How to create a customer experience

Creating the perfect customer experience is the best way to ensure your customers care about and engage with your brand. Here are our top tips for creating a strong customer experience: 

1. Create a customer journey

Customer journeys are about knowing where you want your customers to go. In the case of the conference, our customer journey was a pre-conference email to attendees, an SMS during the conference encouraging them to visit us and, lastly, engaging with them at the stand. Start by knowing where you want your first point of contact to be and what your customer will engage with and grow from there. 

2. Speak to your customers

Speak to your customers before, during and after an event. Whether you're using text messaging, email marketing or social media (or a combination of different methods) it's important to be in touch to reiterate important information and to share new information. 

3Create engagement opportunities

Create opportunities for people to engage with your brand. These can be competitions or, if you're at an event, spot prizes. Engagement opportunities should fit with your brand and how you want people to engage with you. For example, we wanted real estate agents to buy more advertising so engaged them with advertising products. 

Creating a powerful and interesting way to connect with your customers creates opportunities for your business beyond simple transactions. Developing relationships increases the chance that customers will return to your business and spread the word. Every interaction should be looked at as an experience. Learn the power of creating a customer experience

How to combat ad fraud

Globally, ad fraud costs marketers an estimated USD$7.6 billion every year. Click fraud, where the Pay Per Click advertising model is exploited by computer programs that click display ads, is one of the most common forms of online fraud. 

Ad fraud creates challenges relating to return on investment, ambiguity on campaign performance and substantial losses of marketing budget. 

Despite the challenges display advertising can effectively engage potential customers and help to grow your business - our own advertising effectiveness research clearly shows that display advertising is very effective in delivering to campaign goals. 

Unfortunately, Kiwis aren’t immune to click fraud so you need to know how to keep your
digital advertising safe. 

Understand the power of your campaign reports and analytics

Data and analytics are a powerful way to understand how your potential customers are interacting with your advertising and also provide useful insights to help identify and combat ad fraud. 

Regularly review and analyse your advertising campaign data and analytics for anything out of the ordinary across advertising networks or exchanges.

Keep an eye out for: 

  • Unusually high spikes in click through rates from particular sites, often coupled with unusually low conversion rates in comparison to other activity you’re running
  • High CTRs from ads with very low viewability
  • Look out for a single visitor that seems to trigger a lot of ad calls

Another good starting point is your site analytics - it’s extremely important to make sure your ads are tagged correctly, so you can easily identify paid vs organic traffic in your analytics tools and review how good the traffic you’re getting from your ad exchange actually is.  

The next step is to look at advertising referrals and pay close attention to domain names tol help weed out any suspicious activity. 

For example, keep an eye out for websites that look similar to these:

And beware of URLs that look familiar at first glance but have a misspelling or different prefix or suffix. You would never see a URL like the following from a premium website:   

Use customer centric marketing  

One of the best ways to combat ad fraud is to remove it from the equation by speaking directly to your target audience. 

Google Adwords and search engine optimisation will drive people to your website when they search relevant topics on Google and social media advertising (such as Facebook or Neighbourly) let’s you target by interest, demographics or region. 

Nevertheless, it pays to be aware of what you’re paying for so you can get the most out of your advertising because the social media giants, which depend on content created by their users to attract people to their websites, are able to make can make claims about metrics and analytics without verification of quality or truthfulness from independent measuring services Nielsen and Comscore. This lack of accountability means you may not be getting what you’re promised. 

Use Premium advertising providers  

Nielsen and Comscore are independent companies that measure engagement rates in a transparent process that all premium New Zealand sites (including Stuff, TVNZ, MediaWorks and NZ Herald and others) adhere to. 

Websites, and ad networks, most likely to commit ad fraud are those that are solely incentivised to generate as much revenue as possible, as quickly as possible. 

Premium environments (such as Stuff, the NZ Herald, TVNZ and MediaWorks) are incentivised to create content that engages New Zealanders in order to build strong relationships with consumers and so offer advertisers quality, engaged audiences.

Having diverse advertising revenue streams (e.g. offering sponsored content and native advertising) means premium environments need to maintain high quality content and strong integrity, thus removing the incentivisation of ad fraud because a premium environment partaking in ad fraud risks losing its advertisers.

Premium environments also have to be transparent about the capabilities of their advertising reach and this transparency is measured by Nielsen and Comscore, independent companies that measure engagement. 

In New Zealand the best place to purchase premium local websites at scale is through KPEX.  

Know where your advertising is going

Ultimately, it’s up to you to know where your ads are being served and what kind of content those ads are supporting. 

Agencies and exchanges can make guarantees but it’s important that you really understand where your budget is being spent. How much of it is going to premium sites? If it’s not going to premium sites, where are your ads ending up? Find out what ad fraud identification and protection is in place as part of your media planning process and agency buys.

Once you know the answers to those questions you can optimise your campaign targeting and use customer centric advertising and premium exchanges to increase your ROI and engage with higher quality audiences that care about your brand. 

Becky Photo.jpg

Becky Saunders is Digital Advertising Innovation Manager at Fairfax Media. She’s responsible for the development and delivery of Fairfax’s programmatic platforms. Becky has more than eight years experience  in digital commercial roles, including two and a half years as Digital Director at Fairfax Media. She was a project manager during the establishment of KPEX. 

Put your best foot forward: Creating a customer experience

Every year real estate conferences - from Ray White to Harcourts to Barfoot and Thompson - are a big event on agents’ calendars. They’re an opportunity to grow personal brands and market share, strike up advertising deals and get to know media options.

The challenge 

We needed to connect with New Zealand’s real estate agents and generate valuable business leads, while opening up New Zealand’s most loved publications to help agents grow their businesses. 

While real estate conferences provide an excellent proving ground for brands, they also come with a unique set of challenges: small environments jam packed with intense competition, vying for agents’ attention. 

Our idea

As conference veterans, we knew we needed to come up with an innovative way to capture audience data and ensure high engagement for our sales reps leading up to, during and after the conference.

Successful Agent Wear through Socks faster

What we did 

We developed the Put Your Best Foot Forward campaign to transform our time at the conferences into a full customer journey. 

 Anchored with a simple and very novel fact that: Successful real estate agents wear through socks faster than their less successful counterparts, the campaign created a powerful tongue-in-cheek engagement opportunity with some real prizes up for grabs: 2 x $2,500 advertising packages (and a three month sock subscription). 

Using Engaged Sciences we created a real estate and Fairfax Media themed quiz that pitted attendees knowledge of their industry alongside facts about advertising with Fairfax, with  entrants in the draw to win one of the $2,500 ad packages. 

There were three main brand touchpoints to ensure Fairfax Media was top of mind for the attendees: 

The campaign 

Pre event

We connected with the Ray White database through email in the days leading up to the conference. We introduced ourselves, told them about the prizes we had up for grabs and gave them the opportunity to jump the queue, fill out the quiz early and go into the draw. 

Event day SMS

We sent a reminder SMS to the Ray White database reminding them to come and say hi and letting them know they had the opportunity to win a $2,500 advertising package. 

A follow up SMS was sent at the end of the conference, encouraging attendees to get in touch with a Real Estate Business Director if they didn’t make it to the booth. 


Need new socks?

The quiz

Carefully woven into a 10 question quiz about real estate and the industry were questions / answers that informed attendees about the Fairfax brand and advertising options. The quiz generated strong engagement, offering a $2,500 advertising package or sock subscription for all those that completed it. 

The quiz was successful in capturing email address, agent names, mobile numbers. 

The insight 

Conferences are an intensely busy environment so using our expertise and knowledge of Kiwis - and how to create meaningful engagement - we knew an interactive, multiple touchpoint campaign would create the strongest engagement across the crowd.  

Put your best foot forward


Pre conference

We created an engaging customer journey that engaged our audience before, during and after the event. This resulted in 112 pre event registrations and leads through our quiz. 

One of our goals was to understand and develop a Marketing ROI for the Ray White Real Estate conference. We discovered that lead generation costs us $37.85 per head, which allows us to do a cost to benefit analysis to measure the success of our investment at the conference. 

During conference

  • The Quiz produced strong engagement with 97 attendees completing within the two hours the quiz was active. 
  • We collected 297 leads through our competition to win a pair of Sony headphones. 
  • Collected valuable data from 42.43% of conference attendees through pre-registration, a business card draw and a real estate themed quiz, which we are able to pass on to our sales teams as hot leads. 

Creating a cohesive experience at the Ray White Real Estate conference allowed us to capitalise on a lead generation opportunity, enabling our sales team to focus on high priority, data driven, sales to tailor advertising packages for each lead.  


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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.