Welcome To the digital world

Travellers no longer have to wait until they reach their destination to read Welcome To New Zealand, part of the Welcome To series of travel publications for discerning travellers. The title has today launched a new digital platform that will provide travellers with up-to-the-minute information and special deals so they can make the most of their time traveling and plan ahead.

Welcome To is an extensive series for travellers pursuing luxury that has been in print for nearly 30 years. It is published by Niche Media (full disclosure: Niche Media is also publisher of Marketing). The New Zealand site is the debut digital venture for the series which showcases a variety of destinations including Australia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and South Africa. The guide can be found in luxury hotel rooms globally.

The new website for New Zealand acts as a companion to the books, providing readers with information on a variety of travel spots, dining options, places to shop and information on events and tours. Special features of the website include a revolving search directory on the site as well as interactive tools including instagram competitions.

As one of its showcase features, the website has a hot deals section, offering readers discounts and deals on a variety of entertainment, adventure and dining experiences including jet-boat rides and heli-tours.

Managing editor of the Welcome To series Nick Argyriou says the digital series will give travellers the opportunity to interact and find all the information they need to enjoy their holiday in one place: “The launch of the Welcome To digital sites is really a milestone for the title; one that will make us become a leading resource for local information, deals, events and hotspots to complete a discerning traveller’s holiday experience.”

 

NZ study suggests time-shifting doesn’t hurt ad exposure

Advertisers rejoice! A new study from New Zealand has found that the use of personal video recorders (PVRs) to watch TV has not significantly harmed exposure to ads.

New Zealand television channel TVNZ partnered with market research agency Colmar Brunton to look at the impact of PVRs on ad effectiveness locally and has concluded that ad recall and key message outtake rates were not impacted when comparing the two sets of viewers.

It found 69% of households were able to ‘time-shift’ their TV viewing, using MySky, Freeview or a DVD recorder but of those, 85% of respondents watched live TV and 42% watched delayed TV, but just 11% used time-shifted TV exclusively.

Of those who did time-shift, 54% noticed individual ads while fast forwarding and 34% reported they watched the ads within a recorded program.

 

Kiwis are the happiest customers – the best and worst countries for customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is on the rise globally after more than a year in decline, and New Zealand is the happiest of the lot according to the quarterly ‘Zendesk Benchmark Report’ released today. Our New Zealand neighbours are the most satisfied with the service they receive, coming in at 92%, with Canada and Australia not far behind with 91% and 89% respectively.

Industries with historically-poor ratings, including financial and insurance services, saw recent gains and global consumer confidence has improved in a similar trend. For the second quarter of 2013, the average customer satisfaction rating reached 81%, which represents an overall increase of three percentage points from the previous quarter. This is the highest level since the first quarter of 2012.

“Companies in most industries throughout the world are seeing gains in customer satisfaction right when consumers are ready to spend more,” says Sam Boonin, research lead for the Zendesk Benchmark and vice president of products at Zendesk, a cloud-based customer service software provider.

Customer satisfaction by country

Best countries:

  1. New Zealand: 92% (-1 percentage point change from Q1).
  2. Canada: 91% (+4 percentage points), and
  3. Australia: 89% (+4 percentage points).

Worst countries:

  1. United Arab Emirates: 58% (+5 percentage point change from Q1),
  2. South Africa: 60% (+16 percentage points), and
  3. Turkey: 68% (+3 percentage points).

 

Customer satisfaction by industry

Best industries:

  1. Education: 95% (no change from Q1)
  2. IT Services & Consultancy: 95% (-1 percentage point)
  3. Real Estate: 94% (no change)

Worst industries:

  1. Social Media: 64% (+2 percentage point change from Q1)
  2. Media & Telecommunications: 73% (no change)
  3. Entertainment & Gaming: 76% (+4 percentage points)

 

Source: Zendesk Customer Service Benchmark 2013

Finally! 100% accurate weather reporting is here

MetService.com, a weather site in New Zealand, has finally given the people what they have been asking for. A 100% accurate weather board, that displays real time weather information that is always right.

So the billboard might not be putting the weatherman out of business just yet, but the empty (and branded) billboard is certainly a very clever offering from the Y&R agency.

Tourism Australia and Virgin double marketing partnership to $12m

Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia have announced plans to double the value of their current marketing partnership in a bid to further support the growth of Australia’s inbound tourism market.

Under the new arrangement, the two parties will increase their current joint commitments from $6 million to $12 million to be spent on a range of joint marketing activities, including the promotion of major sporting and business events, over the next three financial years.

The news comes just weeks after Qantas pulled out of its $50 million partnership with the national tourism body over allegations its boss was involved in a consortium to take over the airline.

The global partnership will focus on key inbound visitor markets to Australia – the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, continental Europe and Asia.

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy pointed to a bounce back in US arrivals, up 4% so far this year, as a significant opportunity the pair could leverage.

“Virgin Australia has an international footprint which spans a number of Tourism Australia’s key markets, including New Zealand, the United States, Europe and the Middle East,” McEvoy says. “When you add to this the airline’s extensive domestic network, the benefits of strengthening our partnership are both logical and compelling.”

Virgin Australia chief executive officer John Borghetti says, “Both Virgin Australia and Tourism Australia recognise the importance of tourism to Australia’s economy and are committed to promoting Australia as a world class destination.

“Thanks to our growing international operations and our recently formed alliances with four of the world’s leading airlines Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines, we now have the ability to access international visitors from over 400 cities around the world.

The expanded arrangement will feature marketing on traditional and digital media platforms as well as event and sponsorship activities.

Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia will each contribute $2 million annually, for the next three financial years, equating to $12 million by the end of 2015.

Tourism Australia partners with more than 200 industry partners including airlines, distributors and Australian industry in its key tourism markets.

 

Study: Brand Australia’s decline continues, hitting 4-year low

Brand Australia continues to decline on the world stage, slipping five places below its world-beating peak to sixth in 2012’s rankings of the world’s top country brands.

FutureBrand’s ‘2012-13 Country Brand Index’ (CBI), shows brand Australia declined in strength relative to other country brands for the third time since 2008 when it topped the rankings as the most valuable country brand in the world.

Canada, Japan, Sweden, New Zealand, and Switzerland, which topped this year’s rankings, all emerged ahead of Australia, based on perceptions of quality of life, tourism, business conditions, culture and value systems among 3600 residents, investors, tourists and government officials from 18 countries.

Australia’s decline has not been as stark as the United States’, however, which fell again in 2012, marking a fall from grace which has seen the country slip from first in 2009 to eighth place this year. The report identifies successive financial crises, a decline in the clout of Western values and questions over the nation’s public policy as factors behind its steep decline.

“Despite an upswing in brand perceptions following the 2008 appointment of President Barack Obama, attributes like ‘political freedom’, ‘stable legal environment’ and ‘freedom of speech’ have suffered declines in perception as the nation nears its 2012 presidential election,” the report reads. “Amid questions of foreign policy, the near-approaching ‘fiscal cliff’ and a staggering US$14 trillion national debt, brand USA is left to face its biggest opportunities and, possibly, setbacks during this year’s election cycle.”

In contrast, Brand UK, buoyed by eighteen months of celebrations and international coverage, rose two places this year to hover just outside the top 10 at number 11. However, the report warns the impact of the Royal Wedding, Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic Games may be short lived. “While brand UK now enjoys some of the highest rankings in the CBI’s ‘awareness’, ‘familiarity’ and ‘preference’ dimensions, once the fanfare of the Olympics dies down and the ubiquitous display of the Union Jack fades, focus will turn to the United Kingdom’s uncertain future,” the report reads.

Other themes to emerge from this year’s study were the ‘hard benefits of soft power’ embodied by the social stability, freedom, tolerance, transparency and environmentalism of nations such as Switzerland, Sweden and Finland; and the ‘untapped power of the PIIGS’, which earmarks Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain as nations with rich cultural and natural assets.

Australia, which has ranked in the top 10 for the past eight years, came in between tenth and fourteenth place for the key major attributes of quality of life, tourism and business conditions.

In a new addition to the study, FutureBrand has published the Future Fifteen, a ranking of 15 country brands on course to transform the global landscape economically, politically and culturally in years to come. The fifteen earmarked for the future were:

Tourism Aus shifts gaze to Europe and NZ with $14.3m Emirates deal

Tourism Australia (TA) has shifted its gaze to Europe and New Zealand, announcing a $14.3 million joint marketing agreement with Emirates.

With the focus having been heavily on China and other Asian markets since the relaunch of ‘There’s nothing like Australia, TA will partner with Emirates to renew its focus on some of Australia’s leading inbound visitor markets, namely the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and New Zealand.

The three-year deal will fund joint marketing initiatives on traditional and digital media platforms, as well as event and sponsorship activity, it was announced today.

Emirates, the world’s largest international carrier, has worked with TA on cooperative activity in the past and plans to up its investment in Australia with 14 new routes to be added to its roster of 70 flights to Australia per week by 2013.

TA’s managing director, Andrew McEvoy, says Emirates’ commitment to the Australian market has made it one of the country’s strongest marketing partners, since it started visiting the nation’s shores in 1996.

“Tourism Australia has worked with Emirates on local cooperative marketing activities across individual markets for some years now, and very successfully so, linking Australia’s visitor appeal with the airline’s extensive schedule and internationally recognised and well respected brand,” McEvoy says.

“Both parties have agreed there is now a need for a more strategic, longer-term agreement to more effectively market Australia to Emirates’ extensive global customer base, in particular throughout Europe where the airline is so well established.”

The deal is the largest investment Emirates has ever made with a global tourism body, according to senior vice president of public, international, industry and environmental affairs at the airline, Andrew Parker. “Emirates has carried more than 16 million passengers to and from Australia since 1996 and today we enable travellers from more than 30 European locations to travel to Australia via one stop in Dubai, offering passengers from all corners of the continent the chance to enjoy the many and varied attractions down under,” Parker says.

It’s understood the deal will not abate TA’s investment in Asia. McEvoy says the markets covered by the arrangement “align strongly with Tourism Australia’s ‘balanced portfolio’ approach”. The plans are another step in the board’s ‘Tourism 2020’ efforts aimed at doubling annual overnight visitor expenditure to up to $140 billion by the end of the decade.

The partnership follows the news of Emirates’ 10-year alliance with Qantas, which will see Qantas shift its hub for European flights from Singapore to Dubai and enter “an extensive commercial relationship” with its rival.

Crusaders for the cup

Campaign: The Great Crusade

Client: Qantas

Agency: Wonder

 

Background

Qantas has been the official naming rights partner and official airline for the Australian Wallabies since 2004. It is a sponsorship of which the airline is particularly proud, as it marries Australia’s international flag bearer with one of our great sporting teams.

So when Emirates was announced as the official airline for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand it presented an unprecedented dilemma.

On the one hand, given the commercial importance of the trans-Tasman route, it was unthinkable that Qantas would hand over perceptual ownership of it to a major international competitor for the duration of the Rugby World Cup. On the other hand, Qantas understood and wished to adhere to the rules protecting sponsors and their investment. Qantas was legally prohibited from producing content within 500 metres of any World Cup event and this restriction was acknowledged and respected.

The challenge was therefore to out-think and outperform the official sponsors without stepping outside the rules of the game. It was crucial that Qantas supported its trans-Tasman route and promoted New Zealand as a destination within Australia. It was a matter of pride that it gave maximum exposure to its ongoing sponsorship of the Wallabies team.

The question was how to turn a disappointment into opportunity, and how to demonstrate leadership while embracing prohibitive restrictions.

Players

Objectives

The objectives were:

  • to leverage the Qantas Wallabies sponsorship and to build Qantas association with the Rugby World Cup itself – despite not being an official sponsor. Specifically, to be named as one of the top four sponsors without actually being one – with 12 major international brands spending big bucks to maximise their official sponsorship impact,
  • to promote the Qantas transTasman service within Australia and increase propensity to visit New Zealand as a desirable destination, and
  • to have a positive effect on forward bookings to New Zealand – as all airline tickets had been sold weeks prior to the World Cup competition, we were looking to generate trips down the track.

Guests

Strategy

We determined early on that we had to create a campaign that complemented the World Cup, but would engage Wallabies supporters in its own right. It needed to centre on the core Qantas business of ‘travel’, showcase New Zealand, and yet still have the Wallabies and their success as its primary focus.

Importantly, we didn’t feel it appropriate to try and ‘buy’ the sort of exposure we craved. This needed to be something that took on a momentum of its own, that generated good will through the enthusiasm of the participants, and demanded attention through its inherent entertainment and news value.

In addition, it needed to play by the rules, but not take those rules too seriously. We felt that as a non-sponsor we could afford to have some fun, while adding weight and support to the Wallabies team.

None of the above felt like traditional advertising. Our strategy was to provide content that people would upload and want to share. We were on something of a ‘crusade’ and we wanted rugby supporters to feel that they could come on that crusade with us in real time and share the thrills, spills and misadventures that were bound to occur.

The big idea was ‘The Great Crusade’: 25 branded campervans following the Qantas Wallabies across New Zealand filled with supporters, tour hosts, a band and a film crew.

Campers

Execution

An online competition encouraged potential participants to make a video proving they were huge Wallabies supporters. Judges looked for originality, but more than anything we wanted diehard Wallabies supporters with bags of personality.

In the event, 128 supporters were chosen to travel 53,850 kilometres across both islands of New Zealand participating in 45 different activities across 39 days. They went to 10 Rugby World Cup matches, enjoyed 16 gigs by our resident and guest bands and made three bungee jumps, including one off Auckland Bridge. Living up to their reputation as true Aussie rugger buggers, they drank too much, partied too hard, drove large campervans across perilous mountain passes and undertook death-defying activities such as white-water rafting. All 128 returned home alive, if not well.

The star of the web and TV series was actor Phil Lloyd, best known as Myles Barlow from the Review TV series. Throughout the tour, he was Toby Withers, hapless reporter for Highly Strung magazine and specialist in nontennis racquet sports. He was helped in his efforts to come to terms with rugby by John Eales, Matt Burke, Chris Hardy, Gordon Bray and the Wallabies themselves. Over 35 days, he lodged 21 episodes online and on TV, and put together two 30-minute specials.

The idea was that this would be a truly spontaneous and ‘live’ documentary, recording the misadventures of our travelling caravan. Spontaneity requires planning. We recruited the services of top film director Gregor Jordon (Two Hands, Buffalo Soldiers, Ned Kelly), and the writing and production services of Nathan Earl from The Chaser team. Scripts were written daily, on the spot and on the run for the 35 days of the tour.

The site did a great job of showcasing New Zealand. Visitors were met with 20 New Zealand attraction information pieces promoting New Zealand on the site. Wellington and Auckland content pages were viewed 3870 times alone, with an average two minutes spent exploring these important gateways.

The Great Crusade series ran online with more than 12.7 million views to date. Additionally, The Great Crusade series ran on Q in-flight TV for the duration of the tournament, totalling over 12,000 screenings on domestic flights, bringing New Zealand and the Qantas Wallabies to 1.9 million passengers. It generated 49 online stories, 17 print articles, 12 broadcast pieces, including six segments on the Today Show, and countless radio interviews.

Australians themselves picked up ‘The Great Crusade’ and ran with the story through social media. Over 3500 tweets, blogs, Facebook ‘likes’ and online comments reached in excess of 15 million people. There were nearly 350,000 views on Qantas’ YouTube channel.

For six weeks ‘The Great Crusade’ became an entertainment phenomenon. Such was the power of its unique narrative that it was even nominated for an Emmy Award for Digital Fiction and won a Gold Lion at Cannes.

Toby Withers

Results

Thegreatcrusade.com became compulsive viewing for anyone interested in the Rugby World Cup. It generated 80 million media impressions, 20 million unique browsers and 428,318 clicks with 199,364 unique visits to the m-site.

Specifically, in response to the objectives:

  1. in research conducted by Ipsos for the week commencing 24 October 2011, Qantas recorded the highest brand awareness despite not being a World Cup sponsor, beating out Heineken and forcing Emirates into third spot,
  2. 70% of those exposed to Qantas activity around the Rugby World Cup agreed that it increased their interest in visiting New Zealand. 32% of those seeing the Qantas activity claimed to be extremely likely to visit New Zealand, compared to only 17% that had not seen The Great Crusade. Those ‘quite/extremely likely’ to do so rose from 50% to 82%, and
  3. bookings to New Zealand saw an overall lift during the Rugby World Cup, peaking during the core rounds and the finals series. While the competition generated its own coverage of New Zealand, we believe our 30-day voyage around less-known parts of both islands contributed significantly to this uplift.

 

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Online banking overtaking branch visits in NZ

Media and retail are not the only sectors experiencing dramatic shifts at the hands of online business. The internet is also transforming customer interaction in the financial services sector, with online interactions now more frequent than visits to a branch in Australia and heading that way in New Zealand.

According to Roy Morgan data, New Zealand is catching up to Australian consumers in terms of online banking, with solid growth over the last ten years (up 33.1% to 45.1%), at the expense branch visits (down 9.6% to 52.3%) and phone banking (down 16.6% to 23.7%). In Australia, more people used online banking in the past four weeks than visited a branch.

The ATM remains the most frequently used banking channel in each country – 77% of Australians and 67% of New Zealanders visited an ATM in the past four weeks.

Finance industry director at Roy Morgan Research, Suela Qemal, says the implication for financial institutions is a weakening of traditional relationships and loyalty, making it easier for people to switch banks or split their banking across a number of institutions.

“The popularity and convenience of the internet continue to drive customers towards online banking and away from traditional staff-based services of phone banking and the standard walk-in branch visit,” Qemal says.

“This shift has significant implications from the reduction in person-to-person communication which erodes the key relationship and loyalty between a customer and their bank at a time when bank competition has never been so prominent.”

Looking at the graphs below, the uptake of online banking appears to be mainly at the expense of phone banking.

Banking channel used (past 4 weeks) – New Zealand (Dec 2011)

 

 

And for Australian banking customers, online banking overtook branch visits a year ago.

Banking channel used (past 4 weeks) – Australia (Dec 2010)

 

 

The research concludes that the trend towards online looks set to continue, with consumers having 24 hour access to online banking from their computers, mobile phones and other wireless devices, and a general move towards an ‘online lifestyle’.

In Australia, online banking surpassed branch visitation in frequency for the first time in December 2010.

 

Jetstar game hits the target in New Zealand

Jetstar has launched a new brand campaign in New Zealand featuring an online branded social game, Happy Landings.

Developed by branded game specialist, 3RD sense, the game sees players guide a little bird (apparently name Manu, very Kiwi), through 45 levels of flying adventure across five destinations in New Zealand (extensive procrastination possibilities), Australia and Singapore.  Happy Landings encourages players to share and compete with their friends using Twitter and Facebook.

Colin Cardwell, CEO of 3RD sense said, “Happy Landings incorporates all the elements that make a branded social game a successful marketing tool. Designed to appeal to Jetstar’s broad target audience, the fun and challenging gameplay meets Jetstar’s ‘Good Times’ consumer positioning. With the Facebook and Twitter integration, we’re promoting competition between friends which will encourage viral recommendations, repeat-play and longer brand interaction times.

Once registered, players can link Happy Landings to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, enabling them to share their scores and trophies with their friends. A social graph allows players to instantly view which friends have logged scores and won trophies.

It all sounds like pretty complicated stuff for a simple idea, but it works, and has got a few of the folk at the Marketing mag offices interacting with the Jetstar brand, even if theyre not buying flights, yet.

Play the game here.

100% Pure Kiwi envy?

Over half the Australian tourism industry rates New Zealand its fiercest competitor, with the most successful marketing campaign in the past 12 months, according to the Tourism Futures Roy Morgan industry survey.

Up to 55% of survey respondents ranked the ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ campaign as the best in the world excluding Australia, well clear of Canada (7%), India (5%), UK/England (3%) and South Africa (3%).

The Tourism Futures conference held in Brisbane revealed the final results of its industry survey, which also revealed that a third of the Australian industry is keen to co-operatively market with New Zealand.

“The Australian industry acknowledges New Zealand’s marketing supremacy in this survey, which highlights the opportunity we have. Not everyone has the ‘best in the world’ sitting right next door,” said Tony Charters, Tourism Futures convenor.

“The survey also points to a mood for co-operation, with a realization that it may not be in our best interests to go head-to-head with New Zealand when vying for international visitors. Despite our sporting rivalries, perhaps we have a lot to learn from New Zealand, and a lot to gain from working more closely together.”

Australia and New Zealand could potentially present as a united destination, under a strategic alliance including marketing, quality standards, training standards and a relaxation of border controls, similar to the 10 ASEAN countries in South East Asia.

“We don’t do fjords and glaciers, they don’t do deserts or tropical experiences – Australian and New Zealand are complimentary. And when you’re talking to markets in the northern hemisphere, asking them to take an expensive, long-haul flight you’ve got to make the offer irresistible.”

Kiwi wine still high on Aussies lists

The New Zealand wine phenomenon has continued to gather pace with volume sales up 42.3% over the financial year to 2009 says a report from Nielsen.

Sales value has doubled over the last three years to now represent 8% of the total wine sold through the off-premise liquor market in Australia.

According to the Nielsen report, fuelling this movement is a core group of Aussie consumers aged in their 30s who are new to the wine category, who differ from the general wine buying population as they are more likely to live in metro regions, particularly Sydney, and have a household income over $100K.

Michael Walton, executive director, Pacific, Nielsen Liquor Group said, “A multichannel strategy is required to communicate to this group as they connect with many different information sources and are likely to generate word-of-mouth publicity.”

“Other opportunities to attract this lucrative group of ‘thirtysomethings’ include wine tasting opportunities in-store to reassure them about the quality and taste of the brand, as well as linking the brand to being good with food either with information in-store or on the actual bottle.”