Recommended and reliable motoring services through online word of mouth, aimed to the female market.
MyCarGossip's ambition is to be the leading motoring website dedicated to female drivers to help them find reliable and trustworthy motoring businesses. The website helps with buying, renting, leasing, maintaining, insuring, dealing with accidents, servicing and selling a car. Our members can rate, review and recommend all types of motoring businesses (garages, dealerships, driving schools & insurance companies) to help other female motorists find great services.
For our members, we have a rapidly growing directory featuring a wide variety of motoring businesses across the UK who can be rated and reviewed by our members. We also have an informative blog giving advice on all types of motoring topics.
For motoring businesses, we are offering a chance to feature on an exclusive motoring service directory dedicated to the female market. We have created a unique, personalised and aesthetically pleasing profile on our website to appeal to a female market and differentiate our offering.
The success of similar websites Motorcodes, TheGoodGarageScheme, TripAdvisor and Yell proves to us that directories and customer reviews are trending in the market. It is also growing in the motoring industry with a similar website Reevoo concentrating on product reviews and is now branching out into car reviews.
MyCarGossip is combining the above businesses but creating a directory that doesn’t focus on just one type of business e.g. garages.
MyCarGossip focuses on every type of motoring business but is concentrating on a female market and creating a vibrant community, whereas the other websites are very male dominated - we estimate 80% of their customer feedback is male. We are also focusing on experience reviews rather than product reviews. The market research that we have done with small groups of women has shown that women buy products and use services based on their friends/families recommendations and by word of mouth. We are putting word of mouth online and giving women the opportunity to find even more recommendations to help them buy cars, find places to get their cars fixed, find driving instructors and all other types of motoring businesses. Women research more heavily especially when it comes to buying cars and they influence 80% of all car sales.
We think this opportunity is very scaleable globally and although the current plan is for the UK only, we are already working on building affiliate relationships overseas.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Launched in January 2013
• Nearly 4,000 followers on Twitter and a growing Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ following.
• Customers include branches of BMW/MINI and Toyota.
Service Sure Auto Centres pay for advertising space on our home page.
• Contacted regularly by motoring experts who want to write guest blogs for our website.
• Invited to present at celebrity event at Alan Day Volkswagen’s ladies car care charity evening; hosted a tyre changing challenge.
• 260 reviews already on the website and many more received and going through our approval process. • Charlotte Leuw has been interviewed on radio talking about the business.
• Involved in motor trade business network groups
• Invited to join the Women’s Automotive Group
• Relationships with Goodyear tyres, Service Sure Auto Centres, Perry’s Motors, Snooper and Confused.com.
• We run regular competitions (with motoring related prizes) and conduct surveys.
• We work closely with Debbie Mountford of Motor Mistress, who writes car reviews for us.
Profiles: MyCarGossip sells extended profiles to motoring businesses. At the moment our main source of revenue comes from selling these profiles to dealerships and insurance companies. Next, we plan to start contacting the manufacturers as well as the independent dealerships to see if we can accelerate the process and target a larger number of dealerships.
Advertising: We are able to sell advertising space on our homepage. We are also working on creating a monthly digital magazine and plan to charge businesses who wish to advertise their services in our magazine.
Articles: We are regularly contacted by businesses who wish to feature articles / guest blogs on our website.
Surveys: With our growing list of email addresses we are planning on sending out surveys/questions in email newsletters to our members to ask them questions that dealership’s or manufactures would like to know the answers to.
For instance a Ford dealership might be interested in knowing what a large number of female car buyers think about a feature on a new car they are creating. We would send out a survey/competition to our members to find out the answer for the dealership/manufacturer and we would charge for this survey.
Future revenue sources will come from affiliate marketing and sales of female related motoring products.
Use of proceeds
The funds that we raise would be used to hire an experienced sales person to make calls to dealerships, manufacturers, insurance companies and car supermarkets to sell our upgraded profiles.
The remainder of the money would be used for PR and marketing, which will be driven by Charlotte Leuw to raise awareness and accelerate the growth of the community. We are aware that we need to feature in more female magazines/newspapers so we would need to use some of the money to help promote our brand.
Consumers: MyCarGossip particularly appeals to new drivers who are looking for a driving instructor or who have just passed their test and are looking to buy a car. We aim to take women through their whole car journey by targeting them whilst they are learning to drive. Once they have passed their test we want to help to direct them to reliable garages, dealerships and insurance companies. We will also be there when they want to sell their cars. We don’t just appeal to young drivers and also have a large following of women aged between 25-35 who drive regularly but rely on their partners to look after their car related issues. A lot of these women are independent women who would like to understand their cars and have the confidence to sort them out themselves, they just need a place where they can find the information they want, in non-mechanical language.
Businesses: Our target business clients are companies who are trying to grow their online presence. Our ideal customer is a large dealership with 4 or more branches in various areas of the UK who does not have a large online presence and is inexperienced with use of social media. For instance the dealership might be MINI/BMW who has 4 branches in London. To a customer who searches for MINI/BMW online they will come across a generic website which looks the same for each branch. If they look for the company on Twitter they might not see a very large following. The way MyCarGossip could help these 4 branches of BMW/MINI is to create a personalised profile for each branch to show off each individual businesses unique aspects. Each branch will have their own customers with their own customer recommendations. To a customer, the branches will look the same on their own websites but if they look at the businesses on MyCarGossip there will be clear differentiation to see why each dealership is different and what type of experience they will have at each place they choose to visit.
Characteristics of target market
The overall market is huge. The UK has over 16 million women holding drivers licences and there are more than 12,500 car dealers in the UK. In total there are 30m cars in the UK generating huge revenues every year in servicing and MOTs.
the age of vehicles on UK roads is now averaging 7.25 years old.
The result is in an overall increased annual spend on servicing and repair work on maintaining their existing car.
Our marketing strategy is predominantly online using all aspects of social media as MyCarGossip is an online community and the women who use our website will come across us via the internet.
We already have a growing social media presence but we plan to create a marketing campaign involving video content to attract more users to add to our existing successful use of competitions and surveys. We will make YouTube informational videos to advise women on how to look after their cars and basic car maintenance. We will also create entertaining videos about cars and attempt to make a video that has potential to go viral and be shared across many platforms.
Mycargossip will continue to create digital magazines that can be shared online and also write regular blogs and guest blogs for other websites. We will also carry on using an SEO consultant. Also, we are creating new cross-referral partnerships on a regular basis.
We also want to appear offline in women’s magazines, in newspapers in student magazines and other local magazines. As our community grows, we can start doing our own surveys and polls and create new statistics to send out to magazines and newspapers.
MyCarGossip’s competitive differentiation is to focus on women’s motoring experiences and we are already a market leader in this nascent market. This is a different approach to the few websites that promote female friendly garages as all they focus on is garages and insurance. By being relevant for any type of motoring business it means we have more ways to deliver value to our community and to generate income from the industry.
Our other competitors are Motor Codes and The Good Garage Scheme- both of whom only offer their services to garages and their audience is predominately male.
We also need to be aware of Reevoo and Trustpilot who are building up a good reputation in the world of reviews and could move in to the automotive industry if they wanted to. However we still have an advantage because we are targeting a female market. This is our niche and is why we need investment now to scale up.
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