Industry Experts Encourage Regional Advertising At First 2024 Boomtown Masterclass

Industry Experts Encourage Regional Advertising At First 2024 Boomtown Masterclass
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Advertising in regional Australia should be a ‘no-brainer’, according to national industry experts, who kicked off Boomtown’s 2024 masterclass series last week.

Boomtown – the collaborative representing the millions of people living in regional Australia – held its first regional media masterclass for 2024 last week, with close to 100 industry representatives in attendance.

Participants heard from a panel of guest speakers, including Bek Fraser, Head of Growth for Koala, Sam Buchanan, CEO of Independent Media Agencies Australia (IMAA) and Tom Wenborn, Executive Creative Director at Thinkerbell.

The guest panellists shared insights on their experience with Boomtown advertising, outlining the benefits of regional campaigns for brands and agencies.

“Moving into the regional markets has been really interesting because the products we offer in metro also resonate with regional areas and that is because of the customer benefit. In metro, customers want the convenience of something being delivered fast, whereas in regional, customers have less choice. As a fully online business, regional is important because we can give regional populations more choice rather than just their local option or having to drive three hours to their nearest home centre,” said Fraser.

“So, there’s a big convenience piece. If you want to find new areas to own and grow, look at those regional spots where there is limited competition in your space – you can easily penetrate and have a big effect”.

“I think it comes down to recognising the benefit of the growing population in regional. We’re a very data-driven business, and the way we operate is really data driven, we follow where the numbers are. And when you look at the performance of regional locations, and how that’s grown over the last couple of years, you can’t really ignore it”.

“It’s a no-brainer to me that brands and agencies should be advertising in regional Australia. 9.6 million people is not a figure to be ignored when you’re considering your media plans and campaigns, it’s a valuable audience,” said Buchanan.

“For independent agencies planning campaigns, I’d say follow the audience. Boomtown residents are smart and sophisticated, and they have their own perspective. Reassess your perceptions of regional advertising and follow the numbers”.

“Don’t underestimate the savviness of regional audiences. It’s a market where you can get a lot of cut-through – you don’t have the saturation of advertising and you can be a little more nuanced and take the time to target different audiences. Additionally, it gives you the chance to unlock more insights or to test campaigns regionally, before bringing them into metro,” said Wenborn.

“Our Boomtown masterclasses have become an integral part of personal development and training plans for the media industry – and our first masterclass for 2024 was no different. Bek, Sam and Tom offered some great advice and insights on the benefits of buying regional media, from their combined decades of industry experience. Their shared knowledge demonstrated the power of regional media and what it can bring to media strategies for agencies and brands nationwide,” said Boomtown Chairman, Brian Gallagher.

“My advice would be to test regional – if you haven’t tested regional yet, get a test up. It’s not expensive, it’s not hard to do, and you can run campaigns well and targeted” said Fraser.

Boomtown, which represents the 9.6 million people living in regional Australia, has continued to grow since the pandemic. Regional Australians now comprise more than a third of the population, as migration to regional areas continues to outpace metro for the first time in decades. Additionally, people moving to Boomtown are younger, wealthier, and more digitally connected than ever, making them an attractive audience for brands to reach.

The Boomtown masterclass series has proved highly successful since its 2020 inception, training thousands of media, marketing, and advertising executives nationwide on the power of regional media. The masterclasses, which are held regularly throughout the year, include sessions designed to explore the regional media landscape and the strong cut-through and engagement it offers to brands, while also focusing on the tools needed to help plan and buy regional media.

Additional masterclasses will be announced in the coming months.

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