Zoopla poaches MoneySuperMarket brand chief for first CMO role

Gareth Helm

The Zoopla Property Group has hired former MoneySuperMarket brand chief Gareth Helm as its first ever chief marketing officer.

It comes after the group's main brand, Zoopla, lost market share to rival sites OntheMarket and Rightmove earlier this year.

Reporting directly to founder and chief executive Alex Chesterman, Helm will handle all aspects of the group’s marketing strategy across Zoopla, Primelocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

“In a short space of time the Group’s main brand, Zoopla, has grown to become a national household brand and I am looking forward to maintaining and growing this position,” he said.

Marketing spend has predominantly focused on national TV, radio and outdoor to cement Zoopla's ‘Smart Knows’ positioning. Most recently it launched a campaign to drive usage of its mobile website and apps.

Despite claiming 73 per cent brand awareness across the UK, with over 30 million visits to its site every month, the brand took a knock earlier this year following the launch of rival platform OnTheMarket.

One of OnTheMarket’s conditions of use is that agents may only advertise on one other portal, with 80 per cent of its 4,600 agents choosing to leave Zoopla rather than Rightmove.

As a direct consequence Zoopla recorded an 11 per cent decline in the number of agents advertising with it, with a fall from 16,967 to 18,999.

However, Helm said he was excited by the Group’s “ambitions, vision and plans for the future”.

“I’m looking forward to ensuring that we continue to drive usage amongst digital property consumers and that our advertisers are fully aware of the value of our audience and the products that we offer for their benefit,” he added.

At MoneySuperMarket, Helm was responsible for brand marketing across multiple brands including MoneySuperMarket, TravelSuperMarket and MoneySavingExpert.

Prior to that he was marketing director at Mars UK and Innocent Drinks and has worked in various marketing roles at both Nestle and Unilever.

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