The founders of CarAdvice.com.au have surfaced in a new entity, CarExpert.com.au, a game-changing publishing platform which is set to shake up car retailing and consumer behaviour and change the future of automotive marketing.
CarExpert.com.au was born in late 2019. It provides car buyers with a totally independent, balanced, informative and honest overview of new cars from impartial experts, but unlike other major auto publishers, it is the first to be completely free of display advertising and sponsored content.
What spurred this new idea?
CarExpert.com.au is built on the premise that the most powerful marketing tool is the one you’re not paying for – honest, independent content, uncompromised by advertising.
Their experience and track record told them that the commercial opportunity in the automotive industry right now is authenticity.
People buy cars when they find a balance between excitement and comfort and they seek comfort from trusted information from independent car experts and owners.
“On the journey to buying a new car, there is a time for advertising and there is a time for trusted information,” said CarExpert.com.au CEO, Andrew Dalton. “The world doesn’t need more ads, so we built a business on the latter. Authenticity is the new advertising.
“Once brand advertising has done its job of selling the dream and creating the excitement, car reviews provide comfort by helping to rationalise the desire to buy.
When done right, the real marketing value of car content should not be measured by the advertising you can attach to it, but by the meaningful connection it has with car buyers who trust it to shape their decisions. Our trusted content connects buyers with brands,” said Andrew.
CarExpert.com.au is now working with 16 car brands in Australia and this radical change in automotive marketing is already proving itself, with Jaguar Land Rover the first to trial this new model of “ad-free, informational marketing”.
It recorded an outstanding ROI on a premium SUV with a $160k price point, and results delivering motivated buyers back to the Land Rover website at a rate 52 times higher than display advertising.
After selling the CarAdvice business to Nine Media for more than $60m in 2016 and leaving the company in late 2019, Anthony Crawford, Alborz Fallah and Paul Maric recognised an opportunity to return to making car content that Australians could once again trust.
“We spent more than a decade learning from all our experiences in the previous business and I can’t begin to tell you how excited we are now about our future at CarExpert.
We are unbelievably fortunate to be surrounded by some of the auto industry’s best and brightest people to help us create a better new business model,” said Alborz Fallah.
While automotive publishers are traditionally remunerated by interrupting the car buyers’ journey with unwanted advertising or advertorial, the CarExpert business is committed to adding value to its readers by providing the information they need, at the time they need it, created by a team they can trust.
What did some users have to say about CarExpert?
Sam Down, Client Lead at Dentsu X said CarExpert delivered extraordinary results during their LandRover trial because buyers are more ready to deeply engage with a respected third-party review in the path to purchase than an ad.
“The fact we were able to see great editorial and track the results passively, while heroing the consumers’ experience is priceless for us, Sam said.
In a test vs control, our initial CPL performance was roughly 83% cheaper with CarExpert, showing that their audience was genuinely in market to buy new, luxury vehicles.
“While these metrics are important, we also saw a huge uplift in time spent on site on the article, vs our benchmark at almost 4X the time spent – meaning that audiences were really engaged with the content.
This is invaluable for us, as we back our product line up for JLR, and know how important editorial is in the path to purchase.”
Andrew Dalton added, “let’s be honest, the automotive retail model is tired and well overdue for a rethink. There is a big difference between how people buy cars and how they want to buy cars and we’re here to close that gap.
Australia has entered an exciting transitional period in automotive retailing and the car brands that come for the ride with us during this retail revolution will be in the driver’s seat.”