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Gumtree senior marketing manager on its re-brand, and using data to fine-tune CX


Gumtree senior marketing manager on its re-brand, and using data to fine-tune CX


Marketing speaks with James Walmsley, senior marketing manager at Gumtree, about its re-brand, data and what it means to be a pioneer of the sharing economy.

To celebrate 10 years of operation in Australia, Gumtree has adopted a new brand identity and integrated campaign. To accompany the re-brand, it made a range of introductions to better serve customers on its platform, such as new payment options and a 24-7 support network.

Marketing speaks with senior marketing manager James Walmsley about the re-brand, how important it was to update and fine-tune its user experience and how Gumtree fits into the sharing economy 10 years on.


Marketing: How important were the enhancements to UX on your platform?

walmsley headshotJames Walmsley: Gumtree is all about our users. We’re a community marketplace. We need to make sure that we’re constantly listening to our users and constantly refining our offer to make sure it’s what our users want.

We’ve currently got one in three Australians, so seven million unique users, every month. We want to get more people and increase our reach. We need to make sure that we have these product enhancements alongside any other pieces of our marketing and branding to make sure that they’re happy so we can encourage those two and three Australians that aren’t currently using those to come on our site.

Featured event: Walmsley will feature as a guest panellist at our free ‘Avoid the Holiday Horror’ (Sydney) B2C marketing breakfast event on Tuesday 22 August.


Gumtree is one of the pioneers of the sharing economy in Australia. In that time the sharing economy has become a widely adopted mode of consumption. Do you see that as a threat, given that you used to play alone in the space, or is it an opportunity? How do you view it?

We absolutely love being one of the pioneers of sharing economy. We welcome any competition. We evolve our product and messaging anyway. We need to do that, regardless of whether we have competition or not.

That’s not the driver of what we do. It’s really about trying to get more and more people into that sharing economy, and onto the site and using it. The more people we can get doing that the better.

You have the number one shopping app in Australia. Is that based on users?

That’s based on the App Store. It’s the number one shopping app when you look at the App Store, but we’ve got scale. We’re a top 20 digital destination, and it’s our ambition to be in the top 10. We really need to continue doing that, and that’s both in the app space, and also our website as well.


Marketers and brands use data on people who visit their platforms to create a better offering and innovate on product. At Gumtree, you’re less in control of product and price, so what value does the data have to you? What do you use it for? 

Looking at data and what our users do is absolutely fundamental to us. We have an analytics team constantly looking at that. They work closely with marketing and the product and tech guys. We make sure we’re constantly reviewing that user behaviour, and making sure everything that we do is backed up with that data.

Also, we make sure that we research everything thoroughly. We’re looking at every bit of data we possibly can and verifying that to make sure that we’re providing the best possible product that we can. That’s what you’ll see when it comes to the product enhancements that we have made for this re-brand: the integration of PayPal, the payment opportunities, and also 24-7 live chat.

All of this has come around from looking at the data, the site metrics and also the testing and research into our current users and non-users.


A lot of people are predicting the consumer trend away from apps, in favour of chatbots. Any plans to introduce these?

It’s something we’re constantly aware of and constantly testing. It’s one of the key things that we do. Constantly test. We never stop. Constant improvement, constant testing to make sure that – it doesn’t matter what the opportunity is – we’re checking it, seeing and making sure. We’re testing with our users to see if it’s something they want.

So, it’s not a particular case of ‘we’re going to do X and Y’ in the future. We’re not going to knock things off the table. Everything’s going to be tested and everything’s going to be researched thoroughly to make sure that – whether it’s desktop, mobile web, app, messenger bots or otherwise – we’ll be playing a part in whatever our users want us to.


Please talk us through the marketing campaign for the rebrand.

It’s an integrated campaign across all our communication channels. We really want to bring the rebrand to life with standout, bold creative. You’ll see that with our TVC. What we’re really trying to do is to drive that re-appraisal and build that reach. As I said, one in three Australians use us. We really want to reach those two in three who don’t.

We want to change perceptions people have of Gumtree and really make people aware of the quality and range of items that we have. We want to reflect on the growth that Gumtree has had over that last 10 years and really showcase that we are a key digital destination in Australia.



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Featured event

‘Avoid the Holiday Horror’

22 August, Sydney

James Walmsley joins Sophie Higgins, head of merchandise and marketing at Dymocks and Denise Wyer, head of sales APAC at AdRoll for our ‘Avoid the Holiday Horror’, our B2C marketing free breakfast event.

Find out how the best brands are preparing to not only survive but thrive in the lead-up to December. Our expert panel will discuss how top  brands in retail, entertainment, travel and other industries are planning and executing strategies that’ll resonate with consumers in the most competitive time of the year.


Ben Ice

Ben Ice was MarketingMag editor from August 2017 - February 2020

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