Buying and selling in under five minutes, with a smile. That’s the Big Hairy Audacious Goal of Marktplaats, one of the strongest brands in the Netherlands. With the wind of the circular economy in its sails, this quintessential Dutch icon continues to pick up speed. The new CMO ensures that Marktplaats and its Belgian sister 2dehands continue to sail the right course, both in the field of branding as well as digital.
It all started on May 19, 1999, when the domain www.marktplaats.nl was first released and the 32-year-old entrepreneur René van Mullem became its proud owner. Together with 16-year-old Robin Schuil he built the first prototype of the website. The name of the site appeared at the top in Times New Roman, and René borrowed the terra color from Vincent van Gogh’s painting ‘Bedroom in Arles’. Not because they are particularly beautiful colors, but simply because they don’t really bother anybody. Since then, many things have changed, but these design choices are still at the heart of the current brand. In fact, recent MRI research and the Implicit Association Test (IAT) show that the color and logo remind no less than 70% of people directly of Marktplaats – a very strong trigger indeed.
Following its successful start, the company was acquired in 2004 by the eBay Classifieds Group, an innovative global leader in online classifieds. This acquisition allowed Marktplaats to grow into the platform we know today: the webshop and app with the widest range of products, intuitive chat functionality, iDeal Payment Requests, Gelijk Oversteken (service that safeguards the customer’s payment until delivery is confirmed) and a constant stream of new innovations such as Image Recognition to find the right section for your ad faster and automated help in estimating the best price for your product.
In 2013, 2dehands also joined the eBay Classifieds Group. The Belgian platform has over 3.2 million monthly users. The acquisition of the platform has resulted in a high level of synergy between 2dehands and Marktplaats. The Amsterdam office has a rather internationally oriented culture and about two hundred ambitious, customer-focused professionals work in self-managing customer-journey teams.
The CMO has a major impact on both the growth of the number of users as well as on the turnover of Marktplaats and 2dehands. The most important segments are C2C sellers and buyers, car dealers and SMEs. The CMO develops and implements the strategy for all touchpoints – product marketing, brand, performance marketing, PR & Communications and CRM.
The CMO reports directly to the CEO Benelux, Annemarie Buitelaar, is a member of the leadership team of Marktplaats and 2dehands.be and actively collaborates with other members of eBay’s global network of marketing leaders. The CMO directly manages the Head of Marketing Marktplaats (including Marcom, CRM, Design, Content, Performance marketing), Head of Marketing Belgium and the Manager Propositions and B2B strategy. Furthermore, the PR & Communications teams report to the CMO with a dotted line.
“The fact that Marktplaats is one of the strongest brands in the Netherlands is indisputable. The biggest marketing opportunities for Marktplaats lie in establishing a clear customer contact strategy with a focus on attracting and further developing ‘light users’, while in Belgium the emphasis is on building the brand and growing the number of people adopting it” – Annemarie Buitelaar, CEO Benelux.
An average of 350,000 new advertisements are placed on Marktplaats on a daily basis, resulting in more than 11 million advertisements live at any time of the day. In total, nearly 3 million visitors visit Marktplaats and 2dehands. Together, they buy and sell a wide variety of new and used products and services. The largest groups of users are, on the one hand, people who use the platform once to five times a month (‘light users’) and, on the other hand, people who use it more than 25 times a month (‘heavy users’). In the field of C2C marketing, the objective of the CMO is therefore twofold: to convert non-users to light users and light users to heavy users. In addition, the development of new relevant propositions for business customers and consumers in collaboration with the commercial teams is an equally essential part of the CMO’s mission.