EXCHANGE and Mart has appointed Jim Murray-Jones as its general manager, alongside Thom Coupar-Evans as sales director, marking a new era and renewed investment for its used car classified advertising and trade portal, exchangeandmart.co.uk.
Murray-Jones, pictured above left, joins from News UK automotive, where he led the strategic and product transformation of the classified listings and editorial sites sunmotors.co.uk and driving.co.uk. Previous roles include overseeing the Digital Leadership Team at Haymarket, where amongst other things he managed the acquisition of Pistonheads and product development for titles including Whatcar? and Autocar.
Prior to that, he led product development for autotrader.co.uk as part of the senior management team during a seminal time in Auto Trader’s digital growth.
Coupar-Evans joins Exchange and Mart from AA Cars where he was national sales manager. He also gained experience at Auto Trader as an account director, where he was responsible for maintaining and growing its trade customer product portfolios, ultimately supporting customer growth plans and brand strategy.
Commenting on his appointment, Murray-Jones said: ‘Between us Thom and I have witnessed many of the key developments in automotive publishing over the past 18 years. During my time working for various automotive classifieds, I have always viewed Exchange and Mart as a dogged, if understated competitor, generating strong results for its dealers, with good underlying SEO and strong brand awareness amongst car buyers.
‘Much of the brand awareness is, however, biased to older car buyers who remember the magazine, which means the site generates an especially strong response amongst buyers with a high disposable income. The opportunity now is to use that brand strength and SEO footprint to build the Exchange and Mart profile with younger car buyers, ensuring we fully exploit mobile and social channels as well as develop functionality that guides buyers through the purchase phase.
‘Having led digital transformation projects at a number of traditional media owners, I am confident that we can leverage the regional strength of Exchange and Mart’s parent organisation, Newsquest, which publishes over 150 regional newspapers, to deliver a solution that provides particularly strong local-level coverage.
‘Thom’s expertise in understanding the needs of the dealer market, and delivering value-driven solutions that are focused on ROI, will be vital in winning the support and confidence of the trade marketplace, helping them to maximise both national and local marketing.’
On SuperUnleaded.com: Tree topples onto road, takes out Vauxhall Corsa