Data, Dashboards, & Robots - July 232

Discover the latest digital marketing trends in New Zealand, from emoji usage to AI-generated art, and explore innovative tools like DALL.E.2. Learn about the upcoming Google Analytics update and check out the Kepla x Aro Benchmarking Dashboard for insights into advertising costs. Is the future of digital marketing human-driven, artificial, or a combination of both? Let's find out.

Welcome to the July 2022 edition of 232. Aro’s quarterly update on all things digital marketing in NZ.

From how people around Aotearoa are feeling by emojis, to the rise of AI generated art - this quarter is an interesting assortment of goodies. We dive into some delicious dashboards full of juicy insights and have two locally sourced campaigns to fill you with inspiration.

We were asked an interesting question the other day: is the future of digital marketing artificial or human-driven?

With the growing popularity and capabilities of automation, in addition to AI generated design and copy, I think that’s a fair question to ask. If you’re an organisation focused on efficiencies, then sure there are great tools which can speed up your workflow to allow you time to focus on what matters. But isn’t what matters most people and their stories?

With that in mind, ¿Por qué no podemos tener las dos? - Why can’t we have both? 🤷


1. What We Learned From Analysing 5,264 Emojis

Language is fluid. It evolves with cultural changes. One of the linguistic evolutions of our generation is 🎉emoji🎉 usage! These wee pictures transcend language barriers. Its universality easily makes emojis the fastest-growing language in the world.

And while there is some information around the world on emoji usage - there’s nothing we could find on how Kiwi’s use them. So we asked.

All up we had 752 Kiwis answer the survey, with over 5,200 emojis submitted.

The Method

Curious to understand the state of the nation, we asked participants first how they were feeling, followed by how they felt other Kiwis were feeling.

We also wanted to know if there were certain emojis that could be used to display emotions and states like sadness vs humour, cringe vs cute, or pride. Even juicier - was there any difference in these reactions by gender or generation?

There are some important disclaimers before diving into the insights. 74% of participants identified as female, and while we’re chuffed with the range of regions that participated and the number of respondents - 752 isn’t statistically significant enough to give a state of the nation.

Hot Tip: Try filtering this by regions for unique perspectives

Without further ado, here are some of the juicy insights:

Cringe or Funny? Do you remember the iconic three-way handshake? Over 45’s considered it 🤣 & 🤪. Under 45’s missed the joke, reacting with 😬

Cities vs Regional: It appears that city slickers are feeling more 😎 than the regions, and see other New Zealanders as feeling 😷 (fair).

Platforms: We all know that TikTok uses emojis a little differently to other platforms 🪑For GenZ it has overtaken Facebook as the preferred platform, but Instagram skill reigns king 👑

Hot tip: Try the filters to see how this changes by ages

And is it really a digital marketing campaign unless there is a dashboard? Our team created this really cool interactive dashboard so you can pull your own insights. Use the age, gender, and region filters up the top right to see the different ways people use emojis.

Make sure you stay tuned to our socials as the Aotearoa Emoji Project will be returning in 2023!

2. Goodbye Universal Analytics. Hello GA4!

The next generation of Google Analytics is upon us. Universal Analytics will no longer process new data in standard properties beginning July 1, 2023 - today.

Haven’t made the move yet?
You’ll still be able to access your previously processed data in Universal Analytics for at least six months, but it’s optimal to make the move ASAP.

What does the upcoming Google Analytics update mean for you?
Like all change, there's some pros and cons, along with some cool new features and some others that will be dearly missed.


The new GA4 is not super accessible for SMEs involving more technical events tracking and management than previous editions.

The maximum data retention period (outside of standard reports) is just 14 months. But there are a couple solutions you can try, like upgrading to GA360, or using report form in BigQuery.

It’s also still missing a bunch of handy stuff (RIP page paths level 1-4). We've got our fingers crossed that they'll introduce these


Cool new AI-powered insights and predictions! One of the highlights the team has identified is being able to define your own rules to create a custom insight. These allow you to automatically monitor performance and you can even subscribe to get these updates via email.

New predictive metrics which allows marketers to create better audience targeting for e-commerce websites. 3 key predictive metrics you can follow are predictive churn, conversion, and revenue!

The new GA4 also has much higher sampling thresholds, which results in improved data reliability.

If you’re looking for help with making the move to GA4 or how to harness the full potential of it, feel free to reach out.


1. The Kepla x Aro Benchmarking Dashboard

“How do I stack up compared to the competition?” is one of the most popular questions we get asked from clients.

That’s where the Benchmarking Dashboard comes in handy! What we love about this dashboard is that it uses New Zealand data, splitting out the numbers by Channel (Google vs Meta) and also by Industry.

See how CPMs compare, year on year
Looks like they are on the rise when comparing to last year.

Some cool insights 👇

How much does it cost to advertise on Facebook in New Zealand? Well,

  • The current average CPM is $9.21
  • The current average CTR is 0.87%
  • The current average CPC is $1.06

What about Google?

  • The current average CTR is 11.38%
  • The current average CPC is $1.97

Check it out along with a deeper breakdown from the Kepla crew.

2. The Rise Of DALL.E.2

If you’ve been on the internet recently, you’ll have likely noticed the rise of AI and Deep Fake generated content. Our team has been transfixed with watching an uncanny Tom Cruise or Keanu Reeves on TikTok.

One of the coolest tools we’ve come across is DALL.E.2. With it, you can create unique images and art from just a description. It’s even been used to create a Cosmopolitan magazine cover!

It has some impressive range, taking angry ducks & potato revolutions within it’s stride to produce some unique creative. Shout out to @AndyAyrey on Twitter for sharing these golden ones below with us.

Prompt: A painting of an angry duck chasing a scared child
Prompt: A surrealist painting of the Potato Revolution, depicting a mob of potatoes rising up against their carrot masters.

Give it a go to help you brief initial concepts to designers, blue sky thinking, or even to kick start ideation sessions.

3. Colour Accessibility

Your ads might be scroll stopping, but are they readable? Colour accessibility is super important when it comes to designing or creating content that hits the mark. The Contract Checker is built for designers and developers to test colour contrast compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Some other cool things you can use it for are for colourblind testing, and to check how accessible your DALL.E.2 is.


1. Trees That Count

Look no further for inspiration than Trees That Count. Pretty consistently these guys make great, simple and effective ads. A recent campaign that has been popping up on our feeds is all about Boosting Our Biodiversity.

We love this campaign because it shows audiences what their donations go towards. It also anthropomorphises cute, native birds with simple illustrations to give them human and relatable qualities.

And we love the good that these guys do, so if you’re looking for a gift or want to offset your fuel emissions go buy a native tree or two.

2. Sweat With Pride

Over 3,800 sweaty Betty’s took part in the Sweat with Pride campaign, raising over $600k in donations for the Rainbow communities in NZ.

With a bold and beautiful landing page and great personal trainers (looking at you Greta Moveon) it’s no wonder about the campaign’s success. We love a good donation campaign that has fun with itself in the process.

That’s it from us! Want more? Sign up for more updates delivered to your inbox 4 times a year 👇

Subscribe to 232

* indicates required
Enter now

Reckon you've got one of NZ's best Golden Hour photos on your phone or SD card?

Voting is now open!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Let's catch up

Ready for a chat? Book a discovery meeting

If you're doing awesome mahi - let's kōrero about how we might be able to support with your digital marketing.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.