Gumtree ups ad spend by 40% as it talks up new focus on sponsorships

Having recently inked its largest ever sponsorship deal with BT Sport to promote its Motors Marketplace, classifieds website Gumtree is targeting further deals as it aims to become one of the top 10 most popular sites in the UK.

Admitting that Gumtree has focused its efforts primarily on mothers in the past, its head of marketing Hannah Wilson says the sponsorship of BT’s Premier League coverage this season has succeeded in attracting men to the brand.

On the first weekend of fixtures (8 August) car listings were up 41% while visits to the category on Gumtree’s website grew 28%.

Wilson told Marketing Week: “We weren’t necessarily looking for football but just something to give us an all year presence so BT, as a fellow challenger brand, was a good fit.

“More regular sponsorships are key for Gumtree moving forward and we are already in discussion with a number of companies for sponsorships next year in order to reconnect with our female customers.”

Wilson said while Gumtree has a 95% brand awareness it still isn’t where it needs to be on brand consideration.

“Our aspiration in the UK is to be a top 10 website; at the moment we have got 13.5 million a month visiting, within 3 years we want that to be 20m,” she added.

“We are hoping that a more regular presence and advertising will convert the people who are aware of the brand into more regular visits and purchases.”

More community-focused messaging

Next year Gumtree will launch the second phase of its ‘Easy Buy, Easy Sell’ campaign and Wilson said it will look to focus on more community-focused messaging.

She concluded: “We have to engage with people around their passions, football is a good start and the plan is to invest considerably more on marketing next year as people really connect with the classifieds model.

“This year budgets were up 40% on 2014, that growth will certainly continue in 2016.”

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