A look into the Australian communications market

Traditional media is still going strong

More than 15 million adult Australians access news media on a weekly basis. Although this represents a drop of 1.3% from the previous year, the numbers are still large for our market and the brands we work with still place a huge importance on a traditional PR approach.[1]

SEO and the opportunity for PR

Search Engines are the most important brand / product research channels down-under, with 63% of Aussies using them to inform their purchase decision.[2]

While we’ve used the traditional PR tool kit to drive SEO results for a number of clients, 82% of people researching a product select a brand that they’re already familiar with regardless of where they rank on Google and other search engines.[3]

Building and protecting brand awareness and positive sentiment in a consistent and integrated way remains as important as ever, only more measurable to the end result.

The shift from influencers to brand advocates

35% of Australians are looking towards consumer reviews to confirm purchase decisions but many brands in Australia view influencers as a top-of-funnel tactic and don’t provide KPI’s that maximize their outlay on these campaigns.

To come up with a better measurement model, we’re looking at our neighbors in China where the lines between social influencer and eCommerce reviewer are blurred, on platforms like Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) – imagine Amazon meets Facebook/Instagram.[4]

Within Xiaohongshu, marketers are able to measure influence closer to the conversion point.

In lieu of a platform like this, we’re working on a model to transform influencers into brand advocates. We consider that using links to a retailer or brand website as a proxy measure for driving purchase intent is an inelegant but actionable metric to work with.

24% of Australians have posted a review online in the past month and a surprisingly high amount have done so because they’re happy with their purchase (46%), but 47% were coaxed with the promise of rewards like discounts or free gifts.[5]

Finding the right influencer who loves our clients’ brands is therefore hugely important. However, ensuring we manage the commercial engagement of the influencer in way that’s ethical, transparent, ensures ROI, and doesn’t devalue our client or their product is the tightrope we need to walk. Sherlock+ enables us to build robust methodologies to uncover, track and understand the true impact of our influencers and KOLs.

What really makes Aussies tick

Understanding what really makes Aussies tick as consumers, voters, parents, carers and influencer is how we provide real value to our clients.

Secrets & Lies is a major research series undertaken by WPP AUNZ with 2500 Australians. It explores whether the long-held ‘truths’ about who we are and what we want as a nation – the image of Australia that is projected around the world – is true.  

Beyond the Hemsworth brothers, Bondi Beach, BBQs, beer swilling, and a revolving door of the nation’s leadership, Secrets & Lies exposes the truth of our real values, how progressive are as a nation and how we feel about issues like Australia’s immigration or education policy, multiculturalism, technology and innovation, diversity and equality.

We are a Country Desperate for Progressive Ideas

The Lie: A nation deeply divided.

The Truth: A nation mostly united.

The research uncovered a variety of issues that matter to Australians.  But, in the end, Australia is a nation desperate for leadership and waiting to hear some remarkable ideas.

Politicians, fringe groups and the media have each played their part in giving a good deal of attention, space and oxygen to the extremes of our society. For all the noise, our research proves that these fringes represent a negligible percentage of the total Australian population. The opposing edges of the debate are there to be sure, but the great bulk of our population (the ‘sensible centre’), agrees on one serious and substantive theme.

That theme is progress.

A Progressive Australia


As Australians, we are desperate for big ideas and for the progressive solutions that can solve some of the big issues we are facing as a nation.

66% of Australians believe that the political debate has been hijacked by the fringes. They feel that there is not nearly enough discussion about the issues that will shape our future as a nation. Issues like technology, education, diversity, talent, our future labor force, welfare, immigration, intellectual property, and what real leadership looks like now and in the future.

Two-thirds of Australians don’t feel heard or represented by their politicians. The Canberra echo-chamber seems to have very little sense of how the majority of Aussies are really thinking and feeling.

This comment sums it up best.

“I think I feel like a lot of Australians do. The world is galloping ahead. Are we being left behind? China used to be the world’s factory. But soon it will be the world’s inventor. What about India and Africa? They have thriving middle classes that are growing. Technology has connected every single thing in our world. How will tech give us a leg up? Where is Australia’s future success going to come from? Are our kids smart enough to compete? Are we? Who is the architect of this country’s future?”

Female aged 46

This comment succinctly sums up the thinking from the ‘sensible centre’. The same group that voted for marriage equality by the tune of 61%.

62% of Australians believe we’ve lost pride in who we are as a nation. We want to know what’s great about Australia aside from the obvious natural beauty, democracy and rule of law. Where do we derive our pride as a nation and is it enough that we are a friendly, down-to-earth nation of welcoming sports-lovers? Should there be something more substantive about our national character?

“We are very down-to-earth and pretty welcoming plus we have the best climate in the world. Of course, everyone wants to come here. It’s a bloody great place to live. But what else do we want to be known for?”

Male aged 36

Multicultural Australia

Despite some media reporting, almost two-thirds of Australians say that the very best thing about Australia is its rich and diverse multicultural population. Not one of the best things but the best thing. When it comes to immigration policy, 61% of Australians want a policy shaped toward a more progressive and technology-driven Australia. They don’t want to see less immigration, they want to see an Australia that can face the challenges of the future with a confident, future-ready labor force.

Our birth-rate is not nearly high enough to fuel our economy so a lot of our population growth, needs to come from immigration. I think it’s been a big success story for our economy and for our social fabric over the last 80 years. It’s the next 80 years we need to start planning for. There are probably tens of thousands of immigrants who are smart, ambitious and capable but they are born in the worst parts of the world. Real hell-holes. Where there is no hope, just war and unrest and they want a ticket out. Let’s get them to solve our innovation challenges, energy challenges and infrastructure challenges and in exchange offer them citizenship in Australia.”

Male aged 44

Gender Equality

75% of Australians think we can easily promote women and into key positions whilst still supporting the ideals of a meritocracy. Australians do not see equality and meritocracy as mutually exclusive. 50% of our population is male. 50% is female. Surely 50% of our best and most talented Australians are female?

“I don’t know why we think that if we give a woman a promotion under a quota system she takes a job away from a more qualified man.  We need to get to a point where we can agree that the talent is as equally distributed as gender in this country. If we have a 50/50 gender split or thereabouts surely the talent is just as evenly distributed?”

Male aged 29