There are some distinctions in execution, however. An advantage for marketers in regional cities Eggins-Bryson points to is the size of their CBDs. “These are usually in one central location and you’re able to engage in guerilla marketing tactics more effectively,” she says.
“One of the activities we did, for example, was coffee cups with Belong’s logo and messaging, as well as walking billboards. It was a really exciting and fun piece of work to do overall. You don’t get the advantage and ability to do that, nor be as effective, when you’re in George Street in Sydney.”
Where possible, Belong adjusted and localised messaging based on what drivers are relevant to each region, and to connect with regional audiences in a unique way. A key focus was on ‘addressing’ a town, such as ‘hey Newcastle, Belong has $29 mobile plans’ in out-of-home advertising.
“Overall, we use the same mediums when speaking to both metro and regional audiences. It’s more about what we say to them, and how we weight the channels in accordance with consumption habits,” Eggins-Bryson continues. “We targeted local areas with ads through channels we knew they consumed, and, in a creative sense, we localised all of our messaging. It was important we carried out a campaign that felt like we were specifically speaking to the community in which we were advertising.”
What’s also been valuable to know is regional consumers are spending more time watching TV and listening to radio than metro audiences, as well as spending more hours on social media. “Therefore, these spaces are obviously important mediums to be considered in a marketing strategy – it’s important to get in front of the right eyeballs and ears,” adds Eggins-Bryson.
Another broader influence on Belong’s work is taking an audience-first approach when it comes to planning and buying in general. “This extends into how we treat regional audiences,” says Eggins-Bryson.
“We have found digital channels perform better with wider targeting and broader audiences for algorithms to do their work, so we have found digital media does give us the opportunity to find the right person, and send them the right message, whether that is regional or metro.
“There’s various options when it comes to authentically and appropriately connecting with regional audiences – community and local media means we can get really targeted, which is handy.”