In this month's Publisher Profile, we speak to Veruschka Khan, who is the Head of Sales for Display at Gumtree South Africa about digital advertising, targeted audiences and why the South African digital industry needs to be more agile.
*The below statistics quoted from Gumtree are sourced from their internal Google Analytics results.
Tell us briefly about yourself and the digital media property you represent.
I am the Head of Sales for Display for Gumtree South Africa. Gumtree South Africa is part of the eBay classifieds group and is the largest classified website in South Africa, with 5.7 million unique users visiting the site every month.
Not only is the overall site amongst the biggest ones in the country in terms of traffic, we can also boast vertical product categories that rank #1 amongst specialist platforms in the same industries - we are the largest automotive classified site in the country, and we are the #1 site for property rentals in South Africa.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge for digital media in South Africa?
The landscape changes daily in digital media, and there is more at stake than decreasing budgets. Product developments and a competitive environment make it crucial for operational and revenue-focused teams to collaborate closely and strategise.
Clients want the next big things for their online campaigns to stand out but cannot always increase digital budgets. They tend to stick to metrics that they are familiar with, such as clicks, instead of looking at overall campaign KPIs. The beauty of digital is that you do not need a massive budget to have a successful campaign - it's all about the relevance and the message. Gumtree is the perfect platform for your tailored message to speak directly to a user that is in the purchase mindset.
"The beauty of digital is that you do not need a massive budget to have a successful campaign - it's all about the relevance and the message."
If you had to pick one, do you see your property as being:
A: a value for money - great reach,
B: niche, but extremely relevant, or
C: contextualised for the user?
Gumtree is a vibrant marketplace and is one of the few platforms that caters to all South Africans, whether they are on the site to find a bargain, sell an item, or are looking for a unique buy - and we have many wonderful and fascinating finds! #dreamfind - so I would say A, B, and C.
A - value for money - great reach - you are talking to 5.7 million users!
B - niche but extremely relevant - our users are in the buying mindset; they are looking for good deals and offers.
C - contextualised for the user - users find everything and anything they need or want on Gumtree South Africa!
What is going to be your focus for the next 12 months to ensure you are able to offer advertisers A, B, or C?
Targeted audiences. Gumtree South Africa offers a unique audience for advertisers - one that is not only actively seeking information and comparing pricing for specific categories (eg. automotive, fashion, baby & kids, appliances, or furniture), but one that is also ready to buy.
In 2017, we will be directing our internal marketing efforts to further promote our popular automotive and property categories. We'll also be introducing innovations that will make it easier for South Africans to buy and sell from their phones, with an emphasis on simpler, safer payment and delivery.
What is your greatest concern when it comes to the digital industry in South Africa?
That we are not agile enough - we still have to fight to include digital spend on plans from the start and convince brands that they can have targeted messages for users. Publishers need to take monetisation to the next level as agencies become increasingly performance-focused. This all needs to be done by putting the consumer first - how can advertising create a seamless customer journey?
"Publishers need to take monetisation to the next level as agencies become increasingly performance-focused."
What are your plans in the next 12 months to "make digital awesome?"
Watch this space!
Thinking about advertising with Gumtree South Africa? Download their sales deck.
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