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Peter: Hello and welcome to episode 9 of the Corporate Digital Marketing Podcast. I’m your host Peter Applebaum and as usual we have quite a treat in store for you today. We’re going to be speaking to a senior executive from Tourism Australia which for those of us listening in Australia is going to offer some fascinating insights, particularly for those who are marketing professionals. But we also know that we have listeners from all around the world. So it would be wonderful to understand what the government – that’s the owner of Tourism Australia – has in store from a digital point of view to encourage visitors to come to Australia. It’s quite an extraordinary 8.5 million people come here every year; what their plans are to enhance their experience and to keep them coming back for more and of course to recommend it to their friends. So we’re going to the interview with Tourism Australia.

Peter: I’m excited to have an industry leader in the digital space, John Mackenney who is the General Manager of Digital Transformation at Tourism Australia. Welcome John.

John: Thank you.

Peter: John, you have a fascinating background. Of all the people we’ve spoken to on the Corporate Digital Marketing Podcast we’ve never had a former CFO.

John: Yeah. I mean my path to getting to this position is not the most common one through marketing. But I think it’s the nature of digital today that it’s such a fast moving industry in some ways quite data driven in its nature and fundamentally some of the skill sets that are required in this industry today are maybe not what were the ones in traditional marketing in the past. So I’ve been very fortunate here Tourism Australia to be able to make the transition and certainly am enjoying the switch.

Peter: And do you feel that there will be certified practising accountants around Australia listening to this interview saying marketing that sounds so much more fun than accounting. I’m going to go for it.

John: Yeah, I think there are certainly elements of our organisation that feel that I have joined the dark side. I mean it’s certainly much more fun to be able to drive some of these initiatives and probably be more of a cost centre and spending the money rather than maybe the financial controller. But you know at the very core digital transformation and digital in general is all about business strategy and businesses operating in a digital world. And I felt coming from a very strategic seat as a CFO the best way for me to be able to influence this company was to take on this role in digital.

Peter: It’s interesting that you use the word ‘company’. So obviously Tourism Australia is a very high profile organisation. Do you see yourselves in a very corporate sense?

John: I think fundamentally we are a Commonwealth company, effectively a company of the government but we operate far more like a commercial enterprise. We are very driven by making sure that we’re spending every dollar the right way and fundamentally we’ve got a job to support a very fast growing and important industry in the economy which is tourism. Directly or indirectly this industry employs nearly 900,000 people and we take that very seriously and we feel that we operate more in a commercial fashion and much more like a commercial entity than a traditional government entity.

Peter: So in addition to the Commonwealth Government you obviously would have many stakeholders who would have an opinion at the very least and probably influence over the decisions you make. Would that be right?

John: Yeah, that’s correct. I mean we have nearly 200 commercial partners here at Tourism Australia whether that’s the big end of town with the airlines or right down to your small tourism operators that we work with on a day to day basis. Look, everyone has an opinion, there’s no doubt about how best to sell the country and we’re very fortunate in our position to be able to to have that responsibility. But I suppose the good news is at the moment things are trending up and it seems like we’re doing a good job.

Peter: So to that point and look we’re going to be talking about data, I suspect particularly given your background John, what are the KPIs that you report back certainly from a digital point of view and overall?

John: Yes. I mean fundamentally from an overall organisation perspective we are driven by generating as much expenditure in the economy as we possibly can. Australia is not a high volume destination, it’s a high yielding destination. So all of our marketing efforts including our digital marketing efforts to identify those really high yielding consumers who are going to ideally come to Australia, have a fantastic holiday but leave lots of money in the economy to generate jobs and generate revenue for the Australian economy. So that’s our purpose and that’s what we go after.

The way that that then translates into our digital activities is really three things: our ability to find those high yielding consumers. So are we having the conversation with the right number of people and a growing number of people? Are those people engaged in our brand message and the story that we’re telling? So which is largely measured in minutes of engagement across our platforms but most importantly they’re measured against the number of leads that we’re driving into the Australian tourism industry which is really the key reason for why we’re here. So it’s our job to connect those high yielding consumers all around the world and then connect them through to operators in Australia or potentially the traditional distribution Travel Agent network back in the source markets.

Peter: And with those 200 partners that you’ve mentioned, do you tie in with their digital activities and vice versa?

John: Yeah, absolutely. So certainly from an airline perspective we’re working very very closely with a couple of partners particularly around audience sharing and starting to get joint learnings across not just the audiences that come into our digital properties and digital executions but also coming to theirs and then trying to get a combined view of those consumers so we’re going to understand what their passion points are. Are they motivated by an adventure holiday, a nature holiday, do they want to go to Sydney or do they want to come to Melbourne, do they want to go to the rock and then being able to effectively put in front of them compelling experiences that ideally will lead to them getting on an aeroplane and coming here and having a great time.

Peter: So, you mentioned audience sharing. Does that drill down to the actual audience and the consumers themselves? Do you get joint permission to communicate with them?

John: Generally, we’re dealing on an anonymous basis. We’re not full open to personal information and sharing, that’s not really the nature of what we do but certainly using those insights of consumer behaviour across web properties is really important because fundamentally consumers are looking for a seamless experience. They’re expecting a very personalised experience now. The advent of the likes of Spotify, Netflix even Airbnb, they’ve changed the nature of what consumers expect now from an experience. So for us, we need to be personalised, we need to be intuitive with our marketing so it allows us to be that and to understand a lot more about not just what they’re doing on our platforms but what they’re doing elsewhere. So that’s a fundamental reason for doing it is to make sure that we’re getting the right information in front of people and taking some of the complexity away of planning an Australian holiday.

Peter: I think it’s very clever that the former CFO has now become the General Manager of Digital Transformation because my next question was going to be has there been any friction within the organisation as to the digital initiatives and also outside of the organisation?

John: Look, I think like all organisations whether it’s globally or in Australia I think everyone’s on some form of digital transformation and it has probably become the buzz word for probably the last 12 months to 2 years. I think the reality is businesses are now having to operate in a digital world and whether that gets bundled up into a digital transformation role that has to lead the organisation or not. It’s kind of neither here nor there. Companies are embracing in different ways how that’s done. Organisations and change is always difficult, any sort of change is difficult. People in companies will generally tell you that they love change and they embrace it but as humans we’re wired to actually resist it. So I think digital is the current frontier with that.

In Tourism Australia we made a fundamental call that we either had an issue or a decision to not change and do nothing or embrace a broader digital initiative. And we’ve been lucky and probably a little bit earlier to the party than others which has probably put us a little bit ahead of the curve.

In terms of boards and executives and other stakeholders I think it’s just a constant education piece. This is a fast-moving industry and it’s ever changing so it’s just trying to bring people along with you and largely educate people on some of these new ways of which consumers are engaging with information and how really, we have to work now if we want to be successful.

Peter: You mentioned understanding consumers more effectively. Do you overlay research as to what consumers are interested in?

John: Yes absolutely. I mean there’s been a big shift here in Tourism Australia in the last 12 months to move away from traditional demographic profiling, saying that you know we’re only going to promote the people in the US over the age of 50 who live in four cities and have a passport. There’s a huge range of beliefs and passions and drivers that sit outside of those demographics. So fundamentally what we’re now saying to overlay with different data partners is to understand what really drives people like are they passionate about food and wine, are they passionate about nature, are they passionate about Australia’s beaches? What are the sort of experiences that they’re looking for? So, it’s a much more psychographic type targeting that we’re doing today. What it does is it means that we can tailor the experience to that individual because what might motivate me to get on an aeroplane will be very different to what might motivate you.

Peter: What’s the psychographic manifestation of that profiling?

John: The way it plays out is what we’re building up is segments of audiences essentially groups of individuals and then cutting them by various passion points so what motivates them in terms of what sort of holiday, what sort of experiences are they looking for? And then also some of the cities in Australia that they’re they’re already looking to come to. We are able to then match those things together. We’re also then able to understand, based on those passion points, where and how likely they are to travel. It’s a complex part. And the second and probably more interesting part is then when the art gets applied to that which is then generating compelling marketing experiences to put in front of that consumer to ideally move them closer to purchasing a holiday.

Peter: How many tourists do you have that visit Australia every year?

John: So, it’s currently just north of 8.5 million.

Peter: 8.5 million. And it’s as we know we human beings – which really sucks from a marketing point of view – we’re all different. So how do you then spin out the digital programs given that there are so many different ways and means that people are interested in coming to Australia?

John: There are very different passion points but you know fundamentally everything we do here is is embedded in consumer research and strong consumer research. That’s our foundation. We know as a core collective from our source markets the sort of things that they’re looking for in terms of a holiday destination. We’re very fortunate here in Australia as well that we have such a diversity of experiences. If you want to go skiing, if you want a beach holiday, if you want a great food and wine experience, if you want to see wildlife in the wild, you can get it all here and depending on whether you’re up in the north of the country or you’re down in Tasmania it’s a pretty diverse set so we are lucky that we do have those range of offerings. So it’s an ongoing iterative process about how well we can then match those experiences to the consumer.

Peter: So you don’t have 8.5 million consumer profiles, I wouldn’t think. How many buckets if you will would you have, like people who like beach holidays, people who like wine etc.?

John: We’re running between 30 to 50 segments now but as we learn more about the consumer we expect that those will continue to build out and be refined from there. Across our digital platforms in the last 12 months we’ve talked to roughly 32 million people which is translated to 8.5 million on the ground but we’re not expecting that all of those 8.5 million saw our work or hit our digital property. We think we’re talking to roughly about one in four people who are actually getting on the ground so the ability to translate that much higher number down and then effectively move them through and getting them here.

Peter: Do you look at it from a lifetime customer value perspective as well like ‘I’ve come to Australia, I might come back, I might tell my friends’?

John: Fundamentally our vision as an organisation is to make ourselves both the most desirable and memorable destination on the planet. And when we talk about desirability we talk about that as how do we get that first time visitor into the country? But memorability is all about return visitation. We know that Australia over indexes far from what people expected when they came here to what they actually experience in a holiday we completely over deliver on that. But we need to be able to sell that story be able to sell the story of other travellers back to people who haven’t been here or potentially about thinking about their second or third trip. So that whole element of building that out and effectively getting people to come back multiple times is critical. The reality is Australia is a big, vast land and people need to effectively come here multiple times to really understand the true breadth of the country.

Peter: Have you benchmarked what you do from a digital point of view against other tourist bodies or other organisations from around the world or even in Australia?

John: Yes, we do benchmark ourselves against different elements of it. I think what’s interesting from a National Tourism body perspective and a broader, even tourism industry perspective is we’re all approaching digital in a very different way. So we’re seeing effectively our major competition in Brand USA. Visit Britain, Hawaii have all effectively relaunched their websites over the last probably 12 to 18 months. New Zealand a little bit ahead of that. New Zealand has been pretty focussed on some big data and media partnerships in the last 12 months and have been doing some great work. Even at a state level, South Australia has been doing some phenomenal work around data and audience as well.

And if you look at a broader CRM email multi-channel marketing program we’re saying that actually no one’s really kind of cracked that from a national perspective but we’re seeing amazing work from obviously TripAdvisor and Airbnb in particular in that space. So the simple answer is I don’t think anyone’s solved the problem and got the full connected view of customer. I think we’re all trying to solve the same problem in different ways but we consistently benchmark ourselves against each of those elements to work out where we should be investing next as we try to get to that final really well connected experience and state that we’re trying to achieve.

Peter: Do you have a five-year plan or a vision as to where the organisation wants to be from a digital point of view?

John: Yeah, we do. We launched this program probably in 2013 and at that stage it was all about ‘Yes we knew we needed to better understand our content and we wanted to be data driven around our Website and to understand the consumer’. And we knew that data and audiences were going to be important at some point. So we bought into an audience management platform. That’s changed now. We are now effectively moving into much more personalised one on one communication with the consumer across multiple channels, so the program is changed into a very much data led approach, changing the website to being a much more personalised experience. The integration of far more social content in our website.

But then the next two to three years is really taking advantage of of new technologies. We’ve already launched VR and 360 video on our platform. But certainly, starting to use artificial intelligence and some of those machine learning algorithms to help people plan their holiday. So where are we going next? We’ve started some of those initiatives over the last couple of months but so that will be our focus or one of our focus is going forward.

Peter: So, Tourism Australia is on board with marketing’s shiny new things VR and AI.

John: It’s dangerous. The one thing I always sort of cautioned other marketers to do is to not go after the shiny thing but it is definitely the talk of the town.

Peter: Every podcast interview we’ve had we’ve talked about AI and VR.

John: It’s an interesting one, VR for us. We didn’t come into it going we should do VR or 360 video, that wasn’t our approach. The problem we were trying to solve was Australia is a highly immersive destination and I think it’s when you set foot on a beach in Australia or somewhere out in the outback or up in NT there’s a certain element of this country where you just breathe it in and you know it’s a true sensory experience. It’s very hard to explain to people who haven’t been here. So I think VR and 360 video just allows us to have a more immersive experience. It’s better than flat photography, it’s better than traditional video. So we didn’t do VR and 360 because it was the latest thing, we did it because we knew we could tell the Australian story in a new and innovative way to our consumer.

Peter: And what feedback have you had from consumers?

John: Certainly, from an engagement perspective we’re seeing north of 70 per cent uplift and engagement on our platforms and we’ve got people in China. I think with our last campaign we had an average time on our website of about 11 or 12 minutes so these are people sitting there watching 4 to 5 of these 360 VR experiences are really immersing themselves in it. So fundamentally from an engagement perspective it’s really been a game changer for us on our platforms.

Peter: To that point, what are the most effective digital strategies that you have used and as you say you’ve had this fundamental shift from 2013 and even then, it’s changed again but what do you find are the specific tools that are most effective for you?

John: I think there’s two. We’ve talked a lot about data already in this session but I just think being driven fundamentally by the consumer at the core and trying to connect them through has really yielded us much better results. We’re far more efficient in how we serve advertising. We’re far more efficient in how we’re able to drive leads into the Australian tourism industry. So I think last financial year we had 154 per cent uplift in leads that we drove to the industry and that’s due to a number of factors. But fundamentally it’s because we’re being more data driven in our approach and where it’s the classic analogy of fishing where the fish are but delivering those targeted experiences.

The second thing that I think has been the key to our success is really using our social community to help sell the country. For as long as I’ve been with Tourism Australia we’ve always said that Australians and travellers tell the Australian story better than we do and social has enabled that. So effectively through our social channels and our #SeeAustralia we’re sent three and a half thousand pieces of content every single day. Now we used to and still do bundled those up and push them back out through social channels. But we’re taking it further than that. We’re actually now using those to effectively stream into our website and essentially using our travellers and locals and our industry to effectively drive out our content strategy and really enable that fast moving content to our consumers. So it was probably taking something. It’s funny saying that social’s old because it’s probably not but I was thinking about social in a different way and not just thinking about social as being a channel to push out but it’s actually a way to source great content and then push it back out to people.

Peter: There are people listening to this Podcast saying it’s great for you guys because it’s like you’ve got Australia. And as you say it’s a highly immersive product if you will but we’re marketing ball bearings or we’re selling running shoes. It’s like how would how do we do it. Because it’s like you’ve got so many advantages that the vast majority of marketers don’t have.

John: I think that is absolutely true and there is no doubt that most brands aren’t in the fortunate position that we are to be sent the amazing quality of content that we’re sent every day. But I think there’s a couple of key learnings that still apply to most businesses. I think the stuff we’ve talked about a lot around being fundamentally driven by your customer at the core and understanding what they need in your digital experiences is critical and continuing to learn and evolve that. I think that applies to nearly any business. The other thing is with any brand as well it’s trying to understand how the general public perceive your brand and if you do have positive reinforcement from influencers and people in the community to let your brand have some freedom and control and be able to use some of those voices. It may be difficult if you’re just building widgets but for every brand there is an ability to do some element of brand building off the basis of your community. It may only be a handful of people that may not be literally the millions that we talk to but I think you know using that core concept is still applicable.

Peter: I know that you mentioned influencers. Is influencer marketing an important part of what you do, like using travel bloggers and those types of people?

John: Obviously we have what we call the ‘Friends of Australia program’ which is essentially key Australians from different industries and different backgrounds so whether that’s sportsmen like surfers whether that’s chefs right up to the big end of town with Chris Hemsworth who is our brand ambassador. People still respond to that. And certainly in a number of our Asian markets you know influencers and people who are coming to Australia and having a holiday certainly have an impact. And with people like Chris who really embody the Australian way of life and…

Peter: Well, every Australian male looks like him.

John: Of course, including both of us. Obviously that’s why we’re on a podcast not a video.

Peter: Exactly, right.

John: But fundamentally he embodies really what the country is about. That great laid-back lifestyle, that cheeky personality, he is all those elements. So in some way the influencers help us bring out the nation’s character and really sell what we have to offer.

Peter: It’s been a great news story so far. John. What hasn’t worked?

John: I think the fundamental challenge that we’ve had as a destination and as a marketing organisation is we’ve been great at creating this great brand awareness and this great desire for people to come to Australia. When we look at our research we’re sort of number one or number two in most of our source markets in terms of desirability but actually converting that through into visitation has been a challenge for us. I think at its core Australia is a big vast complex nation and if you don’t have a huge awareness of what Australia has to offer, putting a holiday together for Australia is complex and so I think we struggled with fundamentally people have gone ‘I want to go to Australia someday’ but when they’ve gone in to start to plan it there’s been some complexities around that and they’ve probably gone to a much more familiar destination. I mean if you think about Los Angeles, New York, London and Paris, they are known commodity. We’ve grown up around those sayings. We see them in movies. We know that if we go to London and spend five days there we know roughly what we’re going to have to offer now.

So maybe it isn’t as big an issue for the UK consumer that’s grown up on a diet of Neighbours and Home and Away but for a US consumer who fundamentally understands that we’ve probably got an Opera house, a bridge, a rock and a reef and yeah kangaroos hopping down the Main Street. So their understanding of how to put a holiday together is complex so I think that’s where we struggled. I think though when we look at what we’re trying to solve going forward and this is where some of the ways to talk to people in a more one on one and personalised way. The ability to use machine learning to be able to almost generate a holiday for you based on your personal preferences – it takes that complexity out. So I think that’s where we’ve probably let ourselves down in the past. We’ve had a great inspirational brand and look, the numbers are phenomenal. Don’t get me wrong but if we can solve this problem and make planning a holiday to Australia not just a fun and engaging experience but also a less complex one I think we’ll see a significant lift in visitation.

Peter: Do you have a strategy in place or are you working towards that outcome?

John: We’ve spent a significant bit of time over the last 12 months really building out the next stage of our digital strategy and it really is that it’s that utility element of our content at the core. It’s not just saying yeah, look at this we’ve got a beautiful harbour, look at this it’s an amazing rock. It’s much more about ‘okay great’. Here’s how you do Sydney, here’s how you get to the rock, here’s what you can do around there. So it’s much more about helping people achieve the outcome that they want to achieve. We’re testing out a few different things with machine learning and artificial intelligence about how we connect that through using some of the learnings from retail about what is the next best offer. I mean if you’re in Sydney there is a logical next couple of steps of what you might do next. Whether it might be to go to the Blue Mountains or head up to Byron Bay or jump on a flight to Kangaroo Island. We can predict largely what that next step may be based on those preferences. So in the past we probably tried to be all things to all people which probably only really built out the complexity of a nation. So being able to deliver much more personalised experiences tailored to the individual we think will help solve that problem.

Peter: You’re probably talking about the other buzz phrase in the industry at the moment which is customer experience. So that’s a very important part of it. Do you feel that there are other tourism bodies, putting aside their natural advantages as you mentioned in the UK or the US, that are doing this frictionless planning well or better than you guys are?

John: I don’t think anyone’s solved the planning part. I think the ones who do it well at the moment are probably more smaller destinations. So I think Singapore does it quite well as a tourism board. I think their integration with TripAdvisor and really that whole live like a local element that they’re building out is a nice execution and I think New Zealand fundamentally has worked out what their target market is looking for. I mean fundamentally New Zealand largely is a self-drive destination. They’re driving really well off that adventure category. They’re very clear about what they are and what they’re trying to sell. I think the differences between us and New Zealand is we probably have nearly everything that New Zealand has to offer probably short of a competitive rugby team at the moment. But we also have much you know a whole bunch of other elements to what we’re trying to achieve. So whether that’s what you see in the Northern Territory, the abundance of wildlife in the wild or the great food and wine offerings. It’s a much more complex or diverse range of experiences that we’ve got here in Australia which is a great thing but we’re also then in terms of how you connect through the consumers is much more difficult than what it might be for a single destination.

Peter: You mentioned Chris Hemsworth before. A lot of older Australians would remember the ‘throw a shrimp on the barbie campaign’ which was incredible and changed the way Americans in particular thought about Australia and I think any Australian who still goes to the US still gets thrown in that line when they talk to older Americans. That was incredibly innovative and no doubt very effective. Have you talked about the secret sauce? Have you had the secret sauce type of approach ever since?

John: Look, I think what we got with Hoges in 1984 was not that different to what we’re trying to achieve today. I mean he encompassed the Australian and I suppose the larrikin Australian at that time but it brought out the Australian personality. But essentially through that and being able to show the beauty of it he really was a spokesman at that time for the country. While we do use Chris and he embodies a number of those elements it’s very different in a modern digital world; we view that there is not one spokesperson anymore. It’s not Hoges, I would argue there’s 24 million spokespeople in our country. Let alone the 8.5 million who come here every day. So we build from that. We think that at that time Hoges was a spokesman for the country. Now it’s really about how do you harness all of those voices and push them out.

Peter: Which probably makes it harder because as you say it’s a more fractured media landscape and it’s a more fractured world with you talking about digital and social media.

John: It is fractured in terms of the amount of content and the amount of noise. And it’s also the attention economy is very difficult. You know we’re all bombarded with thousands of pieces of advertising every single day. So trying to get someone’s attention is hard. But it’s also a little bit double-edged because with what we do with the tools we have today we can find these people. If you think about it logically we’re trying to find the next eight and a half or nine million people who are going to find this country out of the entire planet. But that is the digital equivalent of a needle in a haystack. So being targeted and looking for those people who want to come here and in doing our best to motivate them to get on an aeroplane. Yes, it has complexity because of the digital landscape but it also allows us to be far more effective in a digital world.

Peter: We’re coming to the end of our discussion. I just wanted to ask you, and we ask all of our guests this which is crystal ball time. Where do you see digital marketing will be in five years’ time, which in digital years is probably 50 years’ time in the real world.

John: I think it’s an interesting one. I mean if I just take a travel analogy for a second. If you look at Expedia was funded out of Microsoft 20 odd years ago. And what they talked about was an ability to ask a question in voice and someone spit out your dream holiday. That was the dream of Expedia when it was launched in Microsoft. It’s actually nearly there. If you think about where voice is going now with Cortana and Siri the ability for people to be able to join these data sets together I think we’re much closer to that. But I think businesses over the next five years, the ones that were really successful, are going to be the ones who understand the consumer best, the ones who are going to be able to find those really high yielding people. I think the ability of marketers to be able to mine that and find that so whether there’s more accountants or whether there’s more data scientists but certainly there’s going to be people from different fields who are helping that. But then once you find them the ability to create compelling marketing experiences, that hasn’t changed. I think the ability to take on that new tag and go how can I apply that to my business how can I apply that to my customer is really going to be the critical piece.

It’s going to change fundamentally but I think the ability for marketers to be open minded and keeping their customer at the core will be the key to success.

Peter: And right now what organisations do you feel are doing it effectively not just in the tourism space?

John: From a personal perspective I think if you look at Pandora, Spotify, Netflix they are very intuitive in their nature. They’re beautiful experiences, they’re learning from you. I mean even the experience on YouTube is quite iterative now so people are getting used to the fact that this platform knows something about me and knows what I should be listening to, watching next, which TV shows I’m going to like, that’s now the norm. So, the ability to be predictive but then being able to still create great compelling content is going to be key.

Peter: Final question John. And look we’ve had so much fabulous content that’s come from you and insights I think everyone’s going to love this particular discussion. What are the top three tips you would give other marketers who are keen to succeed in digital as you have and as Tourism Australia does?

John: As I said earlier it’s not to follow the bright shiny thing. Keep your business problem at the core of what you’re trying to do but look at other case studies look at other elements of what people are doing and go how could I apply that to my business. So use the technology, use the innovations to try to solve business problems. Don’t do the technology because it’s good, because you have some goal of being an innovative company or an introverted individual. So avoid the bright shiny object. I think keeping the audience and the customer at the core and understand to be completely driven about understanding as much as you possibly can about that customer and what motivates them and using the tools today and then thirdly is and continue to create world class experiences because fundamentally this is where brands will live and die. We can’t continue just serve banners and buttons. We need to be able to serve compelling content because otherwise you’re not going to be able to cut through the noise. So that’s my three.

Peter: They’re a good three and I love the third one. Just continue to create compelling experiences and I think that’s where we get a consistent theme coming with all the people that we’re speaking to and that is, it’s not about digital it’s not about marketing it’s about creating those customer experiences that are compelling and memorable and encourage people to tell other people about it because obviously word of mouth is still a very compelling thing.

John: Absolutely.

Peter: John, thank you very much for your time and for your insights. I’m sure everyone is going to be taking a lot out of this and I hope to speak to you again soon.

John: Great. Thank you.

Peter: Wasn’t that interesting? As I say whether you’re Australian or from another country the way the planning that goes into the tourism market in Australia not to mention what obviously happens in other countries as well, is truly fascinating for us as digital marketers and obviously that well has changed dramatically since the advent of social media, digital marketing, content marketing and of course virtual reality which as John mentioned is an important part of the experience for people visiting the Tourism Australia website.

So thank you for joining us for Episode 9 and we look forward to speaking to you again very soon.