‘Park any preconceptions’: Boomtown Masterclass highlights regional opportunities for brands

'Park any preconceptions'- Boomtown Masterclass highlights regional opportunities for brands

Lauren Dawber: “The digital ecosystem is powerful, it doesn’t matter where you live.”

Lauren Dawber, senior director of media, operations, and performance at Optus, wants agency partners to “really think about markets outside of the capital cities.” According to Dawber, this approach leads to more exciting and effective media plans.

Dawber was part of a panel of senior marketers at media collective Boomtown’s Masterclass on July 4, alongside Rob Maxwell, head of investment at The Speed Agency, and Manelle Merhi, general manager of marketing and customer experience at Kennards Hire.

Together, they discussed the importance of targeting regional audiences and the potential for strong returns on investment.

Dawber said that Optus considers its regional customers the same as those in any other part of Australia.

“We know our customers are all over Australia – I think it’s remiss [of any brand] to think they only find customers in metro cities. Now, we don’t look at our customers as ‘metro versus regional’; we look at them based on demographic and channel – the digital ecosystem is powerful, it doesn’t matter where you live.”

Merhi highlighted that 35 percent of Kennards Hire’s branch network and operations are in regional Australia.

“It means that we ensure to focus a significant portion of our marketing spend in supporting regional markets,” she said.

Merhi noted the company’s campaigns in regional areas often achieve double or triple the impact compared to metropolitan campaigns.

“These types of regional results make it hard to argue with the data and easier to align on decisions in the organisation’s broader strategy.”

The Speed Agency’s Maxwell pointed out the data supporting regional advertising.

“The facts and figures about regional are compelling for agencies and clients and demonstrate how much opportunity there is, particularly when you look at the size of the population, as well as other socioeconomic factors,” he said.

He advised brands to approach regional markets without preconceived notions and to consider the data showing strong growth potential.

“Brands really need to park any preconceptions about regional and come at it from a neutral place…  Whether you’re an online business, a brick-and-mortar establishment or just looking for new expansion territories, regional is such a happy hunting ground and should be treated the same as any other market.”

See also: Boomtown opens registrations for winter Masterclass


Top Image: Wade Kingsley, Rob Maxwell, Lauren Dawber & Manelle Merhi

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