The easing of COVID-19 restrictions from this month, allowing metropolitan-based Australians the ability to travel within their states and territories, will not only aid regional Australia in its recovery, but offers renewed opportunity for advertisers to connect with Boomtown audiences and domestic tourists.
Boomtown, the Australian-first collaboration focused on highlighting the benefits of advertising in regional Australia, said regional towns and centres are expected to swell as city residents who have been locked down and unable to travel, look to travel to regional areas and support their economies.
National research conducted by the Tourism and Transport Forum found almost two in five people were planning to travel within their own state in the next two months, growing to almost two thirds within the next six months. Three in four expected to maintain or increase their travel spending despite COVID-19.
In addition, media owners have seen dramatic spikes in their audiences during the pandemic as Australians turn to trusted news and entertainment sources, which is expected to continue.
“As restrictions ease and Australians are able to travel within their own states and territories, we are seeing advertisers concurrently starting to ramp up activity to coincide with anticipated metro and regional consumer spending increases,” said Boomtown chairman and SCA chief sales officer Brian Gallagher.
“Several studies have indicated that Australians want to support local businesses and locally made products and regional Australia will benefit from that. Share of voice opportunities for advertisers are high making it a perfect time to add regional to media plans and reach an extra 36% of Australians.”
Boomtown has several initiatives underway, including a new education initiative and the launch of an industry portal designed to simplify access to regional audiences.
The Boomtown industry education program is designed for young media buyers to arm the industry with the knowledge and tools to understand and book regional media. It will include masterclasses in collaboration with the Media Federation of Australia (MFA) and NGEN, called the NGEN PLUS Boomtown Masterclass: Rethink Regional.
The masterclass series will run across the country, with dates to be announced soon.
“The Boomtown committee sees education as critical for media agencies to not only understand the potential of regional advertising but also to understand the regional audience and have the knowledge and tools to plan and buy regional media. Boomtown has developed a strong syllabus that really offers a good insight into regional media audiences and the landscape. We will have Boomtown representatives sharing their knowledge and looking at the future of regional media,” said TRSN group general manager – national sales and marketing, Jeremy Simpson.
The industry portal is an industry first and offers agencies a one-stop platform to locate regional media coverage areas of the Boomtown media owners along with category insights. Customised searches can also be briefed to Boomtown media owners through the platform. It aims to ease the process of booking of Boomtown media by offering all relevant information in a single platform.