Category Archives: NZ

5 NZ Marketing Trends for 2017


It’s that time of year, when commentators dust off the crystal balls and start to consider what we should expect for the year ahead. We’ve already been working on our forecasts for some time, as we work on our NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2017 presentation and slide deck that’s due for release later this month.

We’ll talk more about that presentation shortly, but first let’s have a little peek inside, at some of the marketing trends that will impact on Kiwi marketers in 2017.

millennials prefer experiences

1 Experiences are more important than possessions, at least to millennials

If you’re targeting Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1996, now aged 20-36), take note. According to a recent US research study conducted on behalf of EventBrite, millennials highly value experiences and are increasingly spending time and money on them: from concerts and social events to athletic pursuits, to cultural experiences and events of all kinds. For this group, happiness isn’t as focused on possessions or career status. Living a meaningful, happy life is about creating, sharing and capturing memories earned through experiences that span the spectrum of life’s opportunities.


That’s one of the reasons why high-experience events such as the Auckland Arts Festival resonate so well with audiences.


A recent Bloomberg Businessweek survey revealed that “delivering a great customer experience” has become the new imperative: 80% of the companies polled rated customer experience as a top strategic objective.

Research suggests that companies that provide exceptional customer experiences have a strong competitive advantage. Customers are prepared to pay higher prices, make additional purchases, be more loyal and recommend the business to others.


2 Three-quarters of Internet usage in 2017 will be via mobile

Three out of every four minutes (75%) of Internet use will be accessed via a mobile device in 2017 — up from 68% this year, according to a mobile advertising forecast released in late October by Publicis’ Zenith unit.

That’s a global forecast — here in NZ we tend to lag a year or two behind when it comes to mobile trends — but it’s still a staggering percentage.


Take out your phone and dial into your website. Does it still look good on the small screen. More importantly, can your prospects and customers access everything they want from you through that device, which may represent the only view they ever have of your website?

If the answer is not a quick and easy “Yes”, you need to revisit your mobile presence, fast. (May we recommend our comprehensive Mobile Marketing course, if you’re unsure where to go and what to do?)

Internet of Things

3 The Internet of Things will become bigger than ever

We’ve all heard plenty of hype — and a few horror stories — about the Internet of Things (IoT). But, according to Accenture, 87% of mainstream consumers still don’t understand what the IoT market is.

So how real is the IoT so far — and what can expect from the IoT in 2017?

According to the Motley Fool, there are already 15 billion IoT-connected devices, with projections of anywhere from 50 to 200 billion devices by 2020.

Real enough for you?


So how does the IoT matter to marketers? Try these for size:

(a) The relationship between consumer and marketer deepens as the data grows. Here’s how Marketo explains it:  more connectivity leads to more data, leads to smarter data, leads to more relevant campaigns, leads to more customer engagement. (Forbes)

(b) With IoT, the degree of target marketing has grown in specificity. Effective marketing will not only cater solutions to demographic and psychographic targets, it will also predict solutions for the individual users of products. In other words, if your car is connected to the Internet and the brakes are wearing out, wouldn’t it make sense for your car to direct you to a local brake shop? (Forbes)

(c) 51% of the world’s top global marketers expect that IoT will revolutionize the marketing landscape by 2020. Here (per i-Scoop) are some of the ways marketers will use IoT (mainly in a data-driven marketing view):

  • Analyzing customer buying habits across the platforms customers use.
  • More and previously unobtainable data regarding how consumers interact with devices and products (the “connected devices” themselves).
  • Getting a better insight into the buying journey and in which stage of it the customer is.
  • Real-time interactions, POS notifications and of course targeted (and even fully contextual) ads.
  • The customer service field whereby issues can be quickly resolved.

(d) Easy Exchange of Sales Data. One of the most valuable commodities to any business is its sales data. By having access to information regarding how, where, and why your products are being purchased and used, you’ll be able to better tailor your marketing efforts towards your specific clients. Smart devices that can gather this data and supply it back to you in real time, without the need for IT professionals to direct or monitor the interaction, will allow businesses to to create informed marketing strategies and improve ROI on future sales. (Salesforce)

(e) Automatic altering of marketing campaigns to suit changing needs. Gaining access to powerful customer insights will give marketers the ability to swiftly change marketing approaches to suit the changing needs of customers. Essentially marketers will be more proactive in their approach to marketing instead of reacting to results after the fact. Predictive analytic tools will be able to make stronger predictions and automatically adjust campaigns based on consumer trends and changing market demands. (

autonomous vehicles

4 Christchurch will host New Zealand’s first trial of a fully autonomous electric vehicle in 2017

HMI Technologies and Christchurch International Airport have agreed on the New Zealand based and funded trial, which is focussed on finding answers to key questions about how these vehicles could operate in this country.

The trials will largely be conducted on the Christchurch Airport campus, starting on private roads with no public present, with the long-term aim of moving to public roads once the safety case has been made and all regulatory approvals are in place.


So why do self-driving cars matter to marketers (especially if you’re not a car-maker)?

Here’s what McKinsey thinks (as reported by Mark Schaefer):

Automated Vehicles could free as much as 50 minutes a day for users, who will be able to spend traveling time working, relaxing, or accessing entertainment. The time saved by commuters every day might add up globally to a mind-blowing one billion hours—equivalent to twice the time it took to build the Great Pyramid of Giza.

It could also create a large pool of value, potentially generating global digital-media revenues of €5 billion per year for every additional minute people spend on the mobile Internet while in a car.

What will these mobile entertainment centers mean for advertisers?

In some ways, a car-based content distribution system may be a “do-over” for the ad industry. Today people hate ads so much they want to block them. Hopefully the industry has learned its lesson and won’t turn cars into places that interrupt and annoy us.

  • We would probably enjoy free content as a trade for a sponsorship statement. For example, the Spotify or iTunes of the future will have access to all of the personal information being collected from our travels and align a sponsor precisely with our interests and our destination. “Today’s free music is brought to you by Taco Bell. You’ll be passing 27 of our stores today. Why not try a delicious Chalupa del Grande?”
  • When you buy a car from a dealership, you may be able to choose to pay for an entertainment package or get one for free that comes with a sponsor.
  • Advertising opportunities on traditional radio stations will be crushed with the end of “drive time.” When we are riding around in the ultimate personal entertainment device, it’s unlikely we’ll choose to listen to ad-filled local programming. Is commercial radio nearing its end?



5 Twitter offers automated Direct Messaging tools to brands

With more and more chatbots and other AI tools available through the various messaging apps (learn about that here), it’s no great surprise that Twitter has introduced the technology as well, with automated Direct Messaging responses now available to brands.

Here’s a promo video that demonstrates the idea:


So what are the benefits of this sort of technology for marketers?

Here are a few, largely self-evident, benefits, as flagged by Skyword (follow the link for full details):

(a) Automated customer service helps both sales and marketing.
(b) Chatbots can track user data.
(c) They’ll improve your efficiency and availability.
(d) Your chatbots will only get smarter with time.


Other Marketing Insights for 2017

As we mentioned, these trends come from our MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2017 presentation.

This presentation looks ahead at what marketers should expect and plan for in 2017, across a wide variety of industries and technologies — based on local and global trends you may not yet have had the opportunity to examine — turning those forecasts into a comprehensive NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2017 report & slide deck in PowerPoint format (with accompanying notes) – information that you can easily present to your team and your clients, bringing everyone up to speed on the latest New Zealand marketing insights as we accelerate towards 2017.

Marketing Insights 2017

This comprehensive slide deck, with accompanying notes, consists of at least 200 slides covering:

  • The latest NZ research and statistics, and what they mean for New Zealand marketers
  • Local and international television trends and comments
  • The changes impacting NZ newspapers and their implications for marketers
  • Is Small Data the new Big?
  • Magazine news and trends
  • What you need to know about Radio for 2017
  • The very latest on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus and other key social properties
  • The new popularity of Slack, Yammer and Facebook At Work and what they mean for businesses
  • Programmatic advertising explained and explored
  • Online video – how can you take advantage of this seemingly unstoppable trend?
  • Wearables: fad or threat?
  • Messaging Apps reviewed and implemented
  • Context brokering and smarter business decisions
  • Loyalty program evolution and opportunity
  • Smart Data Discovery and analytics enhancements
  • Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana and the new breed of AI mobile support
  • Is your content really mobile-savvy?
  • How can you use AI?
  • Drones and their promotional potential
  • The latest on the Internet of Things
  • Blockchain and its marketing uses
  • Emerging technologies such as Smart Dust and 4D printing – and why you should be getting ready for them now

There’s plenty more, covering old and new media, insights and analytics, strategies and tactics – but we think you get the idea.



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Marketing Insights publication – Download Free


Marketing Insights is a new publication collecting advice and opinion from leading NZ marketing professionals, supplemented by information drawn from elsewhere and interpreted from a Kiwi business perspective.

This is a content marketing project, featuring sponsored contributions covering key topics that will have a continuing impact on NZ marketers, today and tomorrow.

Our content ranges from statistics to creativity, from strategic planning to effective briefing. You’ll note a strong focus on matters digital, an inevitability as online achieves new dominance.

We haven’t abandoned off-line marketing however—our topics also include Trade Shows, Sponsorships and of course timeless marketing principles and practices that are relevant whatever the environment.

Grab your free copy NOW – just click here.

5 Key Facts You Should Know About Messaging Apps

You’ve probably noticed that more and more people are using messaging apps on their mobile devices. You may even have signed up for one or two yourself, especially since Facebook split its messaging capabilities off from its main Facebook app and pointed its members to Facebook Messenger instead.

As it turns out, however, mobile messaging apps are far more important than you might have realized.

Here are five key facts that you really should know about messaging apps:

1. Messaging Apps (combined with other Dark Social sources) dominate social sharing


What is Dark Social?
The term “Dark Social” was coined in 2012 by Alexis C. Madrigal, tech editor at, to refer to web traffic that comes from outside sources that web analytics are not able to track. Dark Social sources include messaging apps, email and other private digital communications.

It’s an interesting phenomenon that, as traditional social media networks such as Facebook have gone mainstream, consumers have been less inclined to share their personal lives through such public channels. Instead, they have become much more likely to use Dark Social tools to share the juicy stuff with their friends.

In fact, Facebook has, according to a recent report from The Informant, been struggling to reverse a 21% decline in “original” sharing (personal updates) across its 1.6 billion monthly active users.

As the Guardian newspaper notes:

After more than a decade of picking up “friends” – everyone from your BFF to your grandmother to that guy who lived down the hall in your dorm way back in your first year of college (what’s his name again?) – we’ve decided that maybe we’re not 100% comfortable sharing intimate details of our lives with such random and disparate groups of people. Or, maybe we’re just all on Snapchat now – another major anxiety of Facebook’s.

Facebook employees are blaming something called “context collapse”: where people, information or expectations from one context invade or encroach upon another. Despite its elegance as a term, it’s a complicated and nuanced phenomenon – one that evokes norms of behavior, communication, sharing and privacy all at once.

For users confronting collapsed contexts on Facebook, the withholding of personal anecdotes and information isn’t a problem – it is a solution.

For years, Facebook’s strategy has caused regular controversies around user privacy and ethics – blunders that got people exposed, outed and emotionally manipulated along the way. Users seem to have combated the problem by taking Facebook’s own advice, as shared by Facebook’s president of communications and public policy, Elliot Schrage, in 2010: “If you’re not comfortable sharing, don’t.”

As messaging apps have gained traction, they’ve become the first choice of many for sharing information on a much more personal level.

2. Messaging Apps are now more popular than Social Networks

By the beginning of 2015, the top four Messaging Apps collectively had more users than the top four Social Networking Apps, according to BI Intelligence.


Most of that growth has taken place since the beginning of 2014 — it’s an impressive ‘hockey stick’ pattern by any measure.

From those figures, you’d get the impression that nearly three billion people are now using messaging apps. No so much — there’s a lot of duplication.

3. Messaging App adoption is spread across multiple apps

Messaging App usage is far more splintered than social network usage, for a very obvious reason: if you’re connecting one-to-one, you need to use the app that your friend/family member uses. Because it’s trivial (and free) to download a messaging app, when you need to connect to a friend who uses a different app, you simply add that app to your phone.


In the old days, people migrated from mySpace to Bebo to Facebook because that’s where their friends were clustering — but that was pre-smartphone. Nowadays, with messaging apps free and happily co-existing on the same device, those who use messaging apps typically have several different apps, with different clusters of friends connected through each app.

4. Young Adults are (currently) more likely to use Messaging Apps

Half (49%) of smartphone owners ages 18 to 29 use messaging apps, while 41% use apps that automatically delete sent messages, according to a 2015 Pew Internet study.

That’s not surprising — as Facebook went mainstream, younger web users were amongst the first to realize that it wasn’t a good idea to post content publicly that they didn’t want their parents to see.

Of course, the desire for privacy isn’t confined to the young, and the messaging apps have plenty of growth in them yet, as consumers of all ages graduate, not just from Facebook but also from limited-functionality SMS texting, to more powerful messaging apps that allow them to share multimedia in realtime, for free (in wifi zones) or nearly free (as part of smartphone pricing bundles).

5. Artificial Intelligence is taking over messaging

“I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.” Those chilling words, spoken by the HAL 9000 computer in Arthur C. Clarke’s legendary “2001 A Space Odyssey“, sum up both our hopes and fears when it comes to Artificial Intelligence. We want computers smart enough to understand us and take appropriate action — whilst at the same time we worry about what might happen if they are that smart.

We’ve already seen Siri, Cortana, Google Now and Facebook’s own ‘M’ at work, taking simple steps in response to our instructions. Now Facebook thinks that “chatbots” — AI programs that strike up a conversation with us — represent the best opportunity for corporates to involve themselves in messaging apps. We should note that competitors like Kik, Line and Telegram have had their own bot platforms running for some time, so the concept isn’t exactly new. What’s important about Facebook’s announcement is that the leading player in messaging has now put its weight behind the technology.

At April 2016’s f8 Developers’ conference, Facebook announced that (after running various pilot programs with select businesses) it was opening up its Messenger platform broadly, in beta, to let chatbots into the app on a large scale.

So far, the results from Facebook trials have been somewhat underwhelming:


So will chatbots actually be beneficial for businesses?

Yes, according to data collected by Daden Limited (based on chatbot usage on websites in the past):

  • “the use of avatars on Dell’s site found that users who interacted with them were twice as likely to give personal information than those who didn’t”.
  • “online campaign featuring avatars for V Graham Norton and Celebrity Big Brother…. generated clickthrough rates of 30%“.
  • “when avatars are used for e-learning content, use of the online courses increases by 400%
  • “Revenues increased by £6,000 a month
  • “Sales increased by 35%
  • “Click-through rates increased by 250%
  • 62% of visitors converted to registrants”
  • “Site traffic lifted and sustained by 200%

In other words, it’s good for the bottom line. So off you go, start building your Cyberdyne Systems bot.

In Summary

Messaging Apps are now an essential component of the digital marketing world. You owe it to yourself to learn as much as you can about messaging and how you can it in your business.

If you’d like to know a whole lot more about Messaging Apps, we cover the topic in detail in Lesson Two of our new Social Media Refresher online training course. For more details, click here.


Are You a NZ Marketing Thought Leader?

An Invitation to New Zealand’s Leading Marketers

Join us in this sponsored thought leadership project, featuring insights from many of NZ’s leading marketers and communications professionals. It’s an opportunity to reinforce your position as a thought-leader in your category.

Marketing Insights 2016

from New Zealand’s Leading Marketers

As the title suggests, MARKETING INSIGHTS is a new book collecting advice and opinion from leading NZ marketing professionals, enabling them to demonstrate Thought Leadership in their category. This is a content marketing project featuring sponsored contributions from many of New Zealand’s leading marketers.

The first edition will be published in late January 2016 and will be distributed free of charge in electronic form to a wide range of New Zealand marketing decision-makers, from small, medium and large organisations. The book will also be available to purchase in printed form a short time later.

Topics which marketers are invited to contribute include:

Marketing Trends, Challenges & Opportunities in 2016

Marketing Insight topics



This is a sponsored Content Marketing project. Marketers are invited to sponsor an article on one of the above topics and provide 500-1000 words on the agreed topic. All topic selection is subject to availability at time of booking. Relevant images are welcomed (high-resolution please).

A fee of $1295+GST applies for each sponsored contribution, due January 31 2016. However this fee reduces to $995+GST for payment in full received by December 31 2015.

All sponsored articles will include:

  • Author Credit
  • A sponsorship box at the end of the article, featuring the name & logo of your organisation, along with phone, email and website details.

The article can be written on your behalf, based on the topic you choose and featuring any key copy points that you wish to specify. Writing fees are $400+GST for 500 words, $750+GST for 1000 words.

Limited advertising may also be available in the publication.

Topics shown above are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Other topics may be proposed by sponsors and will be considered by the publishers.

Our booking deadline is December 21 (although you are advised to BOOK EARLY to secure your choice of topic) and our deadlines are December 31 (if you wish us to write the copy) or January 12 if you are providing complete copy.


This book will be distributed initially as an ebook, offered free of charge via email, to New Zealand marketing decision-makers on our 1600-strong marketing database, to 3000+ current and former participants in our online marketing courses, and also via marketing blogs and social media and through participating industry associations and trade media. It will also be made available to members of at least a dozen NZ LinkedIn business and marketing groups with a combined membership of more than 50,000 Kiwi business people.

The ebook will also, of course, be available for contributing sponsors to distribute freely to clients and prospects.

The book will also be available in printed form on an on-demand basis. The book will also be available for purchase via

To participate, email us at michael (AT)