Bold moves afoot in the advertising space

The funny thing about publishing a magazine both digitally and on paper is that it means readers read your words at different times.

I’m pleased to say we’ve seen some rather interesting movements on the online classified website space.

This area has long been dominated by Auto Trader, with the likes of motors.co.uk and RAC nipping at its heels. In recent months, we’ve heard of a few new entrants, such as MoneyGuru, but this month some really big moves happened.
For a start, MotoNovo began talking about its plans for a new competitor in the space. Thankfully I was there to listen, which means I’ve been able to write a couple of pages on the topic, and they’re certainly doing some bold things.

Chief among the sites’ USPs is the fact that MotoNovo won’t make any profit from it. Instead, any money made will be directed back into advertising to grow the platform. What’s in it for MotoNovo then? Well, the site is also looking to do a better job of promoting dealer finance than its competitors, and if this results in higher used car finance penetrations, MotoNovo will benefit as much as the dealers (who, let’s not forget, also earn money from selling finance).

The other area it has looked to change is the way dealers pay to place cars on the site, which could potentially make things cheaper for them (assuming the cars sell).

At the end of the day, only time will tell whether this is enough for the website to succeed, and whether it’s destined to take up a decent share of the market.

At the same time, Auto Trader has begun to change how it advertises finance. You may remember Paul Harrison joined the website a while ago after around eight years as head of motor finance at the Finance & Leasing Association. I can’t have been the only one to think ‘I wonder what this means Auto Trader is planning on doing in the finance space?’

Now we have an answer, and it’s quite a comprehensive one. We’ve got a comprehensive breakdown of what changes it has planned  on page 11, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but basically it is now displaying dealer finance options for cars, and plans to launch a ‘search by finance’ function once it has got more dealers signed up.

All in all, both of these are pretty interesting developments, and hopefully both will result in more finance being sold in the used car space through 2017.

Speaking of 2017, we’ve got a lot of exciting content planned for the year. As has been the case for the past couple of years, this will include our international conference and awards.

Nominations for these awards are now open, and there is a load of information about the topic on our website, which you should definitely check out. The 2016 event was a great success, and so far 2017’s is shaping up to be even bigger. Entering the awards is free, and I’d encourage you at least to check them out.