Welcome to 2021! Could we be saying goodbye to Google in Australia?

We seem to have snowballed into the first month of a brand new year and after all the unprecedented antics of 2020, we’re excited to see what 2021 holds for the (digital) world of marketing in Australia. Unfortunately, we’re not off to the best start, with Google AND Facebook threatening to pull the rug out from under the entire country over a proposed new media code. We also take a look at the statistics behind the digital boom of 2020 and how this could affect your marketing plan for 2021. Spoiler: moving more of your business online is never a bad idea. Then finally we take a look at the dreaded unsubscribe button, and how it could actually be a blessing in disguise for your business.

1. Google VS the Australian Government

Can you imagine a world without Google? Well, that could be a reality if Google has its way and goes ahead with its threat to shut off its entire search engine in Australia if something doesn’t change with the government’s proposed media code. The law proposed by the Australian government could mean that huge tech giants, including Google and Facebook, would have to pay local news publishers for their content which would ultimately cost them billions, as well as losing their power advantage in the digital monopoly of news coverage.

Obviously, this will have a massive impact on Australian businesses, agencies and the end-user, with over 19 million Australians using Google to search and find information online. We have become so reliant on Google for gaining information quickly, so the effect would be incalculable. How many times have you resorted to Google just so you can win an argument? How many times a day do you “just Google” something?

Of course, it isn’t just our desire to have the world’s knowledge at our fingertips that would be affected, but the way we advertise would undoubtedly change too. Search advertising is something we always highly recommend to any business that comes to us as part of a robust digital strategy; for both eCommerce and non-eCommerce businesses. The beauty of search is that your potential new customer is already sitting at the computer (or more likely on their phone) and they are actively looking for your product or service. Then you can show up, right there, in front of them.

It’s not just Google. Facebook has also said they won’t focus on Australia as a market if the media code goes through, which would also be a major blow for advertising.

We’re hoping that this is a worst case scenario situation, as Google has said that they’re committed to reaching a workable code, but that the current draft leaves them with no choice. All we can do is watch this space.

SMH: Google threatens to stop search in AustraliaGoogle's Response

2. 2020 Digital Content Consumption

It would be the understatement of the century to say that consumer’s digital behaviour has changed over the past 12 months. People have turned to digital in huge numbers since the start of the pandemic (a digital boom, you might say) and they’re constantly seeking new tools and hardware which will allow them to consume the content much faster and easier. We already knew digital was king, but it really is currently reigning supreme.

Here’s a breakdown of the most important statistics from last year:

Here’s a breakdown of the most important statistics from last year:

  • 53% of online time is spent consuming content, whilst 47% is using internet tools
  • The time spent consuming digital News content has increased by 46% YoY peaking in March… Hmm, we wonder why? 
  • The time spent on major retail sites and apps increased by 19% YoY
  • There was a 41% growth in online retailers YoY for 12 months to October
  • There was a 25% YoY increase in audience for Connected TV, with 7.1 Million Daily Users
  • 19% of Australians now own a smart speaker 
    • 32% use it daily
    • 38% growth usage YoY
    • Perhaps a fact that is not so surprising: the top two uses for a smart speaker are for streaming music and asking about the weather forecast! Hey Alexa…
IAB Australia Selected Nickable Charts December 2020

3. Reminder to check your unsubscribe

Online retailer Kogan had a very expensive reminder about the importance of the unsubscribe button on emails, with a huge $310,000 fine after sending out promotional emails that made it hard for consumers to unsubscribe. 

So, we’d suggest taking a moment to check in with your marketing team (or whoever sends out your emails) to make sure the unsubscribe button is always available on every email.

Don’t fear the unsubscribe. Your email list should always be quality over quantity, so work to keep your subscribers engaged with your content and excited to get your emails. If your click rate is good and your emails are making an impact, then that button at the bottom of the screen (or the top if you’re using Gmail) shouldn’t be a worry.

Segment your lists and try to check in with subscribers who just aren’t engaged… it’s okay to admit defeat, part ways and spend your time on the customers who do engage rather than waste time and money on those who don’t.

Smart Company: Kogan Fined