I’m sure you would have heard about this ‘best job in the world’ for Queensland Tourism. If not on the national news, then perhaps via You Tube, a news website, a national newspaper, travel magazine, or even the international news. If not via mainstream media, you might have heard it from a friend, gossiped about it at the coffee machine, or discussed it with colleagues. You might have even applied, just for fun. My point is, that you heard about it and passed it on to others. Qld Tourism achieved the ultimate aim in marketing, without spending millions. So what valuable lessons can we learn from this marketing brilliance?

It’s simple isn’t it? Anyone can succeed with a great idea, right? Agree, but I think Qld Tourism were more than just lucky.

In today’s ‘instant news’ world, the climate could not be more perfect for generating ‘buzz’ about something. Just look at how Barack Obama utilised a similar approach in his election campaign. Ten years ago, no-one would have written a blog about it (like me), no-one would start a communal email about it in their office, no-one would have read it on an online news website one hour after it was announced, and certainly no-one would have started a Facebook fan club about it. Today’s tech-savvy environment provokes this sort of ‘e-gossip’ – where if someone truly does have a good idea, it can be around the world in a matter of hours. Qld Tourism knew this, and took advantage of it in so many ways.

Qld Tourism also knew that today’s consumer is a joiner. They become brands, embrace them, live them, breathe them. The ‘best job in the world’ gave the consumer that exact opportunity – and fans showed that with extreme stories like tattoos (which I now discover was a fake) and other life changing moves circulating throughout the internet.

They also knew that the age of blogs, video diaries, forums, personal websites and the like has changed the way consumers use and review products. If you want to discuss a product or service experience, or read other experiences, online forums and blogs are the place to go. For example, companies like Coke, McDonalds and Sony tried to establish blogs for consumer comment about products, later to be discovered as ‘flogs’ with staff members posing as customers and posting fake feedback (see Lee’s blog article – ‘flog the flogging bloggers’). Providing an avenue for true, unbiased expression is what the younger generations are seeking, and is exactly what Qld Tourism provided with their ‘best job in the world’ offer.

Finally, Facebook and MySpace have introduced a whole new meaning to ‘privacy’. The odd embarrassing pic on Facebook which is exposed, potentially to the whole world, is quite acceptable, so it seems. Therefore, Qld Tourism asking someone to film themselves in their natural state, giving honest opinions, without scripting or acting or anything else, wasn’t so difficult to handle. In fact, people were clambering for the opportunity.

If we can learn anything from this approach, it is this: embrace the environment you operate within, and find opportunities – everywhere! Qld Tourism proved that they’re there – all you need to do is open your mind and think a little differently.