Grow your business with digital marketing

Digital marketing has transformed how business connect with their customers. Since the birth of Google in 1998, it’s grown into a powerhouse that offers opportunities for businesses in every industry and of every size - transforming how business (and brands) relationships with customers play out everyday.

Despite digital marketing’s exponential growth, there’s massive potential for businesses to tap into.

Tapping into digital marketing’s potential

Whether you’re starting out in digital marketing or you’re honing your skills, here are five things you need to work into your strategy.  


Traditionally, marketing was a lot less personalised than it is today. There was less focus on knowing who the customer was and more on engaging as many people as possible with a campaign.

Digital marketing has turned that on its head and now the customer - and their data - need to be at the heart of every decision. This customer-centricity and focus on the customer journey means marketing needs to be more personalised with retargeting campaigns and calls to action that engage with customers wherever they are on the sales funnel.

Success in digital marketing is about understanding your audience and appealing to their needs and desire using tailor made content and information.

Mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is seeing massive growth, offering audiences in an immersive environment, it should be at the core of any digital marketing strategy.

Google is leading the way with its Accelerated Mobile Pages project which puts into focus just how much of a crucial player mobile is becoming in digital marketing.

Constant innovation in mobile is opening an increasing number of advertising options including augmented and virtual reality (think Pokemon Go) capabilities growing on mobile platforms.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing connects you with your customers anytime, anywhere. Functions like Facebook Live and live streaming on YouTube are becoming a popular way for brands to connect with audiences but the next step is a lot more personal: Messaging apps What’s App, WeChat and Facebook Messenger are giving brands the opportunity to connect directly with customers through one on one advertising and conversion.

Conversion Rate Optimisation

Conversion rate optimisation is simply taking your content and making people interact with it. Using active language like “download now”, “free” or “watch now” gives the action a sense of urgency and priority, encouraging people to click then and there.

Coupling CRO with social proof - customers being able to see each other at an event or interacting with a brand or product - is helping to drive brand engagements across all types of digital marketing.

Optimise engagement by taking advantage of video to explain product usage or your brand’s services and highlight must have experiences.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation combines insight-focused capabilities from CRMs, lead management systems (such as email marketing), web analytics platforms and customer service systems to help manage the customer journey.

Being incomplete control from a potential customer’s first point of contact with your brand right through to the end of the transaction, gives you the opportunity to personalise your customer journey without having juggle dozens of different interfaces. Add to that  artificial intelligence - such as chat bots on websites - and can allow brands to have a one on one interaction with each unique visitor.

What’s next?

Digital is putting the power of a marketing agency into the hands of SME’s across the country. Thanks to Facebook, Adroll and Google Analytics, it’s easier than ever to create and monitor campaigns using everything you’ve just learnt.

The first step is thinking about  the primary goals for your business and what you want to achieve with digital marketing. Are you:  

  • Driving sales?

  • Building brand awareness?

  • Generating more leads?

  • Retaining customers?

Once you understand that, the next step is understanding how to you match up with industry standards to see where you can improve your marketing. Google’s Rich Media Gallery provides industry benchmarks in a free, easy to use tool: Rich Media Gallery

Think about:

  • How many visitors does your website get compared to others that are similar?

  • Is the message on your website clear? Are your calls to action obvious and instructive?

  • How many people are opening your emails and clicking on links?

Well planned and executed digital marketing can create massive opportunities for any brand. While it’s tempting to jump in with both feet, the measurability of campaigns across social media and retargeting offer huge opportunities for testing and learning.


Oliver Hill is Fairfax Media’s New Product Marketing Manager.  He has 14 years experience in digital marketing, working for companies including: American Express, Fox Sports Pulse and Yahoo!.

How to keep your brand safe online

Gareth Codd, Group Sales Director Fairfax Media NZ, discusses how to keep your brand safe online, what to look out for in a premium environment and the dangers of ad fraud.

Using email marketing to generate conversions

Neighbourly offers local - right down to the neighbourhood - advertising options for businesses. This lets businesses grow their presence in the community and create relationships with customers that go beyond transactional. We needed to show businesses how advertising on Neighbourly would benefit them. 

The Challenge 

Neighbourly is New Zealand’s fastest growing social media platform. We needed to convert that growth into advertising revenue while increasing the number of businesses connecting to the community to strengthen Neighbourly’s value proposition for business. 

Our Idea 

Our idea was to bring Neighbourly to our business database to show them how they could grow market share in their communities, connect with the people in them and build their reputation. 

What we Did 

We identified three sections of our business audience and created an eDM campaign to present them with a tailored proposition.  Each proposition would show the audience segment the importance of engaging with the community through Neighbourly and how it would positively impact their business. 

The three sections were: 

Claim Your Free Business Listing:

Targeted at Fairfax Media clients who were given a complimentary listing but were yet to take it up, this encouraged businesses to become active users. 

Free Local Business Listing: 

For those that had yet to sign up to Neighbourly or the Business Listings, this gave them access to the resource. 

Premium Business Listing:

Targeted to businesses that have been using Neighbourly’s Free Local Business Listing offered a discounted upgrade for the Premium Listing, which offers a plethora of additional options. 

The Insight 

Social  media is a powerful tool for businesses but many still shy away from it. By putting our foot forward, and introducing Neighbourly, we would break down that barrier to show them how their business can directly benefit and how easy it is to do. 

The Results 

Neighbourly pic.JPG

The campaign generated industry leading click through rates, revenue leads and an increase in businesses signing to Neighbourly. 

Create Your Free Listing returned an open rate of 39.6% (above the industry average of 18.1% for Marketing and Advertising*) and a click through rate of 8%. This generated a pool of prospective leads for conversion into a paid subscription of more than $12,000. 

Upgrade to Premium returned an open rate of 55% and click through rate of 3.85% (above international benchmark of 2.06%*). 

A secondary campaign targeting clients for an up sell from the free listing to a premium listing focused strongly on communicating the benefits of a premium listing and returned a 45% open rate and 3% conversion rate to paid listings. 

What the Client Said 

"One of the benefits of working with Fairfax is the large number of potential business prospects they have dealings with. Used well the database can create many opportunities This campaign allowed us to zoom in quickly to the potential businesses that were interested in our product, allowing us to ensure we generated the best sales close rate possible with the resources we had at our disposal."

- Casey Eden, Founder Neighbourly 


How to create copy that will transform your proposals

Copy can seem like a small thing but, much like the way you wouldn't build a house with rusty nails, getting the copy right can transform your business proposal and your engagement with clients. 

Take the time to understand how readability, sentence structure and a killer headline can transform any flier, advert or proposal into something to remember. 

Download Writing Great Copy and get keep yourself one step ahead of the competition. 


#buythisbeachnz: How the Power of Stuff transformed Engagement in a Local Campaign

The #buythisbeachnz campaign united Kiwis behind a single cause: keeping a beach in the Awaroa inlet by Abel Tasman National Park in public ownership. Kiwis rallied behind the cause, donating more than $2 million to buy the land. 

The Challenge

Two ordinary Kiwis, Daune Major and Adam Gard’ner, launched a campaign to buy a privately-owned beach in the secluded Awaroa Inlet in the Marlborough Sounds and transfer it to public ownership. 

The campaign was about ordinary Kiwis doing an extraordinary thing and we saw how that connected to the Stuff/Fairfax Media values of bringing together our communities to thrive and to enable socially conscience Kiwis to  connect over issues that are important to them.  We were able to put our money where our mouth is, showing people that we are for them and care about the same issues they do. 

When we saw the clock was ticking on the campaign, we stepped in to help New Zealanders raise the remaining $1.1m.    

Our Idea 

Our idea was to rally Kiwis to band behind the campaign and give a voice and opportunity to the  people that wanted to return the beach to public ownership. To do this, we would create a multimedia, cross platform campaign anchored on Stuff. 

What we did 

We created a multimedia campaign that centered around a strong call to action on social media with the hashtag #BuyThisBeachNZ, which acted as a rallying cry for our audience. 

Campaigners Duane Major (left) Adam Gard'ner (right)

Campaigners Duane Major (left) Adam Gard'ner (right)

The campaign was launched by an open letter from Patrick Crewdson, Editor of Stuff: 

“Stuff is getting behind the project to preserve this slice of paradise for the public - and we’re asking you to join us.” 

What followed was storm of diverse content, over a nine day period, that engaged hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders. 

Donations closed: Displayed on editorial supporting the campaign. 

Donations closed: Displayed on editorial supporting the campaign. 

30 pieces of editorial content, each one a call to action that put the campaign front and centre and embedded the Givealittle fundraising page into the article, presenting endless opportunity for people to contribute. 

Content types included: an opinion piece from one of the campaign organisers, Daune Major, talking about the spirit of the campaign; contributions from the Stuff Nation community; Major video pieces including interviews with the organisers, politicians and public scoping out the project 

Once the campaign target was reached we launched a secondary campaign that thanked all those that had contributed to the cause. 

It included: 

  • 21 video pieces created
  • 30 editorial articles created housed within
  • Facebook Live stream of campaign founder Duane Major thanking Stuff supporters had 22,000 views
Success! Editorial celebrating reaching the fundraising goal. 

Success! Editorial celebrating reaching the fundraising goal. 

The Insight

Community is a driving force for Stuff and our audience has rallied behind international and community causes where we’ve made a tangible difference to people’s lives. This, combined with our deep connection to New Zealand’s communities, meant we knew how to talk to our audience and how they feel about social and political issues. 

Looking deeper: Editorial examining the issue of coastal ownership in NZ

Looking deeper: Editorial examining the issue of coastal ownership in NZ

The Results 

Donations: Donations increasing after Stuff came on board. 

Donations: Donations increasing after Stuff came on board. 

  • Before our campaign started, donations lulled at $870,000. 
  • Within a week of starting our campaign, the $2 million target was achieved. 
  • 21 video pieces created - 150,000 views across our platforms
  • 30 editorial articles created housed within
  • Facebook Live stream of campaign founder Duane Major thanking Stuff supporters had 22,000 views


Wasp Wipeout: Engaging local and business communities to create sustainable change

The Nelson Mail created a fundraising campaign to help tackle Nelson's wasp problem. The multi-media campaign included a short documentary (watch below), a purpose built editorial content in the Nelson Mail and engagement with local businesses. 

The challenge 

Nelson Mail editor Victoria Guild and her team created editorial content to support the campaign. 

Nelson Mail editor Victoria Guild and her team created editorial content to support the campaign. 

Wasps have been the scourge of the Kiwi summer for decades, no more so than in Nelson; the home of a common and German wasp population whose biomass is greater per hectare than the rats, stoats and possums combined.  The Department of Conservation and local groups have been at war for years but in 2016, in time for the 2017 hatching season, the Nelson Mail and Fairfax Media stepped into the fray. 

The challenge: raise $50,000 through crowdfunding  to create a wasp free corridor in Nelson, freeing up the community from (potentially lethal but always painful) stings  and helping protect native bird and bat life - which often falls prey to wasps. 

Our idea 

Our idea was to create a community wide crowdfunding and education campaign utilising the Nelson Mail, in print and online, to show the community how wasps devastate native species and the environment what they could do about it.  

We would create a fundraising platform that made  donating accessible and show donors where their money was going. 

To ensure we had enough volunteer power involved in the campaign we’d encourage the community to get involved by registering with DOC to become an approved Vespex bait user,  allowing them to put bait their homes and neighbourhoods. 

The navigation pane featured across the Nelson Mail's coverage, allowing people to engage with each facet of the campaign. 

The navigation pane featured across the Nelson Mail's coverage, allowing people to engage with each facet of the campaign. 

What we did 

We created a cross platform campaign with three touch points: 

  • Nelson Mail in print
  • Nelson Mail online
  • eDMs targeted to Nelson Mail subscribers and local businesses
Biomass of wasps is greater than all other pests in South Island beech forest. 

Biomass of wasps is greater than all other pests in South Island beech forest. 

The campaign centered on a three-pronged approach that engaged and educated people across different topics affected by wasps looking at: the environment (how wasps consume food sources for native birds and  invertebrates as well as attacking the baby birds and invertebrates themselves), the economy (such as impacts on tourism and the honey industry), and human well being. 

Each of these points was covered through in-depth multimedia  journalism in the Nelson Mail, incorporating editorial, display advertising, community generated content, infographics and videos. 

Bait stations laid across the top of the South Island to create a wasp free corridor.

Bait stations laid across the top of the South Island to create a wasp free corridor.

Our fundraising platform closely mirrored the Kickstarter model. We offered different tiers of donations, allowing supporters to donate towards different equipment e.g. 

Regular SWAT Team - $25
10 bait stations 

Regular Stinger Pack - $100
600g of bait
1 applicator stick
24 bait wells 

This increased accessibility to the fundraising campaign - allowing business to support higher end tiers and offering access points to fit any budget (general donates accepted from $5). 

Community outreach has extended to two schools, and numerous service clubs like Lions and Rotary, where Nelson Mail editor Victoria Guild has given talks about wasp wipeout. 

The insight

The Nelson Mail has a rich history of engagement with its community. For 150 years it has been informing and entertaining the people of Nelson. This meant that we knew how much of an issue this was for the community and were able to meaningful connect with its members and the businesses that call Nelson home, creating a more liveable community. 

The results 

The crowdfunding campaign raised an astounding $55,600, recruited 285 volunteers to help place the bait and had dozens of residents who have placed bait around their own homes . 

Vespex has more than a 95% success right and, thank to the fundraising, we’re able to cover 390 km of Nelson’s Beech forest. 

The success of the campaign created a valuable blueprint for future Wasp Wipeout missions, opening the potential for the wipeout to be scaled to a nationwide campaign. 

What the client said 

“Working with Victoria and the team at the Nelson Mail and wider Fairfax operation has been fantastic. We’ve been able to achieve a whole lot more for conservation and our community than endeavouring to do it on our own. This campaign has meant that DOC has been able to deliver five times more wasp control across the region than last year.

"The partnership has been built on trust, a clear shared vision and each party has worked working to its strengths in leading its area of expertise.

 "The Tasman Environment Trust has supported through managing and distributing funds to the community as well as providing another online home for information.
We are just delighted with the results, and are looking forward to working together with Fairfax Media in the future.”

Christine Officer, Partnership Development Manager, Department of Conservation

The Best Online Display Ad Sizes for your Business

Display advertising comes in a plethora of sizes and shapes but some ad sizes (and placements) are more effective than others. Make sure you know which are best for your business or campaign and how they can work with the content they're surrounded by. 

Brandwise: Keep your brand safe online

Digital advertising is growing exponentially. It's spread means advertisers are rushing to get as much advertising space as possible onto websites that are running out of real estate. As this happens, less savory websites are cropping up and offering advertising space. For some brands using programmatic advertising and third party remarketing services, this has meant appearing alongside offensive and inappropriate content. Read on to make sure it doesn't happen to you.

Video: Keep your brand safe online

Gareth Codd, Group Sales Director Fairfax Media NZ, discusses how to keep your brand safe online, what to look out for in a premium environment and the dangers of ad fraud.

Fairfax Media

Explore Fairfax Media's digital and print brands to see what a premium, brand safe, environment can do for your advertising under Our Brands.


KPEX is New Zealand's premium programmatic advertising exchange. As a multi-organisation partnership it ensures your ads are put beside premium, editorially curated, and widely trusted journalism and content.

5 ways to stop remarketing betraying your brand 

Remarketing is one of the most powerful tools marketers have access to. Like never before, it’s allowed for dynamic advertising to push prospects through the sales funnel and create awareness for your brand. It’s not all roses, though. As local brands have discovered remarketing can land your brand into hot water overnight. Continue reading...

Planning for Disaster: How to keep your brand safe online

It’s more important than ever that companies are aware of where their brands are going and what’s going to be around them. In an age of screenshots and  social media, consumers aren’t always open to giving second chances and, if your brand ends up next to objectionable content, it could be a PR nightmare...Continue reading...


Four Reasons Why You Should Use Mobile Content

Mobile is exploding in growth, with audiences spending increasing amounts of time consuming video and social media content on their mobile devices. 

This has brought marketers a plethora of new advertising options to enhance campaigns, increase engagement and awareness and integrate their brand into the mobile user experience. Here are four reasons to get involved with mobile. 


Using Local Media to Bust Myths and Engage New Zealand's Communities

The New Zealand flag debate captured the nation but it also came with a lot of misinformation. On behalf of the Flag Consideration Panel we engaged communities across New Zealand, showing them why the flag debate mattered and busting misinformation. 

The Challenge 

The New Zealand Flag Consideration panel challenged us to reach the people and communities that weren’t engaging with the Flag Debate; convinced that their voices didn’t matter, that the referendum wasn’t relevant to them, or who had fallen prey to misinformation. 

We needed to clear up the misinformation and show the people that their voice, and participation, mattered. 

The Insight 

Knowing our audience meant we knew who our journalists needed to talk (respected, local thought-leaders) to build an interactive campaign that showed those communities why their voices mattered. 

What We Did 

Firstly, we identified the audiences we needed to connect with: Maori, Pacific Island and new migrants, and where these people were in the country.

Fairfax Media journalists talked to the community about their choice. 

Fairfax Media journalists talked to the community about their choice. 

Then, we focussed on creating relevant messaging, using peer influence, to engage with these audience segments, bringing them into the debate and dispelling any misinformation.  

In our targeted regions we worked closely with Stuff’s editorial team to identify local thought-leaders to share their views through Q&A articles in print, focussing on community papers in relevant regions (utilising Stuff Nation for online content) on the final two flags and the debate at large.  

More largely to mythbust around flag misinformation and show both flags in-situ, we created emotive video content which included user generated content , deployed across Stuff and social media, and long form articles and fun fact quizzes.  Both quizzes and video content are high performers with the Stuff audience. 

We defined three types of audience the campaign needed to reach. 

We defined three types of audience the campaign needed to reach. 

Once the audience was chosen we connected with them through their chosen medium. 

Once the audience was chosen we connected with them through their chosen medium. 

The Results 

The campaign encouraged voting through connecting readers with their community. 

The campaign encouraged voting through connecting readers with their community. 

Engagement with the flag debate exploded and readers engaged strongly with the videos, quizzes and articles. We reached audiences off Fairfax Media platforms as well, connecting with them over Facebook and Twitter. 

We succeeded in generating open and honest conversation across these platforms, brought fresh and much-needed diverse voices to the debate through our 55 Community newspapers,  and addressed the confusions and misinformation that had run rife throughout the campaign.  

What the Campaign Director Said 

"This campaign is a testament not only to how well we connect with our readers but our ability to stimulate engagement, debate and reach New Zealanders across the country. Our journalists worked incredibly hard to cut through the misinformation and inform our audience (especially our target audience) about the realities of the flag change and history of our current flag. While the cross-platform campaign ensured we successfully became a  voice of reason and information on Fairfax platforms and on social media. "

Susana Leitao, Custom Solutions Director 

New Zealand tourism growth is impacting our great nation

New Zealand’s tourism industry is growing at a rapid pace, presenting immense opportunity for regional economies and increasing jobs in our country.

New Zealand visitor arrivals are expected to reach 4.5 million by 2022, a growth rate of approximately 5% per year driven largely by Chinese/Asian and North American tourists.

We’re a safe place to visit.  We have a national brand of ‘100% pure’ that’s attractive to overseas tourists.  We have a unique Maori culture and scenic, diverse landscapes around the country to visit.

With changing customer demographics, inbound growth will exceed outbound growth soon, and this means domestic growth will be driven by overseas leisure travellers.  In 2016 inbound tourism grew 12%, whereas Kiwis travelling overseas grew 9%.  

Tourism growth is naturally a good thing.  It’s good for the country and our economy.  It’s good for the 19,000 tourism operators spread across New Zealand and for 12% of the New Zealand workforce working in this industry.

Some numbers:
Tourism makes up…

  • 8% of the New Zealand economy
  • 12% of the New Zealand workforce
  • 16% of New Zealand’s total goods and services tax
  • 17% of New Zealand’s total exports
  • 4.5m visitors to New Zealand by 2022

But there are several challenges the industry is facing:

- Pressure on core infrastructure – we have an increasing need for investment to protect the reputation of New Zealand as a favoured destination.  Where publicly owned infrastructure is locally owned and used by tourists and locals, the owners of that infrastructure do not always have the means, or receive the benefit, from expanding that infrastructure.  As a result, we can get local constraints on tourist routes, and negative effects spilling over into the environment and the community.

- Regional dispersal – we need to ensure visitors are dispersed throughout regional New Zealand – beyond the centres which have traditionally appealed to and captured a large number of domestic and international visitors.

- The impact on communities and our natural environment.

Freedom camping is an issue for many communities. Without necessary infrastructure, tourists can cause environmental and social impact. 

Freedom camping is an issue for many communities. Without necessary infrastructure, tourists can cause environmental and social impact. 

The tourism industry is wholly committed to approaching these challenges so that we can future proof the industry and ensure it continues to grow sustainably.  But how?

- With a fresh and genuine approach to travel, creating distinct experiences for all our visitors, we will continue to grow the market.

- There is a way forward to help address the lack of infrastructure we’re facing.  Four industry leaders worked together on a proposed funding mechanism (Air New Zealand, THL, Auckland Airport and Christchurch Airport), resulting in a report presented to the Minister of Tourism in late 2016.  This led to TIA (Tourism Industry Aotearoa) and Deloitte completing a substantial bottom-up review to verify the financial investment required to make sure New Zealand gets the right infrastructure to support growing visitor numbers.  They reviewed hotels, roading, water, public toilets, cruise ship facilities, tramping tracks and huts.  The government is involved in this process and is helping to develop plans to find a way of moving forward.

- With a strong economy and increasing tourism, our 16 regions need to focus on creating a compelling and unique regional proposition to help spread the volume of visitors across our beautiful country and into each of our regional centres.

To overcome the immediate deficit in infrastructure investment, an estimate of $100 million needs to be spent now.  This level will address the most immediate problems facing the industry as a result of historical infrastructure spend not keeping up with tourism growth.

The tourism industry has an opportunity to preserve New Zealand as a world class destination for the future by establishing an ongoing funding mechanism to ensure our country stays ahead of the ongoing demand and doesn’t fall backwards. 

At Air New Zealand we are incredibly proud of the work we have been doing to grow tourism as well as manage some of the challenges that come with this growth, looking at our core tourism infrastructure and how our industry can collectively manage the pressure placed on this in the long term is absolutely mission critical. 

We all benefit from a growing New Zealand.

Liz Fraser - Headshot.jpg

Liz Fraser is General Manager Global Sales Operations & Planning Air New Zealand. Liz Fraser is the GM Global Sales Operations & Planning at Air New Zealand.  Prior to this, Liz spent 22 years in media at TVNZ, MSN New Zealand, and as Group Head of Revenue at MediaWorks.

Air NZ Logo Black on transparent background.png

Transforming an editorial feature into an industry leading native advertising campaign

The David Reid Homes native advertising campaign was seamlessly integrated across the Stuff House of the Week editorial feature and NZ House & Garden. This market leading campaign - utilising the already successful House of the Week editorial feature - pulled a 1.97% CTR on desktop and hugely boosted the David Reid Homes brand.  

The Challenge

David Reid Homes (DRH) challenged us to introduce Kiwis to its luxury buildings, designs and lifestyle in a campaign reaching potential new customers  from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South. 

Our Idea

We would harness the power of Stuff, NZ House & Garden and celebrity to create a native advertising campaign that showcased a range of luxury David Reid Homes. We’d engage Kiwis with multiple brand touchpoints including; a six page editorial spread in NZ  House & Garden, utilising the editorial feature House of the Week and sponsored content across community mastheads. 

What we did 

We brought together, local mastheads and NZ House & Garden to create a cross platform campaign that reached Kiwis on a local and national level. 

DRH_article2_proof1 (2).jpg

A main feature of the campaign was  Stuff’s House of the Week editorial  feature, which showcased the David Reid Homes catalogue. 

While ensuring editorial integrity was upheld we worked closely to create reader-centric content that mirrored editorial tone and style. This put the David Reid Homes story at the forefront of the content, leaving only a subtle emphasis on the call to action. 

The close mirroring of editorial style meant that the sponsored content badge didn’t impact engagement rates throughout the campaign. House of the Week content continues to garner views and interest long after the campaign’s end, it’s continued longevity is a testament to the strength of ensuring that the story, not the sales pitch, is at the forefront of the reader experience.  

Native Advertising in Stuff for David Reid Homes.  

Native Advertising in Stuff for David Reid Homes.  

The continuous weekly refreshing of content kept David Reid Homes at the forefront of  readers’ minds until the centerpiece of the campaign, a six page editorial spread in NZ House & Garden, with front cover exposure, launched.  The six page spread  featured All Black Ben Smith and his Queenstown Bolthole, designed and constructed by David Reid Homes. The DPS balanced the power of celebrity with an intimate inside look at his home.  

The Insight 

As the market continues to heat up an increasing number of Kiwis are turning to building their own homes. Using powerful brand touchpoints across New Zealand’s best loved news and lifestyle publications we’re able to engage Kiwis with the lifestyle they want and help them dream a little bigger. 

What the client said 

"Fairfax Media’s native advertising campaign has returned results beyond expectation. The team’s knowledge of their audience ensured David Reid Homes was in front of the right audience at the right time. The results speak for themselves but it stands to mention the effectiveness with which the campaign was targeted across regions and publications. Through Stuff and its publications Fairfax gave the audience the chance to experience a David Reid Home and hugely boosted the brand. David Reid Homes couldn’t be happier."

Edd Lucas, OMD

Nobody's Faster than Disaster: how a cross platform campaign drove sales to save lives

The Nobody's Faster than Disaster campaign targeted male boaties during the summer period to encourage them to buy (and wear) life jackets. Results far exceeded expectation with 55% of men encouraged to talk about water safety, 3 million impressions across Stuff, Stuff Apps and Otago Daily Times and 40% increase in life jacket sales for Rebel Sport across the campaign. 

Here's how we did it: 

The Challenge 

Two thirds of all boating deaths could be prevented by wearing a lifejacket. Skippers (especially men over 40) tend to get overconfident and young men (15 to 25 year olds) do the same on paddle-craft. It’s this overconfidence that leads to disaster.  

When Keith Manch, Director at Maritime New Zealand, said: “We know that two thirds of all boatie deaths could be prevented if boaties would wear their lifejackets…. The vast majority of boating fatalities tend to be European men aged more than 45 years old, and in small craft under six meters.” 

We knew we needed to team up with Maritime New Zealand, NZME and Rebel Sport to start making a difference. 

lifejacket header.png

Our Idea 

We would build on Maritime NZ’s Nobody’s Faster Than Disaster creative to create a campaign that would speak to the target age group. We’d launch the campaign at the busiest time of the year to reach the largest number of boaties possible, across New Zealand’s news and entertainment media. 

Nobody’s Faster Than Disaster would culminate in strong call to action encouraging boaties to save themselves, friends and family by wearing a lifejacket. 

What We Did 

We worked with our partners to create a campaign that could save the lives of boaties around the country during the summer holiday period (running from 01 to 14 December) 

Existing Maritime NZ creative, Nobody’s Faster than Disaster, was adapted into  eye catching and compelling newsmedia collateral that featured across Fairfax Media and NZME publications. 

Nobody’s Faster Than Disaster ran across all of New Zealand’s daily newspapers in the weather and relevant news sections - where boaties were most likely to see the campaign.  

It was anchored with a strong call to action that offered readers a 20% discount on all life jackets at Rebel Sport.

Newspaper execution.

Newspaper execution.

Digital execution on Stuff apps and Otago Daily Times.

Digital execution on Stuff apps and Otago Daily Times.

Life jacket sales in 2015 (left) and increase in 2016 (right). 

Life jacket sales in 2015 (left) and increase in 2016 (right). 


The Insight 

We know how much Kiwis love the summer so we knew that putting this campaign out right in the middle of it - as schools and workplaces were  closing for the year - we launched to ensure it was relevant, timely and  encouraged our audience to take immediate action. 

The Results 

  • Two thirds (67%) of water sports enthusiasts recalled the campaign and said that it brought water safety to their attention. 
  • 55% of those surveyed post campaign have or intend to talk to others about the importance of water safety 
  • 39% have or intend to let people know about the discounted life jacket offer. 
  • More than 3 million impressions were delivered across Stuff, Otago Daily Times and Stuff apps. 
  • Click through rates reached 0.34%, double industry average, according to Google, with strong success seen across the mobile and tablets. 
  • 40% increase in life jacket sales for Rebel Sport 

What the client said 

“The Campaign saw Rebel Sport increase its life jacket sales revenue by 40% over a comparable two week period. A great outcome for Rebel Sport but the really important thing from our perspective is that it would certainly have put hundreds of new life jackets into boaties’ hands.”  - Pania Shingleton, Education and Communications Manager Maritime New Zealand


Source: Newsworks NZ

Five ways to Maximise Display Advertising

Display advertising has saturated the internet, making it increasingly hard to get your message to stand out among the thousands of people see each day. 

There are some tips and tricks to help make your display ads stand out from the crowd and we've rounded up the best of them to give you a head start. 


Creating a Nationwide Social Awareness Campaign with the Sunday Star-Times

The Sunday Star-Times led campaign encouraged parents to take the pledge and walk, cycle or scooter with their kids to school. Using native advertising, celebrity and social media the Foot It campaign created a nationwide movement that resulted in public submissions to councils, walking school buses and neighbours coming together to create safer roads for their children. 

The Challenge


Since 1996 the number of children being driven to school has almost doubled. This has led to  an increased risk for children walking to school and crossing roads,  increases in  traffic congestion, more cars outside schools and, sadly, preventable child fatalities.  

To help keep our children safe and active, Sunday Star-Times Editor Jonathan Milne championed a culture change and laid down a challenge: walk your kids to school, see how much happier it makes them and see that fewer cars make for safer roads.

Our Idea

Neighbourly users pledged to Foot It  

Neighbourly users pledged to Foot It  

Our idea was to lead a public awareness campaign to bring attention to the benefits of Footing It and to rally New Zealanders to help create safer communities for their families.  

We would talk to New Zealanders through a cross-platform campaign that brought issues important to them to the forefront, shared their stories and worked to engage local councils in those issues,  aiming to create change beyond the duration of the campaign.

What We Did

We publicly campaigned in the Sunday Star-Times, Stuff and on Neighbourly (New Zealand’s fastest growing social network), targeting three audiences, each with a different message:

  • Families: Choose one day a week to walk or ride with your kids to school

  • Schools: set up walking school buses with parent volunteers to get kids to school safely.

  • Councils: Create and enforce lower speed zones around schools.

To target these audiences we used celebrity (like Blues player Jerome Kaino,  broadcaster Alison Mau and many more) and powerful stories that highlighted the lives changed by being active on the way to school and the lives lost through high speed zones or a lack of pedestrian crossings.

The Sunday Star-Times published a survey of all 66 local authorities that highlighted the number of New Zealand schools that had variable speed zones and active signage to alert drivers to school children.

Jonathan Milne, Sunday Star-Times editor, wrote to the nation's councils to challenge them to make our roads safer. 

Jonathan Milne, Sunday Star-Times editor, wrote to the nation's councils to challenge them to make our roads safer. 

The survey found that of 2500-plus schools in New Zealand, only 407 had 40km/h variable speed zones.

Following the survey we wrote to all 66 councils and asked what they were doing to make our roads safer for school children.

Community stories across our local newspapers, Neighbourly and Stuff Nation were important in driving awareness and creating engagement with our audience. Micro Scooters NZ Ltd gave us 70 high-end scooters to help us encourage readers to share their stories and take a lead in their communities.

Community stories were an important part of this campaign. Led by the innovative interconnection of Neighbourly (where parents could get great tips for being active enroute to school and night before reminders)  and the pledge campaign, where people signed up to clubs and pledged to ‘foot it’ to school with their kids once a week, putting them  in the draw to win one of 50 micro scooters. This turned Neighbourly into the Foot It hub for  communities across New Zealand and gave people them space to pitch ideas about how to best create safer roads and communities for their children.

The Sunday Star-Times featured exposés on the challenges faced by parents getting their kids to school by walking or cycling. 

The Sunday Star-Times featured exposés on the challenges faced by parents getting their kids to school by walking or cycling. 

Journalism made the case for speed limits around schools. 

Journalism made the case for speed limits around schools. 

The Insight

The Sunday Star-Times is New Zealand’s most popular newspaper with readers spending up to 50 minutes a week reading it. Helmed by SST editor Jonathan Milne, and bolstered by Stuff’s reputation for rallying New Zealanders behind national and local causes, we knew we could reach and speak to communities across NZ in a meaningful and engaging way.

The Results

On Stuff the campaign garnered 55,000 page views but the biggest results came in our ability to mobilise local councils.



We asked all 66 of them how they were going to make roads safer for our kids and by the end of the campaign half of councils had committed to reducing speed outside the school gates.

Community leaders and New Zealand celebrities rallied around Foot It. The campaign received high praise from local authorities, including  the mayor of the Far North,  Stuart Crosby, mayor of Tauranga; Karleen Edwards, Christchurch City Council Chief Executive and Nelson Mayor, Rachel Reese.

These comments were followed by communities utilising Neighbourly to establish local cycling and walking groups, to petition local councils to improve dangerous intersections and have established walking school buses or safe houses to help kids get out of cars.

What the Community said

Renee Wright, TVNZ1 Weather Anchor said, “We've got a nice straight road to school that the kids can scooter on. My kids are so high energy that it is good to do that before they have to settle into class or kindy. That physical activity lowers everyone's stress levels so it's a win-win.”

Michael Van de Elzen, renowned chef and owner of the Food Truck Garage, said, “Eventually we want to encourage them to look after themselves and catch the bus themselves, even though it's hard as parents letting go. We try and be as proactive as we possibly can about getting them out and active – which includes the trips to school and also getting out and playing with our new puppy, Hector."

Felicity Buche and her children after riding their scooters to school. 

Felicity Buche and her children after riding their scooters to school. 

Tara Peneha, from Maungaraki, said, “This week dad wanted to be included so we did it on Wednesday instead. Instead of driving the whole way to daycare for our 2yo we walked from the reserve at the bottom of our hill (Percy's Scenic Reserve) and walked to the daycare by Petone train station. Our son absolutely loved the walk home with mum and dad and his little brother in the snap n go."

Felicity Buche, from St Heliers, said, “We had a blast scootering to school yesterday. What a fun way to start the day. It's mostly a gentle downhill slope from our house to school, heading towards the glorious sparkling harbour of St Heliers. The kids tell me that they love it because they are doing it with me.”

Trend Report: Marketing in a Connected World: How to Attract the Attention of Gen Z

At a time when we have access to more information than ever, with connected NZ consumers owning more than three devices each and spending over four hours a day on these devices, the question is no longer are we reaching consumers, but how we engage and connect with them to make a meaningful impression.

Information overload is real and consumers are reacting, none more so than Generation Z, those born between 1997 and 2011. GenZs, also known as Post-Millennials or the iGeneration, make up 27% of the world’s population and are the first generation to not know life without the internet. For them, the internet is not just a source of information, it is the basis of their social interaction. Media spend has reflected this change in consumer behaviour, with internet spend sky rocketing.


However, while GenZs are continually on their smartphones, they are also becoming savvier in how they consume information. Speed and reliability are important factors in choosing a preferred social networking platform and they have high expectations on content – they click fast, click often and block easily. GenZ are generally less receptive to advertising in all formats. They are frugal and brand wary, but also industrious and collaborative. They expect privacy but also demand transparency from brands.

So how do we attract their attention?

1. Create a worthwhile value exchange.

We need to use the multiple platforms that are available to co-create shared experiences between brand and consumers. To engage with GenZs, there needs to be a shift of focus to right brained influence – more emotive, entertaining, imaginative and creative. We need to think augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and interactive content that offers immediacy and control. Research shows that music and being funny helps too.

2. The future is content.

Conventional TV and video is still very much alive with 73% of consumers watching, however GenZs are leading the way in multi-screening – 74% of consumers are also watching free online videos. Significantly, 66% of consumers are watching videos on social networks, that is, videos that appear in their social feed, not content that they have sought out but content that has been served to them by an algorithmic understanding of content they may like.


To capitalise on this we need to think more about branded content, ensuring content is more engaging and personally relevant through the likes of native content, user-generated content and taking advantage of the explosion of video content. Experimentation is strongly encouraged with creativity coming from new technologies such as Facebook Live and 360 video.

3. Brand experience takes centre stage.

With so many channels to reach the GenZ consumer, it’s too easy for brands to annoy with an inconsistent experience or by adapting a “one size fits all” approach. Nearly a third of consumers globally report that brands don’t deliver the same experience online as they do offline.

To successfully engage with GenZ, brand stories will be built on delivering a consistent experience across multiple touchpoints, and will need to bring their story to life by inviting consumers into the story. Technology will allow us to immerse ourselves in the story in more ways than ever before.

CASE STUDY: Tinnyvision by NZTA

NZTA went beyond a traditional marketing campaign when they utilised the “stories” feature of Snapchat to connect with an elusive, predominantly GenZ, audience on the dangers of driving while high. The campaign was authentic to NZTA’s purpose, it was immersive, and importantly, a success, with 98% of the 10,000+ young followers following to the end.  Read the full case study

4. Tailor the message to the moment.

There is a move towards focusing on the “moment” – more touch points means more opportunity to customise the message with relevant adverts that feel personal and deliver great value. Currently, consumers feel stalked by advertisers, with 36% of New Zealanders feeling like they are being constantly followed by brand advertising online, that are frequently for the mattress that we bought two weeks ago.

In 2017, marketers will need to focus on striking the right balance between precision and intrusion; using the right media, the right creative with the right message at the right moment. With the advent of multi-screening and the high usage of on demand TV, the old notion of “prime time” no longer exists, it’s more about the prime time for your brand.


Aiden Colmar Brunton.JPG

Aiden Regan is National Qualitative Director at Colmar Brunton in New Zealand.  A versatile strategic thinker, he has recently overseen major projects in the media, FMCG, retail and manufacturing sectors.  He has particular expertise in media strategy, where his work has focused on understanding how print and online readers (and advertisers) behave and think, helping refine the content, look and feel of print and digital products. Aiden holds a Master’s degree in Politics from Newcastle University, England.

                           Aiden works closely with Fairfax Media, providing insight and guidance with Fairfax Media products and campaigns.


Innovative and Connected: Engaging C-Suite to Transform Brand Perception

Following an amalgamation, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand wanted to increase brand awareness and positive perception among New Zealand business leaders.  To do this, we created a multi-faceted end-to-end print and digital campaign that increased positive brand perception by 33% among C-Suite. 

The Challenge

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand amalgamated two businesses to create a dynamic and innovative organisation that aimed to redefine what it means to be an accounting firm. The Chartered Accountants challenge was positioning it as an innovative and connected leader at the forefront of challenges faced by New Zealand businesses, both inside and outside of the financial world. This meant changing long-held views of Chartered Accountants and engaging with business C-Suite to do that.

Our Idea

If companies are not actively trying to disrupt their business models, someone else will come along and do it, says Christchurch Airport chief executive Malcolm Johns.

If companies are not actively trying to disrupt their business models, someone else will come along and do it, says Christchurch Airport chief executive Malcolm Johns.

To do this we needed to show off Chartered Accountants’ expertise by aligning it with NZ business issues and leaders in an open forum. This allowed businesses to connect with Chartered Accountants directly to understand the organisation’s insights, leadership and expertise across industry. 

What We Did

We drilled down to the key issues facing NZ business through a series of interviews with the C-Suite from some of New Zealand’s foremost companies. The six key issues identified were: Digital Disruption, Sustainability, Customer Centricity, Global Economy, Leadership and Transforming Business. A multi platform thought leadership and solutions driven campaign, integrated with Chartered Accountants branding and expertise, was built to address those issues.

In Print

Utilising Fairfax Media newspapers we presented solutions to the six key issues, positioning Chartered Accountants as a thought leader and cross-industry expert, every step of the way. A 14 week print execution across Fairfax Media’s main metropolitan newspapers (Sunday Star-Times, The Dominion Post and The Press) ensured maximum reach by targeting the country’s biggest cities and business districts.


SST Native.JPG


The Transforming Business thought leadership series provided an open forum for C-Suite to talk directly to Chartered Accountants. Split into six parts each forum addressed one of the key concerns for business. Allowing businesses to work directly with Chartered Accountants reinforced brand recognition and the position of Chartered Accountants being thought and industry leaders that could offer viable solutions. We filmed the events to increase the reach and create sustainability for the content, giving a longer shelf life. 

A panel of New Zealand business leaders talk Digital Disruption and how  to prepare for it. Facilitated by Stuff Business Editor Ellen Read the video was sponsored content on the transforming business hub. 


Online Native.JPG

The Transforming Business hub, hosted on, aggregated sponsored content. Utilising video and articles the hub provided business insights, directed readers to the Chartered Accountants’ website and services and acted as a landing page for the solutions offered throughout the campaign. Including an opinion piece written by Chartered Accountants CEO Lee White and more than half a dozen specially crafted news-like articles, the Transforming Business Hub promoted longevity for the campaign. As a continually active page on it continues to reinforce Chartered Accountants’ position as business leaders in an ever-changing environment.

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The Insight

The Transforming Business series allowed us to show NZ Business leaders that Chartered Accountants represented modern accounting and brought to the table a strong understanding of the challenges faced by New Zealand business. These conversations allowed us to show business C-Suite the progressive nature of the Chartered Accountants brand.

The Results

We combined native advertising with a multi-faceted digital and print campaign which ensured a strong reach to the target audience. During the campaign native advertising and the print execution returned exceptional results in shifting attitudes towards Chartered Accountants*. Key results were:

- Digital native outperformed international benchmarks for B2B campaigns in message association and online ad awareness by 4.5 and 8.7% respectively.

- Print campaign drove substantial increases in the positive perception of the Chartered Accountants brand and in brand awareness.

- 40% of the audience reached was C-Suite. Download case study for full results.

What the campaign lead said

“One of the ways brands can be of value is delivering content to readers that has a repeatable and valuable experience. To do this for Chartered Accountants we commissioned research into what was keeping the Market up at night and found the story Chartered Accountants wanted to tell - one of being thought leaders, forward thinking and able to navigate the challenges New Zealand businesses face. To tell that story we looked at it from an audience perspective and asked ourselves what the strongest way to engage the audience would be. It was the audience, C-Suite of business, that made print such an essential component. C-Suite are print readers and they read business sections in mastheads like the Sunday Star-Times and our Mets.”

- Susana Leitao, Customer Solutions Director


*Effects of the campaign were measured via a Brand Lift study from Millward Brown.

Trend Report: The Subscription Economy

The business of subscriptions is hardly new.  Long established businesses like newspapers have been managing subscribers since the 19th century in one form or another.  A newer trend is the practice of products in the traditional pay-per-item space moving their business models towards a subscription based business.  

The term “subscription economy” was coined by software as a service (SaaS) provider Zuora to describe this practice.  As business leaders or marketers, it’s likely we have a range of SaaS products in our toolkits. Some very successful New Zealand businesses have made names for themselves  in this space, from accounting software provider Xero through to inventory management software provider cin7. Chances are your social media monitoring tool, marketing automation software, payments provider and more are all part of the subscription economy., monitors advertising and marketing best practice from across the globe looking at the world’s leading brands. In their Toolkit 2017, they picked out the move for brands to go direct to consumer as one of the key trends for 2017.  We’re all familiar with brands using mobile as a direct to consumer disintermediation strategy with wildly successful examples like Uber and Airbnb but they also picked out the innovative use of subscription services as a key trend to watch in 2017.  Part of the appeal of subscription based models is the access to a new stream of customer data, a competitive advantage to businesses over traditional retail models where the brand has less access to customer information.  That global giants are recognising this can be seen in UK based Unilever’s $1 billion acquisition of challenger brand Dollar Shave Club, giving it a 5% market share in the US razor market.

Not relevant to your industry?  How about Cadillac, who has launched the Book by Cadillac subscription service. For $US1,500 a month the manufacturer says they can eliminate the hassle that comes with owning a car.  Subscribers can swap between the current year’s models up to 18 times per year allowing them to have a vehicle to fit their needs be it around town driving or a weekend ski trip.  Vehicles are delivered by white glove concierge service, all driven (excuse the pun) off another feature of the new generation of subscription economy innovations, a convenient mobile app.

Traditional subscription service providers, and not just the media, can expect to feel the pinch as new and innovative subscription services models find new ways to deliver services to consumers.  Take the example of innovative fitness technology company Peloton, who has established a $US150 million dollar business providing internet connected fitness bicycles into people’s homes.  The bikes themselves are not cheap, costing a cool $US2,000 with a subscription model to go with it.  While similar to what’s on offer at a spin class, for consumers that don’t want to battle traffic to be in a room full of other sweating exercisers, Peloton offers an immersive experience from the comfort of your own home.  And like the best subscription models, the bike’s onboard computer collects a myriad of data on users’ workouts allowing them to create a better experience for their subscribers.  Not content with the home bicycle market, they are looking at a commercial model giving them access to gyms and even other exercise forms, as improbable sounding as yoga.

In New Zealand, the poster child for a successful direct to consumer subscription service launch is My Food Bag, which needs no introduction.  With more than 50,000 subscribers, it would rate as probably New Zealand’s most successful subscription service launch to consumers in recent history, attracting venture capital investment in late 2016.

For business owners and marketers, what does this mean?  All of these businesses are able to acquire vastly more information about their consumers than traditional businesses, which they can use to deliver better customer experiences, better retention and business ROI.

Best practice subscription businesses like My Food Bag and Fairfax Media’s Stuff Fibre are so confident in their offering that they have broken away from the traditional model of term contracts.  Instead these businesses, give their customers the convenience and flexibility that they want, and now expect in every aspect of their lives.  On the other hand, the subscription model does allow for businesses to test a variety of pricing structures and plans to optimise business outcomes and customer satisfaction.  With strong digital offerings, businesses are able to test price points and offers in real time.  Advances in conversion rate optimisation offerings through businesses like Optimizely and Adobe Target allow real time marketing to consumers at the instant they hit your website or app.

Many of the most successful subscription businesses are also first movers in the customer experience space, recognising that the subscriber is at the centre of their business.  Smooth, consistent customer journeys to sign up, renewal, exit and reacquisition result in better business outcomes.  This includes providing channels and talking to customers in the way that they want to be spoken to.  With the data available to subscription businesses, they can have remarkable power to control and optimise the customer experience and personalisation to customers.

The last key success factor that nearly all of these businesses have in common is that they have been built to be able to scale quickly, while maintaining a great customer experience.  Companies like My Food Bag have been able to deliver the same great experience to customer number one as they have for customer number 50,000 and more.  The same SaaS companies that are early adopters of subscription technology are the same ones enabling businesses outside of this space to be able to automate processes and marketing activity, across CRM, social media, marketing automation, content management and ERP, among other functions.

Brand to consumer subscription service is leading business innovation nationally and internationally. A myriad of businesses, across as many industries, continually prove that subscriptions are sustainable and dynamic, offering them for everything from car-hire to grocery shopping. While SaaS technology continues to grow exponentially, it may be time to ask how your business can adapt to this new service or if you can expect to be disrupted.



Grant Torrie is Fairfax Media's acting Chief Marketing Officer and Audience Growth Manager.  He and his team are passionate about looking at new ways to engage with audiences and the best  use of technology to do it.

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