Matthew Keegan
Nov 6, 2023

Six things performance marketers need to know about New Zealand

New Zealand's affluent economy makes it a highly attractive market despite its small population, but marketers need to be wary of new data privacy legislation.

Six things performance marketers need to know about New Zealand
New Zealand (or Aotearoa—the Māori language name for New Zealand, which means 'land of the long white cloud') is a small island country with a population of just over five million people in the south-western Pacific Ocean. It’s made up of two major land masses (North Island and South Island) and more than 700 smaller islands. 
New Zealand’s economy is highly developed, but it is comparatively small in global terms, ranking 51st in the world. However, New Zealand consumers, or Kiwis as they are more commonly called, have a high level of purchasing power and are generally well-educated and affluent. 
Consumer concerns for New Zealanders include time management, convenience, and nutrition. E-commerce is well developed in New Zealand; the market will represent about US$6 billion in 2023. Approximately 70% of New Zealand's population buy online. 
Fashion is the lead purchase and accounts for 27.8% of the New Zealand e-commerce revenue, according to ecommerceDB. It is followed by food and personal care with 24.8%, toys, hobby and DIY with 18.4%, electronics and media with 15.4%, and furniture and appliances with the remaining 13.5%. The country is also the only jurisdiction outside  the US that allows direct to consumer medical advertising. 
High social media usage, with soaring TikTok growth
The majority (94%) of New Zealand’s population are active online. They are high users of social media—Meta’s products reach 4.5 million people on average per month, with 2.95 million monthly active users on Facebook and 2.15 million monthly active users on Instagram. Like other markets, TikTok has had incredible growth, now being used by approximately 1.6m monthly active users.
Mobile phone penetration is at 92%, with an operating system share split pretty evenly between Android (49%) and iOS (48.5%). Meanwhile, top online activities according to Global Web Index, are watching videos, online shopping, accessing government services and sports content.
More than 2 million people game regularly with the top device used being a smartphone (1.72 million) followed by a PC or laptop  (1.03 million) and then games consoles (859,000).
CTV is on the increase with up to 60% of broadcast video on demand (BVOD) consumption occurring on Smart TV’s.
Digital ads lead the way for spend, powered by search
According to the recently released report by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), advertising revenue for the 12 months to December 2022 across main media was $3.389 billion, up from $3.195 billion in 2021.
Digital advertising still leads the way, with digital-only advertising generating $1,778 million in revenue with 60% of this accounted for by search. Television advertising generated a healthy $517 million while digital television produced $82 million .
"Unsurprisingly, the greatest shift in the last year has been a decrease in Government/health media spend and an increase in airline and travel as the world opens up post pandemic and our young people complete their overseas experience (usually a two to three period spent overseas in their mid to late 20s)," says John Buckley, Chief Digital Officer at OMD, New Zealand.
"The top three spend categories via agency in 2022 were Government, retail and food," he adds. "Retail, cinemas, media and banking all grew last year while cosmetics, food, alcohol and automotive advertising decreased."
New Privacy Act
New Zealand’s privacy laws were updated in 2020 and while they don’t contain anything specific to the advertising industry, brands are encouraged to adopt approaches similar to Europe’s GDPR and California’s CCPA.
The new Privacy Act, which is modelled after similar laws in Europe and Australia, has two noteworthy features: Mandatory data breach notification and data sovereignty. Organisations must notify the Privacy Commissioner of any data breaches involving personal information under the mandatory data breach notification law.
According to the new Act's data sovereignty standards, personal data cannot typically be held outside of New Zealand unless the privacy environment of the hosting nation is on par with New Zealand's.
Marketing regulations and barriers
New Zealand is a very open market and there is little in the way of government restrictions for advertisers.
"Alcohol and gambling are limited categories and some restrictions apply," says Buckley. "Interestingly, New Zealand is the only other jurisdiction outside of the USA that allows direct to consumer medical advertising. But any advertising which claims therapeutic benefits must get a government approval number."
"In terms of Tech platforms, Google products have a very high market share amongst agencies and publishers (GAM, DV360) with limited secondary use of the trade desk and mobile DSP’s."
Success stories 
Using various internal and external data sources, Kiwibank and Equifax joined forces to “pre-screen” and target the bank’s online campaigns.
Kiwibank teamed up with Equifax to “pre-screen” and target the bank’s online campaigns.
OMD New Zealand helped Westgold Milk Products, a small butter brand from New Zealand’s remote South Island, to make an impact in the Japanese market. A successful influencer campaign and programmatic video and display ads helped Westgold achieve its goal of driving brand awareness, with a 50% increase in prompted awareness.
The influencer campaign delivered almost 2 million unique impressions and generated nearly 100,000 engagements, with a 5% overall engagement rate—which is high compared to the industry average of 1-3%. Organic reach was 48%, compared to an industry average of 30%
The programmatic arm of the effort performed well, too. Programmatic video and display ad impressions surpassed 10.4 million, representing a 15% increase over the original target.

*This article was first published as part of Performance Marketing World's (Campaign's sister publication) Global Spotlight series.
Performance Marketing World

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