Regional Australia is booming (that’s why we so lovingly call it ‘Boomtown’, if you didn’t get that). In fact, more than a third of Australians are spread out across regional Australia.
So why is it that advertisers are ignoring the 8.8 million Aussies living outside the capital cities? Regional Australia is one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing markets.
Yet despite 36 per cent of the country dwelling outside metro markets, only ten per cent of national media budgets are spent regionally. This means brands are missing out on reaching an extra 8.8 million Aussies. That doesn’t make good business sense.
Not to mention, the average household income of Boomtown residents aged 25-54 is $93,000. And, combined with a lower cost of housing and living, it gives Boomtown residents more cash to splash.
Boomtown’s growing population represents a huge untapped opportunity for brands looking to cut through the noise and achieve results of epic proportion in regional Australia’s uncrowded marketplace.
It just makes good business sense to advertise in Boomtown because according to SCA national head of TV sales and head of sales, Brisbane Will Allen, Boomtowners aren’t all that different from their metro counterparts.
“While the size and scale of regional Australia can be confronting; the simple fact is that the lived experience is essentially the same. Last time I checked, Cornflakes is identical throughout the land and you can get a decent espresso in Mt Isa or Mount Buller.”
Allen said choice or consumer preference in regional Australia, however, is impacted due to less depth in stocked product range and much stronger relative consumption of traditional media.
“They are hungry for choice and share of voice is there for the taking.”
We’ve already covered the power of regional NSW and why your brand should amplify its presence across Victoria and Tasmania. Below, we’re covering the benefits of advertising across regional QLD, Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia.
Queensland – one of the fastest growing regions in Oz
Regional Queensland is home to the majority of the state’s population and is one of the fastest growing regions in the country, both economically and in terms of population.
With tourism and resources powering much of this growth, regional Queensland holds a significant share of the state’s power.
Yet if you’re only advertising to Brisbane, you are missing out on a lot of “potential reach, sales and profit,” according to Allen, who advises looking beyond Brisbane.
He added: “Make sure you’re investing in mediums that offer you the scale to reach [regional Australians] cost-efficiently through aggregation of signal or syndication of programming.”
He also recommends engaging clients for access to region-specific sales metrics or acquisition data that can be broken out from the larger state-wide data sets.
“Most importantly”, says Allen, “challenge media publishers for behavioural research that can assist with local issues and opportunities, and better targeted delivery. For example, “breakfast” in Sydney often means 7-8am. In far north QLD, they’ve been up for hours.”
Northern Territory – one of Australia’s youngest cities
The Northern Territory’s capital Darwin provides a unique opportunity for advertisers.
It is one of the youngest cities in Australia with a median age of 33, lower than any other capital city. So, if you want to connect with a youthful audience, you know where to go.
Think of NT News, for example. A morning newspaper based in Darwin that’s known for its hilarious headlines that keep its readers coming back time and time again, such as “Why I Stuck a Cracker Up My Clacker”, and this timeless one below.
Beyond Darwin, commercial radio also reaches people in Alice Springs, and TV is a popular media.
Erika Hamilton from Darwin and Alice Springs communications specialist Bellette said in the NT, “there’s an assumption that people in the NT are a bit different, so they are often left out of the discussion.”
According to Hamilton, one of the best platforms to advertise on in the NT is local TV, as this is still watched by a lot of people compared to metro areas due to a lack of high speed internet and phone coverage.
She also added there is a strong emphasis on “community values and shopping local”, which is something else advertisers should tap into.
Western Australia – the state in recovery
Western Australia is certainly in a period of recovery following the mining boom. Regional population growth in the state has been 19 per cent over the past decade (higher than Sydney!)
With employment in the region growing 62 per cent in the same period, regional WA now influences Australia’s economy as a whole, making it an optimal region to put your advertising dollars into.
South Australia – where regional media reigns
For some of the remote locations between Mt Gambier and Coober Pedy, regional radio is one of the key markets. Print also does very well in regional South Australia, including Coober Pedy Regional Times.
There are also some very interesting nooks for advertisers to consider like Port Lincoln, home to the most millionaires per capital in Australia.
It makes good business sense to advertise in Boomtown
According to Allen, brands aren’t intentionally ignoring regional Australia. Often, regional Australia is on the plan but “doesn’t survive the numerous budget revisions and cuts as plans move through the approval cycle.”
He questions why regional “is often put to the sword first”, given the increasing cost of reaching some metro markets and the relative cost of regional.
“In regional Australia, with less choice, brands are offered a scalable share of voice. And if your brand is available and ‘in the market’ your offering needs to be too.
“You can beat diminishing returns. Regional often offers advertisers ‘material’ as opposed to incremental reach.”
In honour of the regional Australia boom, the Boomtown collective recently ran a massive trade marketing competition, offering $1 million in regional advertising to one national agency or brand in Australia. Finalists will be announced soon so stay tuned!