Australia – a trailing market?

  1. “It’s two years behind the UK market”
  2. “The Australian market’s a fifth of the size”
  3. “They use abaci* to work out rates and communicate via carrier pigeon”

Just a few of the perceptions I encountered prior to my trip here (with the exception of the last one which I made up). So is the Australian market really behind the UK (and what does ‘behind’ even mean for that matter)?

Australian Computers

An artist’s impression of an Australian digital agency as perceived by the UK

I’d asked this question before – what does ‘behind’ actually mean? I’d always got vague responses (including but not limited to “It just is” and “It’s just smaller”). I wanted to know more – was it down to smaller spend? Less savvy clients? Under investment from technology companies? A smaller pool of media owners? Consumer take up for digital? Was it even true at all?

There was only one thing for it – I needed to talk to some people in the know, so I set up a couple of meetings with the leaders of two of the biggest search and performance teams in the Australian market…

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StuartStuart Beckingham

Head of Search, Mediacom Australia

I spoke to the Aussie born and bred leader of Australia’s largest search team about the commoditisation of the search landscape and the challenges in the market.

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Dan RobinsDan Robins

Head of Performance, OMD Australia

I spoke to British import Dan about the most progressive client business he’s ever worked on and the differences he’s seen in the Australian market.

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And so there we have it. In summary, whether the Australian market is behind the UK depends entirely on how you look at it. A lot of the challenges for agencies are the same, but the timing is different and this can work to both benefit and detriment.

Perhaps the best thing to do is to come over here and find out for yourself…

* that is the correct pluralisation, I looked it up (twice)