Last year brought a whole new meaning to the term ‘2020 hindsight’.
Like many Australians, the Boomtown collective has reflected on the implications of a year like no other in recent history; one which was a rollercoaster ride of more lows than highs.
Perhaps none more so than for regional Australia, which, for some regions in quick succession, dealt with the threefold impact of drought, bushfires and COVID-19.
But then there were the highs – and for regional Australia a welcome high – creating a resurgence of regionalism during and post-COVID, or as KPMG’s domestic travel report identified, a desire to tick off the ‘backyard bucket list’, experimentation with the working holiday and the evolution of the ‘new business traveller’.
The surge in domestic travel, however, is only part of the story. The permanent relocation of city dwellers to regional Australia over the past year has been on a scale not seen before. This has created, according to the AFR, a ‘spiral of success’ for regional Australia, with 54,000 new jobs on offer (the highest on record) and a property boom the likes of which hasn’t been seen for 15 years.
These coalescing factors mean that, for advertisers, there has never been a more compelling time to harness the scale and potential of regional media audiences.
With more people living in and visiting Boomtown than ever before, the Boomtown collective has also made it even easier for media buyers to plan their regional advertising campaigns, with the launch of its custom-built new online portal.
The Boomtown Hub has been designed by the industry, for the industry, to simplify the process of searching, finding and briefing regional media owners.
Key features of the Hub include interactive media coverage maps and search tools, giving visibility of the networks and publishers operating in each regional market across the nation, access to key insights for 10 categories including retail, finance and automotive and a briefing portal, affording media buyers one avenue to briefing multiple providers.
The Hub is Boomtown’s answer to the challenges media buyers have faced in working out which media owner owns which assets and in which markets, and, as a result, the time spent contacting each individually.
The Hub’s development has been in direct response to industry feedback and ongoing collaboration will be key moving forward, with the Boomtown collective working closely with media planners and buyers to evolve and enhance the Hub’s features in the coming year.
So, what will the new year hold? The Boomtown collective believes it’s at an important inflection point. Regional Australia is already home to 8.8 million people and the numbers are steadily rising as people swap life in the city for sea and tree changes. The COVID pandemic has shown many Australians (and businesses) that the traditional ‘9 to 5’ office job is a thing of the past and work can be performed anywhere, anytime, prompting people to up stumps and migrate to regional Australia. And why wouldn’t they? Housing prices tend to be cheaper and there is access to natural environments, fantastic schools, health facilities, retail, and tourism.
Many advertisers are also realising that regional Australians are essentially the same people as their metro counterparts, residing within a largely untapped market, they have higher relative spending power and are ready to hear from businesses across the country.
The Boomtown collective will continue its efforts to drive Australia’s regional resurgence this year, combining the release of the Boomtown Hub with its enhanced national education program for media buyers in the first half of the year, including both online and face-to-face masterclasses.
Boomtown is set to be the place to live, work, visit – and advertise – in 2021.