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Case Studies

Solving business problems through communications

By March 26, 2022May 17th, 2022No Comments



  • Insights and strategy
  • Integrated marketing
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Social media


Every household and business in Greater Melbourne pays a Waterways and Drainage Charge to Melbourne Water via their water retailer bills. The Charge funds services including waterway health and flood and drainage to help make Melbourne a great place to live.

Despite producing Waterways Local Updates – detailed LGA-based PDF report cards about how the Charge was spent – for the past 10 years, research showed that nearly half of the community weren’t aware of the Charge, and those that were aware of it didn’t understand it very well.


Melbourne Water engaged Echomakers to investigate the Waterways Local Updates and come up with a better way to communicate the value of the Waterways and Drainage Charge.

Using a design-thinking approach we first engaged in extensive research via data analysis and stakeholder interviews to gain a deep understanding of the problem. With a clearly-defined human-centred statement, we were able to look for new and fresh ways to address the problem.

Given Melbourne Water’s B2B2C model, we knew we couldn’t solve it on our own, so we engaged the retailers. We replaced the out-dated reports with a hub and spoke approach to raising awareness and understanding. At its core were engaging, evergreen assets showing how the Charge is spent, which were then amplified through various channels including Melbourne Water’s social media, retailers’ social media and crucially, where customers encounter the Charge in the first place: on the bills themselves.


Since rolling out these new communications, customer enquiries about the Waterways and Drainage Charge have decreased and community awareness of the Waterways and Drainage Charge has increased. In addition, as a more efficient form of communication, the project has saved Melbourne Water considerable commercial investment each year.

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