Case Study

E-Commerce: Kijiji


Taking its name from the Swahili word for village, Kijiji has become Canada’s number one classifieds site since its launch in 2005. For the past decade its online community has made it easy for users to buy a car, rent an apartment or just clear out the contents of their basement.


Already popular among residents in the Greater Toronto Area’s 905 area code, Kijiji wanted to increase its brand awareness and usage among city residents living in Toronto’s 416 area code. “We’re the leader in the market, but we still wanted to stay competitive in a changing marketplace,” said Marc-André Hade, Kijiji’s marketing communications strategist. “And we wanted to accelerate our growth in the smartest way possible.” For Kijiji that goal meant developing an integrated marketing campaign that combined customer data with segmentation, primary research, experiential marketing and communications. But because few advertising agencies had capabilities across this range of services, Kijiji contacted the Environics family of companies which could offer expertise in these varied areas.


To assist Kijiji in understanding its customers, Environics Analytics (EA) analysts used the PRIZM segmentation system to classify and profile Kijiji’s buyers and sellers, based on the system’s 66 distinct lifestyles. From their findings, EA analysts identified three target groups—Chinese, South Asians and Wealthy Eco-Friendly Families—where Kijiji could grow its audience. Kijiji then employed another Environics company, Free For All Marketing (FFAM), to create an experiential marketing campaign that allowed Kijiji to meet prospects face-to-face at community events. Meanwhile, Environics Research Group (ERG) developed a customized survey that FFAM distributed at the events. The survey was designed to better understand the values and behaviours of the South Asian and Chinese communities, along with consumers’ comfort levels using online classifieds and Kijiji. Events were promoted by Environics Communications Inc., which touted the benefits of using Kijiji among the Eco-Friendly target group, especially the ability to recycle and reuse second-hand items.


The integrated marketing campaign achieved impressive results. The 2014 campaigns yielded 2.7 million media impressions and 235,575 consumer interactions. The customized survey proved valuable in understanding Kijiji’s target groups. And after visiting 19 community and cultural events often attended by its three target groups, Kijiji was able to collect about 1,000 email addresses, making it easy to monitor post-event site visits, usage and level of engagement. Just as important, the integrated initiative transformed Kijiji’s media plan, shifting from a TV focus to a sophisticated mix of TV, radio, video, out-of-home and hyper-local channels. And Kijiji began translating messages into Mandarin and Cantonese to better reach its Asian segments via multicultural radio stations. “The data allowed us to be more targeted and use our marketing money in a more efficient way,” Hade explained. “Smarter marketing means better results.”