Direct Marketing in the Land of Oz
U.S. Direct Marketers Are Finding Success in Australia
By Lisa A. Yorgey
This year's Oscar race has been called an Australian invasion: Aussies were nominated in every award category.
Indeed, this former British penal colony has permeated American pop culture—from Animal Planet's "Crocodile Hunter" to Nicole Kidman in "Moulin Rouge."
Interest in the land down under, however, extends beyond the world of entertainment. With a largely English-speaking population of about 23 million and a well-developed list market, Australia is one of the few bright spots in the Pacific Rim for U.S.-based international direct marketers.
Direct marketing now represents half of all media spending in Australia. According to the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA), some 6,500 consumer direct mail campaigns were recorded in 2001. In conjunction with this surge, ADMA reports the telemarketing industry is growing at a rate of 30 percent a year.
This increase in direct marketing activity, combined with a weak Australian dollar, has a "bounty of potential to offer international marketers," say sources at Action Mailing Lists, a division of the Australian-based international marketing group, Action Direct Marketing (ADM).
Creative, Down Under
ADM client services manager Abramo Ierardo points out, "Marketers have historically conducted testing in Australia direct from the United States, an approach that has typically produced lower response rates."
To improve on their success, Ierardo advises U.S. companies to consider their approach: "Australian consumers respond more favorably to mail that is culturally relevant or 'Australianized.'"
International direct marketers have proven more successful, says Ierardo, "if the copy includes local currency, local images, testimonials from local customers, local contact points and words spelled in [Anglican] English, rather than American, for example, 'colour' not 'color.'"
Mark Bridges, vice president of international services for NJ-based Mokrynski & Associates, which manages National Geographic's international list, concurs. He points out that Australia is "one of the handful of countries where there is sufficient availability of local lists to warrant their serious consideration.