The growth of the internet in Australia has been incredible since it was first introduced to the country in 1986. The network was originally only used by a few government and university organisations, now it is one of the most dominant communication channels available in the country. Whether you are at home, walking on the street, at work or going through a retail complex, you will see people on a mobile device engaging with their desired content on the web.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 13.5 million internet subscribers at the end of 2016. This equates to 56% of Australia’s population being active on the web and this number is expected to increase as more people become more internet-savvy and infrastructure rollouts like the NBN (National Broadband Network) and Telstra’s 5G network are put into place. As more people get connected to the internet, more opportunities will arise for brands to advertise their products and services, as well as establish a strong presence with their desired audience.
Traditionally, building awareness required brands to invest in traditional above the line media such as print, television, radio and billboards, which was targeted based on viewership, readership and location data.
Therefore if a brand wanted to target people in Brisbane, they could rollout a campaign across five main television channels, 3 main media channels and 3 main print publications.
Nowadays, the marketing landscape is much more diverse. The rise of the internet has created ‘content on-demand’ and the traditional above the line ads or promotions’ has been paired with advertisers delivering ‘highly-targeted promotions that’s related to the content that the person is consuming.’
How should brands respond to the increase in Australia’s internet usage?
Firstly, brands must recognise that the marketing landscape has changed and depending on the target audience and approach using the same traditional marketing approach will not be as effective as they once were. Secondly, there’s a need for brands to invest in emerging media such as social media to reach consumers.
Thirdly, brands need to be agile. The marketing landscape is shifting quickly and it is easy for brands to miss opportunities if their organisation’s processes aren’t tailored and omni-channel. All too often, brands decide to market on a platform after it has matured or if it is in decline. Or, they tend to invest in the channel without understanding how to advertise on the platform correctly. MySpace for instance went from the world’s number one social network to dying a quick death when its audience moved to Facebook. Brands potentially could have better utilised their advertising budget by better understanding how to advertise on the platform and recognise the changes in consumer engagement on each platform.
The Move To Mobile
In the last ten years, people have moved from consuming web content on desktops to laptops to their smartphones. Therefore changes in the way people consume content has to be considered. Currently web content is split between traditional HTML websites, mobile-friendly websites and mobile applications, and users are likely to leave your web page instantly if it isn’t mobile responsive, therefore making sure your digital media is designed for your users is more crucial than ever.
Another way brands can stay relevant is by understanding the changes in the consumer decision-making process, whereby influencers are no longer celebrities who endorse products, but web publishers that have a loyal online following, who’s recommendations can make or break a brand’s advertising campaign.
It’s important that brands work with digital marketing agencies like The Shannon Company in Australia or Change Behaviour in the UK who have their finger on the pulse of the changing internet and consumer behaviour, where brand’s can then get the necessary insight to optimise and minimise any risk to their campaigns.
Brand’s have the opportunity to thrive in the developing internet market in Australia. But should they stick solely to their traditional marketing techniques, they may find themselves left behind and out of touch with the very people that they wanted to be connected with.