Games bonanza led by online… IT wages grow… Best brands… Rapport the sales key

World of Warcraft leads booming gaming business

Fantasy online game World of Warcraft was played more than four times as much as any other PC game. Media and internet research company Nielsen has launched GamePlay Metrics, its measure of online and console game usage, and World of Warcraft, dubbed a “massively multi-player online game”, was the winner in June.

Almost 18% of all the time spent playing PC games were devoted to World of Warcraft, Nielsen found, followed by Halo: Combat Evolved on 3.6% and The Sims on 3.3%.

The electronic games industry is promising to become bigger that the total movie business in Australia, after beating box-office receipts and catching up to DVD movie rentals and sales, reports The Australian Financial Review.

Games sales in Australia grew 15% to reach $1.02 billion in the last financial year according to figures from research firm Gfk, and cinema box-office receipts rose just 1% to $863.2 million in the same period, according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

On the games console front, Sony’s PlayStation 2 is the leader worldwide, according to Nielsen. It accounted for 42% of the 68.1 million individuals who used a video game console in June. Xbox was second on 17%, followed by the next gen game stations Xbox 360 on 8%, Wii on 4% and PlayStation 3 on 1.5%.

Nielsen collected the data by combining information from its TV viewing meters with its TV people meter, a proprietary audio signature library that matches the unique audio signature of every game tracked on the six most widely available video game consoles. The GamePlay Metrics user sample includes more than 12,000 households with approximately 33,000 individuals.


IT salaries growth

After a few years in the doldrums IT salaries are picking up, rising at a rate double the CPI. Salaries have increased an average of 4.5% over the past year, according to research from the Australian Computer Society’s remuneration survey.

The strongest demand is on the consulting side. The industries with the biggest wage growth were insurance, consulting and software manufacture.


The best brands

Google has the fastest improving brand strength according to Interbrand’s survey of global brands, which ranks them according to the net present value of the earnings they are expected to earn in the future, the Interbrand top 100. Google’s brand value rose 44% to $US17.8 billion. It ranks 20th.

Other fast growers are Zara, Apple (33), and Nintendo, Ikea and Starbucks (88). The Ikea brand is worth $US10.1 billion, up 15% on its value a year ago, and Starbucks is worth $US3.6 billion, up 17%. No Australian brands make the list.

Losers include: Ford or Gap, which lost 19% and 15% of their brand value respectively.

The overall winner was Coco-Cola, which claimed the top spot for the seventh year in a row, mostly because it is big and everywhere, but it failed to further grow its reputation because its move into healthier drinks has yet to resonate.


Building rapport with customers

Asking the right opening and closing questions is the key to building customer rapport, writes Ray Silverstein in

He suggests the first thing is to establish an initial rapport with a bonding statement. Then start a prospect’s first sales call with this question: “Just out of curiosity, why did you agree to this appointment? Why are you taking the time to see me?”

Be careful not to ask questions that may be perceived as rude, intrusive or nosey. For example, many professional sales people like to ask, “What would you like to accomplish in your business?” Might sound innocent to you, but early in a sales call it can provoke a negative response.

Ask open-ended questions that will start a conversation. Not “are you satisfied with your sales?”, but “in your experience, what actions could you take to increase your sales?” The question is not only less judgemental, but it’s also open-ended, inviting prospects to share whatever is on their minds.

Close on the right note as well. To continue building trust and to erase any shadow of buyer’s remorse, ask your prospect to reconfirm his or her decision. Ask, “are you sure you want to do this?” and specify the action they’ve agreed to take. Or “do you believe using our [fill in the blank] will solve your problem?”


SmartCompany Quote of the Day

“My father said: ‘You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals’.”
J Paul Getty




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