In 2014 Conversa brought Brazilian bloggers Caio Komatsu, the editor of Fail Wars, and his partner Luana Mazotti, the editor of Puro Veneno, to New Zealand for a study tour. This was the third Going Social in Brazil action following in the successful steps of Cid Não Salvo in 2012, and Jovem Nerd in 2013.
Whilst ‘discovering’ New Zealand was the requisite for the earlier tours the 2014 study tour was focused on a study and discovery experience in a longer-term action, with a regional and education provider emphasis.
New Zealand is a popular destination for young Brazilians, and word of mouth has always been a strong factor in attracting them to New Zealand. In extending an invitation to Caio Komatsu and Luana Mazotti we saw an opportunity to share studying and living in New Zealand to their large youth audience.
Creating preference is one of the biggest challenges in marketing, and social media is currently the most effective channel to engage with the youth demographic. As a destination New Zealand enables young people to combine adventure with learning in a unique value proposition, rarely available elsewhere in the world.
Discovering a country is the first step in building awareness. Awareness grows preference. It is when preference tips-over that conversion happens, and flow begins. The greatest potential of social networking is that it is a low cost way to expand into a new market.
In emerging economies the uptake of digital media as a communication platform is significantly ahead of most western economies where there is still a strong reliance on traditional media in marketing effort. Social networks are strong influencers of purchase decisions in developing markets.
In Brazil over 45% of the population are active internet users. The strongest user group is in the 16-24 years age group, followed by 10-15 and the 25-34 age groups.
In February 2014, Conversa with Education New Zealand, the University of Otago Language Centre and Otago Polytechnic, hosted Brazilian bloggers Caio Komatsu and Luana Mazotti in the Otago region. The objective of the action was to enable these young people to participate in a course of study and live the student life, and to share their New Zealand experience with their audiences back home, thereby encouraging preference for Dunedin and New Zealand as a study abroad destination.
Dunedin was selected as a destination because of the proximity of two leading education institutions that are seeking to grow its South American student base, and as a gateway to southern New Zealand opening new experiences in a pristine and adventure landscape. In domiciling Caio and Luana in Dunedin we were placing them in New Zealand’s premier student city.
Caio was enrolled as a student at Otago Polytechnic, studying in the first term programme of the two year Diploma in Outdoor Leadership and Management. Caio’s background as a boy scout leader in Brazil made him an excellent candidate for this programme.
Luana was enrolled at the University of Otago Language Centre in an elementary English language course. Luana had a desire to learn English in a English language environment.
Metrics are continuing to rise as both bloggers continue to promote the tour on their respective channels.