Fast 5 With Lucia Elliott – Marketing Director Boomtown

Fast 5 with Lucia Elliot

In this month’s Fast 5, we’re speaking to Lucia Elliott, Marketing Director for regional advertising collective, Boomtown.

Who lives in Boomtown and why should marketers and brands lean in on this audience?

36 per cent of our population lives in regional Australia, that’s 18.2 million eyes on our roads, and on our Out of Home assets.

So, who lives in Boomtown? Barristers, baristas and bricklayers. Nielsen and the Research Australia Institute (RAI) tell us that half of advertised jobs are for professional roles, so regional Aussies are far more likely to be wearing AirPods than Akubras – just over two per cent of them are farmers.

Boomtown’s audiences are now more diverse and affluent than ever due to record metro migration in 2021. When you add that to greater housing affordability and a lower cost of living, you’re leaning into greater net spending power in uncluttered markets with more receptive audiences.

So, it’s not surprising supermarket sales are outstripping capital cities by over two per cent, according to the ABS. Regional cash registers have been singing this year. With apologies to Maria von Trapp, the tills are alive with the sound of Boomtown!

With scalable classic and digital assets, a full range of environments and market-leading proprietary data to illuminate brand growth opportunities, Boomtown has everything metro offers and more. So, leaning in is a no-brainer, but please lean on Boomtown too. Our open-source research, education, resources and support are here to help make your brand sing this year too.

Regional Australia has experienced some ‘time in the sun’ during the pandemic. What are the key changes you’ve seen since 2020 – what are the key markets experiencing change and what can we expect with new behaviours?

It’s been a rollercoaster ride in the past year with the impact of the ‘work from home’ and ‘work from anywhere’ phenomenon accelerating Boomtown in ways we could never have predicted pre-pandemic.

Last December, research from Regional Australia Institute revealed that 20 per cent of city residents were considering moving to Boomtown, half within twelve months.
This year, metro dwellers got serious about finding their new regional homes, and now ABS stats tell the full story. Metro migration’s at full tilt, creating what the AFR called a ‘spiral of success’ in Boomtown, by way of record-breaking professional jobs and a property boom, the likes of which hasn’t been seen for over fifteen years.

Relocation sweet spots such as our bordering communities that are 90 minutes drive from capital cities, like Geelong and Toowoomba, are experiencing double-digit growth and have been dubbed ‘Goldilocks Zones’ by The Australian’s Bernard Salt. Every day communities are also proving to be migration magnets, not just glamorous rural retreats within cooee of cities.

Those singing cash registers may just be a result of Boomtown’s more positive outlook too. Irrespective of COVID, regional communities have remained happier and more content than their metro counterparts, according to the Boomtown Mood Monitor. Plus there’s significant evidence, such as findings from The Choice Factory, to correlate happier people with stronger advertising recall and responsiveness.

With Summer approaching, can you explain the value of regional media during that period? What opportunities should marketers and brands look to unlock in Boomtown?

To answer this, I’ll preview some soon-to-be-released insights from SCA iQ’s recent Summer Study (Sept 2021) which reveals that 4.7 million metro Aussies will be holidaying in Boomtown this year, up 12 per cent on last year and 2.1 million regional Aussies will be travelling around Boomtown too, up 14 per cent YOY. While last year’s domestic travel spike a record, it pales in comparison with the additional 2m+ Aussies travelling around Boomtown this holiday season.

Travellers will be happily opening their wallets too, with almost 90 per cent intending spending on eating out/restaurants, two-thirds of Aussies spending on accommodation and alcohol and 57 per cent on shopping.

Plus, 85 per cent will be travelling by car to get to Boomtown. This means another 11.5 million eyeballs on the roads (and outdoor assets) this Summer!

How can brands connect with these important national audiences living and moving in Boomtown?

Since the Boomtown Hub launched in March this year, over 3,500 in our industry have used its interactive maps to search and find hundreds of markets and thousands of media owner assets, and 9.1 million regional Australians in minutes.

Localised messaging is also increasingly important, and it’s important to go beyond superficial <insert town name here> executions. Regional Aussies have seen more than enough tokenism, thank you.

In a recent Boomtown Masterclass, UniSuper’s Acquisition Lead, Katie Gray talked about the success her brands have had with rich, localised content for greater audience impact and resonance.

And a new case study from Newcastle Permanent has demonstrated the power of authentic hyper-local ‘inside track’ messaging to reinforce the brand’s deeper understanding of the regional towns it operates in compared with banking’s Big 4. Not surprisingly, the campaign’s a finalist in B&T’s 2021 Regional Media Campaign of the Year Awards.

Finally, what can we look forward to in 2022 from Boomtown?

When it comes to 2022 I’ll have to disagree with Mies van de Rohe. More is more!

Our expanded national Masterclass program features all-new data, insights and a growing panel of regional media experts. We’re co-presenting again with NGEN and now collaborating with the IMAA this year to deliver bespoke training for members. Based on October’s record registrations alone, 2022’s shaping up to be a bumper year for education.

We’re launching our quarterly Boomtown Consumer Insights Panel, so we’d love to hear from you about the audience insights you most need.

The bi-annual Boomtown Mood Monitor will launch soon with three years’ trend analysis along with metro and regional comparisons. With another dip just completed this month, we’ll have super fresh insights to share in November.

14 cities will feature in our new Boomtown City Lights series, shining a light on the economic, social and cultural advantages of our major growth centres. And case studies will be released across ten key categories.

But that’s where I’ll stop because it wouldn’t be much fun if we didn’t leave some of Boomtown’s surprises wrapped and under the tree until Christmas morning, would it?

Bonus question: Tell us something we don’t know about regional Australia.

For some, a surprising fact is that 7 of the 12 top online shopping postcodes in Australia have consistently been in Boomtown (thanks to Australia Post). While the recent spate of regional lockdowns has caused some wild fluctuations in postcode rankings, we’re expecting a return to our dominant spot in the coming year as Australia settles into the new normal.

More from oOh! News.


  • 9.1m regional Australians (ABS 2019-2020 regional population
  • Nielsen Clear Decisions. National Survey – Survey 2 2021. Occupation – Respondent Summary
  • Regional Australia Institute (ABS)[]
  • Sydney Morning Herald (ABS March Quarter 2020 vs 2021) []
  • Regional Australia Institute []
  • Regional Australia Institute – Move to More – Most searched towns July 21
  • AFR
  • Regional Australia Institute –
  • AFR – []
  • The Australian []
  • The Australian []
  • Boomtown Mood Monitor 2021 vs 2020/2019 – SCA iQ (to be released Nov 2021) n=558
  •  a) research study amongst happy and unhappy people referenced in The Choice Factory by Richard Shotton 2021 and b) commentary from Nobel Prize-winning behavioural economist, Daniel Kahneman
  • SCA iQ Summer Study | September 2021 | SCA Communities | National | People 18+ | n=1,057 (to be released Oct 2021) Numbers calculated by taking no. of people 18+ living in Metro and Regional then using SCA audience results for travelling to regional markets over Summer, SCA iQ has divided the % of this audience into the ‘total population.’
  •  Boomtown Hub Google Analytics – new users at 12 October 2021
  • Online shopping postcodes – Aust Post eCommerce Industry Report 2021 (nb. Pre-COVID annual tallies prior to lockdown volatilities in regional markets)