Australian National Outlook 2019: three key takeaways for experiential marketers

Taking a look at the CSIRO and NAB’s Australia National Outlook report, Jessica Quiney ponders Australian trust, action and education in 2060, what it means and how we’re to prepare.

Jessica Quiney 150 BWThe report considers two contrasting scenarios in answer to the question: ‘What will Australia be like economically, socially and environmentally in 2060?​’

Australia has enjoyed nearly three decades of uninterrupted economic growth. However, the world is changing rapidly and Australia will need to adapt to keep up. The report identifies two contrasting scenarios for Australia: ‘Slow Decline’, in which Australia fails to adequately address the global and domestic issues, and the ‘Outlook Vision’, in which Australia takes decisive action and a long-term view. 

There are six key challenges, but what do these macro challenges mean for experiential marketing? 

Each and every one of us has a role to play. As marketers, we will need to find ways to authentically engage audiences, respond to the increasing demand for purposeful action and prepare the talent of tomorrow.

Marketing is plagued by scepticism

Live, face-to-face experiences have cut through.

Trust levels are at an all-time low. Trust in governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations and the media has declined. The Royal Commission rocked the financial services industry, scrutiny of Facebook’s use of personal data, cheating cricketers, fake news, religious figures charged, political parties in turmoil – all this indicates that Australia, and the world, is grappling with a trust crisis. 

Related: Privacy, trust and agony – Advertising Week APAC 2019 day three review »
AWAPAC stage keynote day three

Within the broad marketing mix, live experiences designed with people at the centre have phenomenal power to counter this malaise. Delivering the opening and closing ceremonies for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 certainly cemented GPJ Australia’s belief in this; the competitors were at the very heart of the entire experience and the power of human connections was undeniable. Giving people the tangible, human connections is key to building – or rebuilding –trust. 

Talk less, do more

People are demanding purposeful action from brands; let people experience your commitment for themselves

The ANO report highlights the significant economic, environmental and social threat that climate changes poses. The world has already experienced warming of approximately 1°C from pre-Industrial levels and could be on a path to 4°C global warming (or worse) by 2100 unless significant action is taken.

Social purpose is causing a stir in the marketing industry; it is one of the ways brands can address global challenges like climate change:

  • Consumers are demanding it: 90% of Australians believe it’s essential for people to come together in person to promote positive change
  • Brands are investing in it: purposeful brands have experienced a brand valuation increase of 175% over the past 12 years, and
  • Good is considered the new cool: one in four Australians attended an event supporting a particular cause within the last year.

Live experiences are a powerful way to demonstrate purpose-driven marketing, giving attendees a chance to experience a brand’s commitment to making a positive impact on the world. We can learn from companies like Salesforce, leaders in developing a sustainable approach to experiential marketing; its first-ever Climate Summit championed environmental Trailblazers and #GreenHeroes, helping to make Dreamforce ‘18 the most sustainable Dreamforce yet.

Related: Purpose in progress – one year later with Afdhel Aziz »
raod cool

Thinking ahead

Australia needs to future proof the talent of tomorrow and tap into the affinity for experiences among Millennials and Gen Z.

Technological change, such as artificial intelligence, automation and advances in biotechnology, is transforming existing industries and changing the skills required for high-quality jobs. Unless Australia can reverse its recent declines in educational performance, its future workforce could be poorly prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.

Educational experiences that focus on upskilling, training and inspiring the next generation of workers to gain the necessary skills for the jobs of the future – and even to imagine roles that don’t yet exist – will increasingly become a focus of brands who are trying to appeal to Millennials and Gen Z. This audience highly values live experiences, particularly memorable and sharable ones, so there is an opportunity to utilise this approach to reach them to solve one of the biggest challenges Australia faces.

For example, Adobe’s purpose driven initiative – Restoring Photos, Renewing Hope – involved working with local relief organisations and students from all over Texas to help victims of Hurricane Harvey restore their irreplaceable, precious family photos. As well as doing a wonderful thing for those who had lost everything in the hurricane, this initiative also demonstrated the potential of Adobe Creative Cloud tools to future creative minds.

The Australian National Outlook 2019 lays the foundations for the world in which we will all be living and working for the next 50 years; it is well worth considering the potential impact these trends might have on experiential marketing, in order to stay ahead of the curve. 

If we can cut through the scepticism by delivering live experiences that enable human connections, we will be able to start rebuilding trust between people and brands. 

If we make an authentic commitment to purposeful action, brands will play a key role in addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing Australia and the rest of the world. 

If we focus on upskilling, training and inspiring the next generation, we will prepare our Australian talent pool for the future, setting us all up for success. 

Are you ready to shape Australia for the next 50 years? 

Jessica Quiney is strategy lead at GPJ Australia

Image credit:Alex wong