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Case Study: Tourism Australia


Travellers from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia love Australia — each market generates billions of dollars of visitor revenue each year. But Tourism Australia (TA) wanted to boost those numbers. In order to revitalise Australia as a travel destination among travellers in the abovementioned markets, TA tasked John Brown Novus to come up with a regional content strategy.


The challenge was that travellers in each market display different behaviours, which would affect how they consumed travel content. As such, a quantitative-qualitative approach was adopted for the next phase, arming us with data to fuel the strategy. We conducted interviews with TA’s key distribution partners — specifically the Australia specialists from partnering travel agencies — in all markets. Interviews covered topics such as activities travellers prefer in Australia, key travel time, and the preferred formats to consume travel-related content. Our in-house photo editor was also crucial to this process, combing through TA’s stock photography to analyse strengths and weaknesses in the imagery they used to sell the Down Under dream.

The Idea

Our research found that, while influencer-based marketing remains effective for Indonesians, Singaporean travellers are slightly more jaded and need fresh, off-the-beaten track destinations and tips. Also, the vast majority of Southeast Asian travellers prefer to travel in the autumn/winter times — a travel habit that differs hugely from their Western sun-seeking counterparts. Based on this information, we built a psychographic and demographic profile of the audience in each market, including drivers (‘Why Australia?’), aspirations (‘What do they want to do in Australia?’) and challenges (‘What puts them off about Australia?’).


Having raw data on our hands was not quite enough. What we did next was to map their answers against the travel industry’s buying cycle to identify the type and format of stories we should be prioritising for each market. For example, since celebrity endorsement continues to be effective in Malaysia and Indonesia, content recommendations were geared towards that. We also narrowed down the best channels and platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, where our target audiences consume content. A final and crucial step in all of this was to validate the content ideas and angles that we proposed. For that, we used social listening tools to generate reports of what users thought about travel, and Australia as a destination.



Making sense out of the information we collected took about two to three months. We provided TA with in-depth reports analysing buying behaviours of each market, potential content ideas that could be generated, and dos and don’ts of photo use, so they could better utilise their image library. Bolstering these recommendations was the fact that every insight had had solid data to back it up, offering TA multiple ways to improve their content offering.