Growing Wellington with Australians

BELLA KATZ
Last updated 09:35 01/07/2014
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Grow Wellington is trying to attract Melbourne businesses.

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OPINION: Last week an advertisement came through on my LinkedIn newsfeed by Grow Wellington. It was called Postcard from Wellington and asked me, in 75 words or less, to suggest why a Melbournian I knew should live and work in Wellington. A trip for two to Melbourne was up for grabs.

I was curious to find out who was behind the campaign, as it seemed a great fit given that Melbourne is like the Wellington of Australia. It has a reputation for being edgy and arty. Very different from the big, brash and beachy persona of Sydney.

Assuming things haven't changed too much in the 15 years since I left New Zealand, Wellington and Auckland have a similar rivalry.

It also made great sense that Wellington would target Melbourne business people as part of its campaign. I was impressed by Grow Wellington's quality of research and strategy.

I even noticed in their Half Yearly report that in October 2013, they attended a Melbourne creative sector event in order to encourage Australian game development studios to establish offices in Wellington. Clever and clear strategy to, literally, grow Wellington.

Only a few days later did I notice the Play Melbourne logo prominently displayed on the Postcards to Wellington campaign. I clicked the link and was taken through to Tourism Victoria's sub site.

That's when it all made even more sense.

Melbourne's reputation has been very carefully and successfully crafted by some of Australia's best marketers, led by the highly-respected former marketing director of 12 years, Don Richter.

Under his guard, Tourism Victoria established a Jigsaw campaign and the 'Every piece of Victoria' brand positioning.

As part of a concerted effort over many years, Melbourne is portrayed as a city rich in adventure and discovery, a literal jigsaw puzzle that requires many visits, each resulting in a new set of discoveries.

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It's a positioning that has allowed Melbourne to finally overtake Sydney as the city tourists spend more days in.

Tourism Victoria's partnership with Grow Wellington is a part of that ongoing strategy. And truly, every company can learn from the way Tourism Victoria operates.

For many years, they have conducted extensive market research and brand tracking. They know exactly why certain segments of people come to Melbourne, which precise words they use to describe it and how to generate tourist dollars from it all.

For example, the Play Melbourne campaign is aimed at Roy Morgan's sub segment called Creative Opinion Leaders, enticing 20-30 year old domestic travellers and New Zealanders to our fair city.

Personally, I've only ever seen the campaign when reading about it in industry marketing magazines or by chance. Simply because I already live in Melbourne and so am not in Tourism Victoria's target market.

It might be a good thing that the media relations' person at Grow Wellington has yet to return my call. I do love a bit of research and enjoyed unraveling the mystery of Wellington and Melbourne's partnership. Maybe that discovery gene is now part of my Melbourne DNA.

Well done Wellington, on your part in this Trans Tasman campaign. I'd love to see more companies looking for similarly complementary partnerships.

Bella Katz is an Australia-based brand and marketing consultant and advises New Zealand companies exporting to Australia. She is also a New Zealand expat, calling Australia home for over a decade.

- Unlimited

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