Aro's 232 - April 2020

Aro's 232 covers digital marketing in NZ, discussing trends like the surge in online traffic and the reduced spend on Facebook and Google Programmatic, 3 online tools, and inspirational campaigns like the Unite Against Covid campaign and Air New Zealand's email communication during the pandemic. Get insights into how to deepen virtual connection and find new ways to connect online, especially during social distancing.

Kia Ora 👋

Welcome to 232 - Aro’s quarterly update that covers all things digital marketing in NZ. Here we'll cover 2 Trends, 3 Tools, and 2 Inspirational campaigns.

As our first edition we've provided an early insight for what slid into our subscribers emails, but if you want it hot from the oven make sure you sign up to get updates as soon as they come out!

We’re only getting in touch once a quarter - as we’re kinda busy - and you probably don’t need to hear from us every week 😅.

Before we kick in to things, obviously the past few weeks have been remarkable and challenging times. We’re sending our best wishes and aroha to everyone reading this. Stay safe and stay home.

Looking at the months ahead - we reckon Kiwi’s ability to support people, business, and communities are going to be what defines NZ’s success.

In line with this, Aro’s running free consultation sessions (Impact Hours) for any NZ SMB.

In the meantime, Google and Facebook have announced credits for SMBs worldwide to the tune of $340 million and $100 million USD respectively.

Details on the above are still a little vague, but we've got a feeling they'll even increase this further.

Feel free to flick us a message if you have any questions - we'll be keeping a close eye on this.

Warning - this blog may contain graphs


1. Web Traffic Peaks + Sectors Pull Media Spend

We’re moving into times of peak online traffic in NZ - reaching nearly 2.84Terabits/second at 8:45pm on Thurs 26th March.

As you can imagine, two things are happening:

  1. Web traffic is surging
  2. Major sectors are reducing media spend

Due to this, we’re seeing reduced CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) on both Facebook and Google Programmatic inventory (eg: Youtube or News sites).

This is fluctuating a fair bit depending on audience / industry - however from what we saw on Aro accounts Facebook CPM decreased ~29.4% last week (23/3/20) compared to 2 weeks prior (9/3/20).

The advertisers sticking around are getting better bang for buck, and we’re seeing a number of clients getting a better cost-per-acquisition than normal - maybe as people have more online time on their hands.

We suspect that lower CPMs will stick around for a little while, with big spenders like retail, tourism, and events, all being out of the mix.

However over time, money may get reallocated from Radio (~10.5% of NZ’s ad spend - source), Newspaper (~12.3%) and Magazines (~6.8%) into a more digital focus, counteracting some of the CPM drop.

2. Surges in New Ways to Connect

New Zealand's transition to physical distancing - is driving people to find new ways to connect online. Including:

A) Houseparty
A video-based mobile app that allows you to jump into different rooms to chat and play games with friends.

It’s a little clunky, kinda like Pokemon Go in it’s early days - but was recently purchased by Epic Games (owners of Fortnite).

A couple of weeks ago, no one had heard of it and it was sitting at 300 something on the top downloaded apps lists.

Now it’s skyrocketed to number 2 on the Android list in NZ.

Its daily downloads have increased from 25k on the 15th of Feb to around 2.4mil daily downloads 25th of March.

It’s entirely monetized by in-app purchases, and apparently has pinky-promised not to sell user data.

Grey = Zoom | Blue = Houseparty | Yellow = Discord

B) Virtual Festivals

Hosted via livestream, featuring a variety of well known artists, all with sets from their houses - blasted into the living rooms of people from around the world.

We tuned into the Beatport Twitch stream on the weekend that had +6.5million views over a 30 hour period - raised +$150k too.

C) TikTok

TikTok rapidly became one of the most popular social networks in the world - with it currently sitting at more than 1.5billion (with a B) app downloads.

If you don’t know what TikTok is, it’s essentially a mix between Vine and Youtube - with it’s (mostly Gen Z) users creating short videos.

Keep an eye on this Chinese app - as it's steadily increasing in number of downloads and daily active users.

All of the above should get digital marketers heads ticking.

As they’re all examples of shared experiences that deepen virtual connection.

How can you help users have shared experiences from the couch?


1. Clearhead

3 weeks ago, I (Tim) was in Northern Italy. Naturally, when I got back to NZ, I had a couple of questions for Healthline.

Some of those could have been easily answered (and saved 1.5hours on hold) with Clearhead.

It’s a pretty neat chatbot - that now answers questions on Covid & Mental health.

2. Link Miner (404 Finder)

With things changing so quickly - it’s easy to forget about the odd 404 - page not found error on your website.

Install this chrome extension, jump on your site, click the green tick, and watch the 404’s magically appear.

3. Silverstripe x Aro Dashboard

We’ve partnered with Silverstripe to create a User Experience Dashboard. It’s aim is to provide an easy to understand overview of how your website is performing for your users. You'll be able to keep track of:

🚦 Website Performance - Traffic over time and how sticky your site is for users.

👩 User Experience - How fast your site loads on different mobile connections?

📕 Content Performance - What pages and folders of your site get the most traffic?

It’s free, all you need is a Google Analytics account setup on your website.

Here's a demo of the dashboard (using the Google Analytics Demo Store data)

Download and set up your own on


1. Unite Against Covid Campaign

Whoever's behind the Covid digital response - kudos.

Fast turn around, clear messaging, and a pretty great site considering the time frame.

2. Air New Zealand Email Communication

This period has been monumentally challenging for Air New Zealand, but the quality of their email coms has been top notch.

Have a read of some of the copywriting in them, you probably received the same updates we did.

Aro Updates

1. Online Workshops

Our digital marketing workshops can now be done online!

Usually we run these are with startups or marketing teams - and jump on a 2 hour video call to discuss your current marketing, platform concepts, and where we reckon the best opportunity is.

2. Marketing Automation & Email Marketing

We really enjoy marketing automation projects. They're an awesome mix of technical skills, platform knowledge, user journeys, email marketing and data analysis. So we're keen to do more of them!

Over the next 12 months - we're focusing more on building foundations for businesses looking to do more advanced email marketing. It's a really natural extension of our current offering, so we're excited to see what kind of results we can drive with more email projects.

3. Google Marketing Platform

Over the last 3 months, we’ve increased our media buying capabilities and can now offer access to GMP.

With Google Marketing Platform we now have the ability to manage and optimise ad campaigns across all digital channels - think about the likes of Stuff, Trade Me, TVNZ On Demand, NZME, YouTube, Spotify & more.

We're seeing some awesome results from the campaigns we've run so far - so we're really excited for what we can achieve with this platform.

Pretty neat eh?

Anyway - that's it for the first 232! Want more? Sign up for more updates delivered to your inbox 4 times a year.

Thanks for reading,
Tim, Jonty & The Aro Digital Team 🤙

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