informed background for the ABF Marketing Plan 2018-2020. A major part of this work is to show that we are going to need to take action to prevent our great game suffering the declines of other participant sports including golf, tennis, rugby, cricket and bowls.

The ABF council has been highly supportive both with input and addressing the need in the future for an advertising and media budget to maintain and grow our sport.

I would ask you to read the introductory material so that you see the plan in the context of the Australian market.

As with all Marketing Plans it is a work in progress and will evolve over time as strategies and actions are tried, evaluated and modified as we seek to obtain the best return on investment from marketing for the ABF.

Finally, I welcome any input, suggestions and contributions from all bridge players. The future success of bridge can only be achieved with the support of our state bodies, 350 clubs and 36,000 members.

The Powerpoint presentations  include:

  1. The Future of Bridge – The Need for Change: to give an understanding of why we need to take action
  2. ABF Marketing Survey 2018 – to understand the behaviour of our members and their likes and dislikes
  3. ABF Marketing Survey 2018 Comments and Suggestions by Respondents
  4. ABF Marketing Plan 2018-2020
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