Boomtown appoints Lucia Elliott as marketing lead to replace Ana Nasarre

Editor & Content Director

The collection of media owners which aims to promote the benefits of advertising in regional areas, known as Boomtown, has appointed a new marketing lead.

Lucia Elliott will take on the role, effective immediately.

She replaces Ana Nasarre who was Boomtown’s marketing campaign manager throughout 2019, and then Boomtown marketing manager. This year, Nasarre moved within Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) to become the marketing manager for digital audio.

New recruit Elliott was the marketing director at NewsMediaWorks, the industry body for Australia’s news media publishers, which has since been rebranded as ThinkNewsBrands and folded into the Premium Content Alliance alongside ThinkTV and ThinkPremiumDigital.

While with NewsMediaWorks, Elliott helped to launch the industry’s new measurement currency, Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (emma).

She has also launched The Australian Financial Review Business Summit, and delivered strategic education programs and industry events for the Advertising Council Australia. In addition, she’s worked for agencies including George Patterson Partners, Mojo, and The Campaign Palace, on brands such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Nestle, KFC and Hoyts. On the publisher side, her time with agencies saw he work with Nine Network, News Digital and ACP Magazines.

Most recently, she has been running her own marketing consultancy, Creighton Ward, which saw her spearheading the full marketing and events programs for Sydney Airport’s SYD100 Centenary.

Boomtown aims to redress the imbalance and biases within media agencies and brands which results in just 10% of advertising budgets going to the regions, when 36% of the country’s population live within these areas.

Elliott joins as the organisation – comprised of members SCA, Prime Media Group, WIN Network, Australian Community Media (ACM), News Corp, Imparja, TRSN and oOh!media – ramps up its education efforts, including an expanded education masterclass for media agencies and marketers.

The masterclass will include national online and face-to-face sessions. It will also launch Boomtown Hub, which aims to make regional media planning easier.

Boomtown chair, and SCA’s chief sales officer, Brian Gallagher, noted the pivotal moment the organisation was at.

“Regional Australia is truly at an inflection point this year, as the pandemic has resulted in many people reassessing their lives and deciding to migrate to a sea or tree change as ‘work from anywhere’ becomes the norm. In addition, domestic travel to regional Australia is booming, as people rediscover their love for our diverse regions,” he said.

“This coupled with the 8.8 million – and rising – Australians living and working in regional Australia, is a perfect time for advertisers to take advantage of this lucrative audience. Lucia will lead our marketing activities as Boomtown launches into a busy and exciting 2021 and her wealth of client and agency experience will be invaluable to our team.”

Elliott added that it is an exciting time for regional media.

“I became particularly engaged with and attached to regional markets during my time visiting 30+ news media sites – from Bundaberg and Burnie to Bunbury and back – on the annual roadshows at NewsMediaWorks. So the chance to take the much loved and highly respected Boomtown brand to the next level at such an exciting time for regional media, was an opportunity too good to miss,” she said.

SCA’s CEO, Grant Blackley, has previously warned of regional media’s precarious future and lobbied for Federal Government intervention.

“We don’t like driving down to Canberra and fundamentally [asking for] handouts saying ‘We need further support’. What we want is we want the rules to be opened up to allow us to organise ourselves and fundamentally create a sustainable model,” he said at an AdNews Live event yesterday promoting the Save Our Voices campaign.

“We don’t want this [these handouts] in perpetuity. We want, as I’ve said earlier, to try and sustain our own businesses on our own merit – however there’s going to be some serious decisions that will be made by certain players – whether we employ the journalists that we do, whether we nationalise more often, whether we sell assets. I don’t think our Government and our communities, and we certainly don’t want that outcome,” he added.

“So five years from now, if nothing’s done, there will be very few local voices, local stories told, and I think there will be, unfortunately, irreparable damage done [to businesses].”

Gallagher, too, has spoken about how SCA in particular navigated the challenges of 2020, in part by educating advertisers about regional messaging.

“The discovery for a lot of advertisers around regional markets isn’t so much about focusing on regional markets with a different type of creative or another message. I think the realisation that’s coming is essentially, they’re the same people, 9 million people out there, that are the same as the people that live in other metropolitan areas. And so the discovery that we’re embarking on with most of our new business into those regional markets is just simply emulating their strategy. There’s no major rationale behind changing the commercial message from those brands,” he explained.

The approach, he said, is proving extraordinarily successful.

“We’re having an extraordinary success at the moment converting non-regional media users to regional media usage, and it’s coming down to basics. It’s not complicated. It’s, ‘Your market share in Sydney is X, your market share in New South Wales, for example, is Y, and the difference is ‘Here you’re not advertising’. Where you’re advertising, you’re getting market share’.

“So there’s some really basic planning guidelines that I would suggest. That’s as big a trick as it needs to be. Really have a look at your market, see if you can get the data to segment the market share that you have, and act accordingly, because what you’ll generally find is what you don’t invest, you don’t get.”

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