Tony Keusgen on his first four months as Snap ANZ MD

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 28 September 2023
Tony Keusgen.

Tony Keusgen, who came onboard as Snap’s MD of ANZ in May, says continuing to grow both Gen Z and Millennial audiences is key for continued success.

The platform currently reaches 80% of 13 to 24-year-olds and 75% of 13 to 34-year-olds across Australia, and with almost 45% of Snapchatters in the country are 25 years or older.

“My perception of Snap before joining was very much based around watching my teenage children use it, probably like many Australians, and so my immediate perception was that's the audience on Snap," he said.

"I wasn't fully aware of the magnitude of Snap in Australia - over 8 million Australian monthly users - and settling into this role, I've become far more excited around leveraging skill sets that I've used in other parts of the world and also in other areas of tech."

Keusgen joined Snap after serving as Quantium’s global chief customer officer, following 12 years at Google in New Zealand and Indonesia before returning to Australia as regional MD for Asia-Pacific.

He said that when he thinks about the audience of the future, and the customer of the future for Snap’s advertisers, they are the under 40s.  

“I've come to realise that Snap owns under 40s as a community,” Keusgen told AdNews.

“That's super exciting when I think about my first four months at Snap and being able to lead a platform with that sort of caliber is a great way to start.

“What I've found already is that the smartest marketing minds and the most progressive brands in Australia and worldwide are already aware of the fact that we have a very unique, very large, hard to reach audience.”

Keusgen said another key learning from his first few months is Snapchat being considerably different than the likes of traditional social media. 

“The purpose of our community in terms of the platform is to communicate with their trusted, closest friends and family and that is a fundamental difference from traditional social media,” he said.

“They come to the platform, it opens into the camera and so they're less concerned with likes, feedback, popularity, how they look - they're bringing their genuine, authentic selves to the platform and 75% of Snapchatters come to Snapchat for that purpose, to communicate with their trusted friends and family.  

“That, in itself, is a significant difference to traditional social media and I think that's a very genuine means by which to operate a platform.”

Keusgen said it's also resulting in a lot of trust from the marketplace - not just from advertisers, but also by the likes of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), who have partnered with Snap to communicate with young Australians on the upcoming Voice referendum and how to vote.

“We're really humbled to be trusted to be doing that as their only social platform of choice,” Keusgen said.

“Beyond traditional messaging that you would put on digital platforms, they're using what is very unique to Snap, which is our augmented reality (AR) capabilities, to reinforce the messaging communication. 

“60% of Snapchatters in Australia are using AR on a daily basis. They are opening this AR lens that the AEC put out and they're able to answer questions to reinforce their learning around, for example, ‘is voting compulsory in Australia?’ and then move their head to a yes or no answer. 

“The day before the referendum, Snap, as our own initiative, are also sending out what we call a mass snap to all 8 million Snapchatters in Australia to remind them to go and vote. It's an interactive message that will enable them to find the nearest polling booth.”

Keusgen said the progressive minds in marketing are figuring out that introducing an AR component to advertising - for example, with any product that goes on your body - makes complete sense for brands.

“To have a human experience via AR with your product is a great immersive experience, but most importantly for advertisers, it actually is effective,” Keusgen told AdNews

MECCA launched an AR campaign where they enabled our community to try on their MAC lipstick. They had a 400% increase in sales compared with non-AR advertising to a point where they sold out and they had to turn the advertising off.”

 For advertisers, Keusgen said he’s “very focused” on authenticity and driving clear, measurable, tangible results. 

“We know that Uber are wonderful marketers and they recently did their campaign on ‘Almost, almost anything’ on Snapchat; their goal was to reach as many 18+ Australians in one day as possible and they reached 2.08 million 18+ Australians in a 24 hour period,” he said. 

“What was more beneficial for them was the results from that in terms of the interaction; attention swipe up rate was 1.3%, which is well above their standard benchmarks.” 

Keusgen said Snap have done a huge amount of work to effectively re-invent its performance advertising suite of products. 

“Hismile, a great Australian business taking on the world with their teeth care products, returned to Snapchat for performance advertising to diversify their marketing engagements. They found an 861% increase in their last click conversion rate in terms of performance and so I'm super excited about the fact that our performance advertising is working extremely effectively for performance advertisers and we see that as a huge opportunity for our business,” he said.

“It's a huge part of the market here and I think increasingly, as we go into these economic conditions, marketers are really looking to see ‘where is the evidence around the performance of my media?’ and we feel Snap stacks up extremely strongly, both in terms of performance but also in cost effective reach.

“Our research also shows that 91% of Snapchatters say they're happier when they use Snap, which we're really proud of, and they also say that of all the platforms they use, Snap is the one that makes them feel the happiest. 

“I think that's a really positive message to send and if you're an advertiser or brand - wouldn't you want to be on a platform like that?”

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