In a nutshell, these were:

  1. SEO practices are a bit old school, and black hat techniques are still rife.
  2. PPC is very affordable.
  3. Internet availability is limited, but growing fast.
  4. New Zealanders aren’t as preoccupied with digital as the rest of the world.

So, here’s my take on the points raised in Edwyn’s article.

1. SEO leaders exist

Many SEO leaders exist in New Zealand both in specialist practices and generalist practices within a full service agency environment.

Richard Conway has built PureSEO from the ground up as a specialist SEO organisation and, having got the model right, is expanding into Australia.

Grant Osborne is big on honesty and transparency, which I feel are hugely important when choosing a trusted person or agency to manage your digital reputation. His best work is for companies receiving over 100,000 sessions per month.

Finally, my own boutique digital consultancy practice was borne out of a curiosity for the interplay between how Google works in an increasingly social platform centric world.

These leaders are all relatively straight forward to find through a quick ‘seo marketing nz’ search, however I do agree with Edwyn’s experience that for the uneducated eye it can be difficult to identify good from bad practices.

I would strongly suggest talking to previous and existing clients about the specific person that will work with you on your project.

An easy start point is to follow these steps:

  1. Look at their LinkedIn recommendations.
  2. Read articles they’ve written on search, social and marketing.
  3. Subscribe to their email. See how they onboard you.

Any marketing practitioner worth their salt should be a ‘living and breathing’ example with their own marketing top notch, so look them up.

2. PPC is affordable with regional variations, but make sure it has overall conversion value.

It’s said about New Zealand that we have a temperate weather environment with regional variations. The same goes for Adwords.

Paid search and paid social in Auckland can be expensive, yet similar campaigns targeting regional NZ comparatively cheap.

It’s about product affordability for the end consumer as much as for the client.

Discretionary income and median wages are much lower outside of Auckland so in the broader context, paid ads should be evaluated by the conversion value not just the click cost.

3. Infrastructure has improved but isn’t the future economic panacea, instead, lifestyle is.

New Zealand has fantastic internet infrastructure that has grown up considerably over the last five years.

I now have 100Mb download, 20Mb upload with a 4ms ping, in a provincial town suburb that ensures almost uncontended day time use… and I live next to a waterfall.

Just like 10x content is gold for digital marketers, the 10x lifestyle is the prize for New Zealand’s location independent jobs.

I’m not the only one – read Rod Drury’s views on the growth in location independent jobs in regions where lifestyle is 10x anywhere else, or read this article on New Zealand’s future in an Asia-Pacific centric world.

4. Consumer behaviour isn’t any different here.

Consumers are purchasing online in record numbers as internet-enabled devices have become ubiquitous.

As a tourist in a foreign land it might be difficult to see this, but make no mistake, online grocery retailers like Gourmet Direct and My Food Bag are experiencing astonishing growth.

This isn’t a recent change – Trade Me has been many NZ shoppers’ first online purchase experience since early 2000.

It was so successful at being first to market, New Zealand is one of the few countries where eBay didn’t manage to get a foothold.

Econsultancy is hosting a webinar on Thursday January 21st to share the findings from a new report on The Rise of Marketing Technologists in ANZ. 

The report, published in partnership with IBM Marketing Cloud, looks at the spending trends across a range of marketing technologies and investment priorities.