Brand Safety: Our Continued Commitment to You

Today, we find ourselves in unprecedented times. It’s in times like these that eBay’s dedication to delivering a safe and trusted marketplace becomes more important than ever. Our interim CEO Scott Schenkel said it best, “we are a human company where patience, understanding and empathy guide the approach to how we work. This moment is no different. We are committed to supporting each other and making sure that we deliver for our customers around the world.”

That’s why we’ve taken steps to block or quickly remove items that make false claims or are in violation of price gouging rules. “These listings may violate applicable US laws or regulations, eBay policies, and exhibit unfair pricing behavior for our buyers.” We are committed to upholding our Disaster and Tragedy policy ensuring our marketplace stay a safe place to buy and sell.

Responsible marketplace policies like these have allowed us to build immense trust among our community of buyers and sellers. This level of trust is also reflected in our advertising business. eBay will always be a place where our brand partners can find safe environments and non-controversial content, even during the most trying of times.

As a business operations leader, this is where my focus lies. How do we continue to make eBay a trusted platform for not only our community of buyers and sellers but also digital advertisers? When I joined the team in Q3 of 2019, I immediately began evaluating our processes to ensure we complied with local and national policies, were free of controversial content, and in conjunction with our product team, exploring innovative technologies that could push our collective businesses forward. All of this was in service to our partners, continuing to offer advertisers a safe and controlled environment for their brand.

Our 2020 TAG Recertification from the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) is a major piece of the brand safety equation and eBay’s commitment to you. It demonstrates, in full transparency, our commitment to higher standards and ensuring the protection of the digital advertising space as we innovate with our data. We have once again received the TAG Certified Against Fraud, Certified Against Malware and Certified Against Piracy Seals.

“Our industry success in fighting fraud, malware, and piracy depends on the high standards of companies like eBay Advertising, now in its second year of recertification. By maintaining robust standards to protect the supply chain and build trust, eBay Advertising is helping create a transparent and trustworthy ecosystem for both consumers and digital advertisers.” – Mike Zaneis, CEO of the Trustworthy Accountability Group.

It’s our responsibility to put the right protections in place to ensure your message continues to be served to real shoppers and buyers with real purchase intent, not bots. And with mountains of first-party shopper data from our logged-in users, rest assured that the overall integrity of your brand, messaging and marketing dollars will not be jeopardized by online bad actors or placed in an unfair and unsafe marketplace.

You can learn more about how our teams are safeguarding our marketplace for shoppers, buyers and brands like you during this time here.

Rebecca Skrak
Head of Business Operations, eBay Advertising

Reach Qualified Financial Audiences with Real Intent Data

When it comes to digital advertising, today’s consumers expect companies to know their preferences on a very intimate level. In fact, according to a November 2018 report by  The Financial Brand, 74% of global consumers expect brands to treat them as an individual.

Brands have done a good job of aligning themselves with consumer lifestyles in their marketing efforts, thanks to advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence driving more efficient data analysis.

However, there is more to be done around identifying real consumer intent. With the advent of eCommerce platforms and online transactions, advertisers no longer have to depend on content-based assumptions about whether or not a consumer intends to buy something. And, while they’ve gotten us much closer to true intent, 3rd party data providers don’t provide the transparency or robust set of intent signals that advertisers need to power successful campaign.

And that is something that eBay is uniquely positioned to help brands deliver on.

More than 106M unique shoppers come to eBay every month in a shopping state of mind and for one reason: to shop for what they love, what they need, and everything in-between.

Thanks to 107M hours of monthly shopping data and billions of first-party intent-based signals from our logged-in shoppers, eBay is an expert in understanding intent – real intent. Our team of data science experts are continuously analyzing keywords, categories and brands searched, in addition to the frequency of searches, purchases, number of days from initial search to purchase, etc. to inform strategic marketing strategies putting brands closer to their audience than ever.

With the perfect combination of scale and precision, eBay offers marketers the power to target the right audiences at the right moment in their shopping journey.

When it comes to financial service brands, eBay has the qualified audiences they’re looking for.2

  • 2M Retiree Investors 
  • 654K Financial Investors 
  • 3M Handy Homeowners

Their unique shopping habits tell us:
 

  • Brands are 3x more likely to reach Retiree Investors with a Business & Industrial category takeover.
  • Financial Institutions are 3x more likely to reach Financial Investors with a Fine Jewelry or Loose Diamonds & Gemstones category takeover.
  • You are 6x more likely to reach a Handy Homeowner on eBay with a Major Appliances category takeover.

 

These are just a sample of the unique audiences you can engage on eBay today. Looking for shop-alike audiences and or custom segments based on your unique business needs. eBay’s logged-in users and first-party real intent data makes it all possible.

It’s time to learn more about your consumers by the way they shop on eBay. Contact our sales team today!

Sources:

  1. comScore Media Metrix, Multi-Platform, December 2019, US
  2. eBay First-Party Data, 1/1/19-10/31/19

Retail Brands are Winning on eBay: A Marketer’s Guide

The world of retail has hit unchartered waters. With mass storefront vacancies around the nation and changing consumer appetite, marketers have been tasked with an uphill battle. However, retailers are a savvy bunch. They work proactively and are constantly reinventing how to reach customers. Read on to learn more about what retailers are doing to stay relevant and how they’re winning on eBay. 

Retail is Growing 

Despite the widely circulated narrative that retail is dying, retail is in fact growing. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), “There are over 1 million retail establishments across the United States, and retail sales have grown almost 4 percent annually since 2010.” 1 Additionally, the retail industry is supplying consumers with jobs. NRF reports that “over the last decade, retail sales and jobs have continued to grow despite challenging economic conditions.” 2 They go on to forecast that retail sales this year will increase between 3.8 percent and 4.4 percent to more than $3.8 trillion. 3 And eMarketer predicts that global eCommerce will rise by 20.7% in 2019 to $3.535 trillion. 4

Innovation Allowed 

The average consumer welcomes more automation in their retail experience. According to eMartketer, “In industries like healthcare and financial services, many prefer to consult with humans through traditional mediums. But in retail, more are willing to use emerging technologies—including chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI).” 5

While privacy regulations can limit these innovative tactics, consumers will trade privacy for personalization within reason. A recent Forrester report concluded that 57 percent of consumers are actually fine with retailers saving purchase history and personal preferences if more personalization is offered 6 This calls for marketers to choose their media partners wisely and open up their data sets. If their first-party data is limited, they must rely on media partners who can lend them a hand and a few data points. 

The Data Challenge and Winning on eBay

eCommerce sites are able to predict how and what consumers are shopping for. However, many eCommerce sites are also competing with advertisers. eBay is not in the business of selling its own line of products and therefore can provide a true advertising solution to retailers. 

As featured in, Winning on eBay: A Marketer’s Guide, in 2018, a top clothing and accessories brand partnered with eBay to maximize sales of men’s shoes and wallets during the Dads and Grads season. The brand ran an ad campaign with eBay, leveraging promotional traffic drivers that led shoppers to their custom brand experience. eBay’s Client Insights and Analytics team leveraged data science to build a wildly successful campaign. You can see detailed results by downloading Winning on eBay: A Marketer’s Guide.

To build your next successful retail campaign with eBay, contact our sales team. And be sure to download Winning on eBay: A Marketer’s Guide

 

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Giving

Since 2001, eBay has called upon the generosity of its broad online community to raise funds for nonprofit organizations. In November 2019, eBay for Charity reached a major milestone: $1 billion in total funds raised for charities. And to date, eBay for Charity works with more than 83,500 registered global charities, enabling $211 every minute in charity funding by eBay buyers and sellers. While other major eCommerce players function more and more like shopping utilities, eBay continues to be a platform built on trust, making it a powerful tool for fundraising. Whether you’re a charity or a major corporation, aligning your brand with eBay demonstrates a dedication to the spirit of giving this holiday season. 

Values-Driven Shopping 

The connection between brands and the personal lives of their consumers has become more intertwined. As a result, consumers are growing more concerned with the values represented by the companies they support. According to Forbes, “millennials have the highest expectations for brands to take a stand on values.” In fact, their latest Consumer Technographics report confirms nearly seven in 10 US Millennials consider company values when making a purchase. And it’s not just millennials that want to support ethical brands. Generation Xers (those born between 1960 and 1980) explicitly evaluated company values during a purchase. As we move into the winter holidays, media campaigns can highlight their core values both in the creative they produce and the platforms they advertise on. 

eBay for Charity: A Brief Case Study 

Integrated into eBay’s regular buying and selling platform, eBay for Charity makes it easy for people to support important causes. It enables sellers to donate a portion of their sales and buyers to shop while supporting their favorite charities — all the while giving nonprofits an opportunity to engage new supporters.

With a large community of compassionate shoppers in the mindset to donate during the holiday season, eBay is a natural fit for any charity looking to ramp up fundraising in Q4. For instance, during the 2018 holiday season, eBay partnered with a major non-profit organization to help them achieve their holiday fundraising goals.

With a 180 million active buyers (Source: eBay Fast Facts; 3/31/2019), the two-month campaign on eBay leveraged custom, first-party audience targeting and high impact, textual targeting leading into the holiday season. 

On and Off eBay Audiences Targeted included:

  • Charitable Audiences
  • Compassionate Shoppers
  • Shop-Alike Audiences

Tactics Included: 

  • Checkout placements
  • Homepage targeting
  • Giving Tuesday takeover

 

eBay Compassionate Shoppers were 5x more likely to be a donor than the average eBay shopper. Return on ad spend on the Compassionate Shopper was 3x higher than the overall ROAS goal. Ultimately the campaign was a success raising more than $100k.

Non-profits aren’t the only ones leading fundraising efforts. Celebrities like Miranda Lambert are using the platform to auction off items like clothing and home goods to raise money for organizations they love. As Giving Tuesday approaches, eBay is proud of the over $1 billion raised and continues its commitment to growing that figure in the years to come.

Ready to build your next values-driven or fundraising campaign? Activate your purpose at scale and contact our ad sales team.

Photo: Brenda Halkias, General Manager, eBay for Charity © 2019 CAREY WAGNER

eBay Featured in eMarketer’s Retail Media Networks 2019 Report

In an era where understanding a shopper’s intent is paramount to increasing sales, advertisers harnessing the power of data are rising to the top. Ad models are shifting and industry experts are taking notice. In their latest report, “Retail Media Networks 2019: How Retailers are Building Digital Ad Businesses,” eMarketer looks at how retailers are looking beyond the margins of consumer purchases and developing advertising revenue streams. 

Good Data Rises to the Top

As major media succumbs to government pressures around fake news and privacy, retail sites are well-positioned to better serve brands. While some experts argue that retailers lack the infrastructure to create thriving ad networks, in actuality the volume of first-party purchase data on eCommerce platforms can give advertisers an edge. When asked what were the most important factors to marketing performance success, 87% of marketers surveyed said, “high-quality data.” 

“For the longest time, advertisers were unable to connect their advertising directly to shopping behavior. Over time, with the invention of digital and search, advertisers have gotten closer and closer to actual transactions and understanding the way consumers really shop.” – Scott Kelliher, Head of brand advertising and partnerships at eBay Advertising

Understanding a consumer’s expression of intent is key for brands. It’s where influence can begin. Because 80% of users are logged in, eBay is able to provide brands with a look into rich, cross-device shopper journey insights and a deeper level of “people-based” engagement. 

Size Matters 

“The major players are going to be the ones who have traffic and, in the various media that they own, full view of the customer,” said Chris Lundquist, SVP and Global Head of Marketing Science at advertising agency BBDO. As one of the top three US retail sites, 1 eBay has the scale marketers need to drive success across the funnel. 

With over 109M active U.S. buyers eBay does not depend on probabilistic or inferred data to help marketers find and engage their perfect audience. This translates to millions of monthly shopping data collected. The jury may still be out on how much of the market share eCommerce platforms like eBay will take away from Google and Facebook, but one thing is for sure, change is a-coming. 

Click here to download “Retail Media Networks 2019: How Retailers are Building Digital Ad Businesses.” And if you’re interested in learning more about eBay’s first-party real intent data, talk to us here. 

 

Shorter Holiday Shopping Window…More Spend on Cyber Monday

This holiday shopping season brings a ton of conflicting predictions. The National Retail Federation said, “it expects holiday retail sales during November and December to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent over 2018 to a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion.” On the other hand, Bank of America, “projected same-store sales to grow by 2.7% in the fourth quarter, down from 3.8% last holiday season.” So what’s with all the differentiating opinions? Well, it may have something to do with the fact that we will see a shorter selling season with five fewer days between Black Friday and Christmas compared to last year. 

A few days shorter…what’s the big deal? 

Five missed days for brands to connect with consumers may not seem like a big deal to the average person, but this reduction has marketers in a frenzy. In 2018, the number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas was 33. This year it is 27. With consumer spending in the two weeks leading up to Christmas in historical decline, marketers have less than two weeks (13 days) to reach their target audience. Thus making Black Friday and Cyber Monday higher stakes than ever before. According to comScore, “brands that fail to reach consumers early in the season may not be able to recover, possibly leading to holiday seasons that fall short of expectations.” 

Consumers rely on those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to knock out the bulk of their holiday shopping lists. In a study by Retail Me Not, 2018 saw consumers spending an average of $803 during the Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend, up from an average of $743 in 2017. There were more than 165 million Americans shopping either in stores or online, from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday in 2018.  [Source: National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, 2018]. eBay along saw 7B searches during the holiday season. This year, marketers will encounter a similar recurrence but need to reach these deal conscience shoppers quickly. 

The Ideal Holiday Season Kick-off Date 

Start your holiday campaigns too soon and you’ll be touted a Christmas Creep. Too late and you’ll miss a high volume of holiday spend. So what’s the sweet spot? The short answer…NOW. The holiday spirit begins to kick in as the leaves change colors for most Americans around the country. And while they may not be shopping for gifts just yet, they do want this cheer reflected in their homes. From November 1st to December 31st, on eBay alone, there is a 430% lift in Holiday and Seasonal Décor. Once their homes are decked out, shoppers move to making purchases for loved ones, co-workers, and themselves. What’s the best date to kick off those holiday campaigns you ask? This year November 25th through December 13th will play an important role in brands securing those major shopping holiday dollars. 

Make Your Marketing Dollars Work Smarter on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday was a big day for eBay in 2018. The platform saw a: 

  • +27% lift in visitation
  • +39% lift in daily purchases
  • +15% lift in searches

How does this success translate to advertisers? The more visits, the more shopping data. Data is at the heart of who eBay is. Unlike marketplaces who only have access to credit card data or keep their insights in a walled garden, eBay provides brands with actionable data derived from an average of 109 MUVs [Source: Comscore, Dec 2018] during the holiday season. 

Take for instance those holiday and seasonal decor shoppers. eBay has made the people behind this 430% lift targetable to marketers, segmenting users who shopped for Christmas items within the last two years. This translates to over 6M Christmas Enthusiasts looking to deck their halls. Christmas Enthusiasts might have an item in mind but not always a brand. They’re coming to eBay to discover their version of holiday perfect and advertisers can be there to help. 

Whether you’re looking for a high impact brand awareness campaign or want to reach holiday shoppers with wallet in hand, if it’s happening during the holidays, it’s happening on eBay. To launch your next holiday campaign, talk to us here

 

Top 4 Data Discussions from AdWeek NYC

At this year’s Advertising Week in New York, there was much chatter about everything from OTT to industry diversity. But everywhere you turned, you couldn’t escape a conversation featuring data. Here are the four things I kept hearing throughout the week around data. 

Forget about BIG data, we need actionable data. 

If you collected all the grains of sand in the world you still wouldn’t come close to how much data is gathered daily around the globe. But how much of it is useful when it comes to building successful marketing campaigns? Technology is helping marketers distill big data into actionable data, but it’s happening at a gradual rate. So what’s required to pick up this pace? Education. “When I am asked how to get into media, I tell students they should consider a career in data science,” said Steve Carbone, Managing Director, Chief Digital & Investment Officer MediaCom during eBay’s Getting Ahead of Data Curve panel. 

Currently, data and insights teams have the large task of unearthing new ways to make data actionable and effective for advertisers. Companies who sit on first-party real intent data like eBay are proving to be invaluable partners to brands. Knowing exactly how consumers browse, buy, and sell provides an unmatched level of granularity and precision to drive campaign performance and brand success.

“I’m a marketer that sits in an operations company. The numbers matter. eBay helps us uplevel the stories around the numbers.” – Andrea Derby, Director, US Advertising & Global Brand Management at UPS

Defined Audiences is Key.  

With major investments in AI and data science, brands and publishers are close to reaching the right consumers at the right time, all the time, and with fewer errors. However, not everyone is there yet. eCommerce platforms like eBay have really been pioneers when it comes to defining audiences and making them actionable for brands. It was the ability to tailor messaging to specific audiences that helped brands like Synchrony see success in engaging consumers where they shop. 

“Our test and learn budgets can earn their way into our bigger digital media budget simply by performing…and eBay performs.” – Chris Merrill, CMO at Synchrony

Audience segmentation allows the right consumer to receive relevant ads, thereby not disrupting their user experience (well at least not as much). eCommerce platforms continue to be leaders in this as they have a front-row view into 107 million hours of shopping data each month.  

 Data privacy regulations is an industry-wide effort.

“For those of us that have been in digital advertising for a long time, we’ve never talked about regulation. I can’t think of a panel in which I talked about regulation until the last 18 months but we’re growing up as an industry,” said Maggie Mesa, VP of Mobile Business Development at OpenX. 

Regulation continues to be top of mind for every marketer and publisher. In fact, there were 16 panels on consumer privacy alone. Brands aren’t just following the strict measures set by government regulation like GDPR. They are acting proactively and evolving their businesses so they’re in line with future regulatory models. Brands, publishers, and eCommerce sites feel the responsibility to consumers and are doing their best to be mindful of their privacy while communicating the value exchange. “Privacy is a huge deal to us.  It will always be at the forefront of everything that we do” said Parker Burgess, eBay Advertising Head of Client Insights & Strategy.

Cross-platform measurement is a MUST. 

We can’t talk about data without talking about measurement. Cross-platform measurement is defined by the ability to “integrate measurement of online and offline media at both the aggregate and individual level,” according to the Advertising Research Foundation. This ultimately allows brands to effectively connect with consumers on their different digital devices and be able to measure the engagement holistically. 

As mentioned by Bill Tucker, Group Executive VP of the ANA, “Marketers want to be able to establish unique, unduplicated reach. They want to be able to optimize marketing and media budgets across their portfolio. There is an inability to do that right now and it [requires] a complex solution.” Brands are fed up with poor media mixes and are at the brink of truly figuring how every dollar is working for them. 

To learn more about how eBay Advertising’s first-party, real intent data can work for your brand dollars, contact us here

 

Discover Your Shopping Style at Advertising Week New York

eBay Advertising is proud to be a major sponsor at this year’s Advertising Week in New York

The eBay Advertising team is setting up shop on level 2 of the AMC Lincoln Square and pulling back the curtain on the data behind our most active shoppers. Stop by and discover how your shopping behaviors compare and shop on us!

Join the Conversations!

Data informs, enables, and fuels billions of dollars in digital advertising. Our executives will be taking the stage to talk about the value of real intent-based data and engaging audiences where they shop.  Here’s a look at where we’ll be:

Monday, September 23

12:30PM
Wired Brand Storytellers
Story Crafters Stage

  • Suzy Deering, CMO, eBay  
  • Martha Boudreau EVP & Chief Communications & Marketing Officer, AARP
  • Alex Wallace, GM of News, Entertainment and Studios Verizon Media
  • Vikram Bhaskaran Global Head of Vertical Strategy and Marketing, Pinterest
  • Piper Goodspeed Executive Director, Partnerships, and Consulting Condé Nast (Moderator) 

Tuesday, September 24

9:30AM
Female Quotient: What’s the Purpose
Sugar Factory

  • Suzy Deering, CMO, eBay
  • Anjali Lai, Senior Analyst, Forrester
  • Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient (Moderator)

11:30AM
See Your Customer in 3D

Insights Drivers Stage

  • Parker Burgess, Head of Client Strategy & Insights, eBay Advertising
  • Betsy Rella, VP Data & Research, Interconnect
  • Bryson Gordon Executive Vice President, Advanced Advertising Viacom
  • Justin Evans Global Head of Analytics & Insights Samsung Ads
  • Andrea Zapata VP Data Innovation & Insights, Comcast Spotlight (Moderator)

Wednesday, September 25

10:15A
Getting Ahead of the Data Curve

  • Suzy Deering, CMO, eBay 
  • Steve Carbone, CDO NA, MediaCom 
  • Randall Rothenberg, CEO, IAB 
  • Scott Kelliher, Head of Brand Advertising & Partnerships, eBay Advertising (Moderator)

Thursday, September 26

11:30AM

Why the Hottest New Digital Publishers aren’t Publishers At All

  • Scott Kelliher, Head of Brand Advertising & Partnerships, eBay Advertising 
  • Andrea Derby, Director, U.S. Advertising and Global Brand Management, UPS  
  • Alisha Wilmoth, Director Media Partnerships at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – ALSAC
    Chris Merrill, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, Direct to Consumer, Synchrony 
  • Nicole Perrin, Principal Analyst, eMarketer (Moderator)

3:30PM

First Party Data & Walled Gardens

  • Scott Kelliher, Head of Brand Advertising & Partnerships, eBay Advertising
  • Daniel Sepulveda SVP, Policy and Advocacy, MediaMath
  • Ehud Furman, VP Data, Taboola
  • Iván Markman VP, Chief Business Officer, Verizon Media
  • Alison Pepper, SVP Gov Relations, 4A’s (Moderator)

 

We look forward to inspiring conversations and a little fun!  Don’t forget to stop by level 2 and find out what type of shopper you are and talk to a member of our team about leveraging our real intent data to engage audiences. 

Brand Safety Predictions from eBay’s CMO

While it may seem like a post digital concern, brand safety issues have existed since the dawn of print media. If we go back to 1991 where the Sunday newspaper had a circulation of 62 million in the US, ensuring your ad did not appear next to controversial content required full-time resources. A travel brand advertising to summer vacationers probably did not want an expensive full-color placement near a story about a plane crash. History is truly repeating itself when it comes to brand safety, however the difference between now and then, is the complexity and scale required to maintain brand safe spaces today. 

The industry is struggling to keep up with the pace of online bad actors. As major online publishers increase resources to combat everything from fake news to hate speech, online offenders are becoming more advanced. This modern day Sisyphus scenario has marketers questioning whether or not digital environments can ever be safe. Brand safety isn’t just a trending topic; it’s a real issue that is negatively affecting advertisers, publishers, and anyone online. As we approach a major election year in the US, here are my predictions for how the industry will handle brand safety. 

An industry wide effort is required.  

Publishers are rightfully receiving much of the sting for allowing salacious or false content to reach online audiences. We’ve all read the reports on how major brands’ ads were appearing ahead of and alongside YouTube videos serving as terrorist recruitment. And we’ve all read about the “coordinated inauthentic activity” on Facebook. In fact, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, most Americans agree that the creation and spread of made-up news is causing significant harm to the nation and must be stopped. The most problematic publishers are listening and are attempting to put solutions into place. 

During this year’s Cannes Lions, Facebook, Google, and Twitter launched the first industry-wide initiative to improve online safety partnering with global advertising agencies and brands. Agencies including WPP, Publicis and Omnicom, and brands such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever, have realized the need for industry monitoring and want to stop the spread of harmful or fake content. “We need to fix the whole ecosystem, but Facebook and Google are the biggest players across all online media,” said Procter & Gamble’s Chief Brand Officer, Marc Pritchard. He added that his main goal for the alliance is to, “create standards to control and remove hateful content and comments on online platforms.” While this move toward self-regulation is a step in the right direction, this alliance cannot accomplish all the work alone. Partnership with neutral organizations like the ANA are required. 

One of the appealing things about eBay is that by its very nature, as an ecommerce marketplace, it is free of controversial content that can plague traditional publishers or social platforms. eBay has built immense trust among it’s community of buyers and sellers and this level of trust is also reflected in our ads business. eBay offers advertisers a safe and more controlled environment in regards to how brands appear. And with mountains of shopper data from our logged-in user base, eBay can also segment shoppers so brands don’t have to jeopardize overall integrity of what digital and mass scale can do for a campaign. However, as eBay considers expanding its business and taking in reviews and content, we know we will encounter the same challenges as Facebook and Google which is why we’re committed to putting the right brand protections in place before these issues surface.

Accreditation matters.

The complexities that exist online vastly surpass those that existed in pre-digital days. The sheer volume of hate speech, fake news, gun safety, and election falsities online, poses a very complicated environment that has to be moderated on a high level. The amount of work to be done is overwhelming if brands, agencies, and publishers go at it alone. 

Third party verification and accreditation must become the norm for anyone with an online platform. It’s not an easy feat to take on and often times publishers are concerned that the process will expose too much of their inner workings. However, I’d ask what’s worse: having to open back-end systems in order to begin the accreditation process or failing to provide a brand safe environment? As stated by John Montgomery, global vice-president of brand safety at GroupM, “third-party verification of harmful content on social media is one of its goals.” And while sites relying heavily on user generated content (UGC) are under more scrutiny, every online environment is susceptible to a brand safety blunder. 

Safety comes at a cost. 

Moving forward, brand safety will continue to be a heightened concern, not just for advertisers but for specific platforms that have encountered challenges in the past. Facebook and Google are already applying more money and human capital to resolving issues of brand safety. This will lead to better selection of highly controlled environments, but with possible increased costs to brands.

To circumvent higher prices, agencies and brands are going to have to be more strategic in how they select their media partners. Finding different outlets for brands, where they can achieve scale and have access to highly qualified audiences without costs inflated for brand safety, will become integral to media plans. 

While we’re still in the early days of brand safety, it’s reassuring to note that many of us are having the difficult conversations. As a board member on the ANA and a CMO of a global brand, my decisions around brand safety don’t just come down to how my platform and brand will be affected. I always look at the industry as a whole, understanding that my approach to brand safety can influence how other brands and publishers tackle the issue. As brand safety problems evolve beyond adjacency and fraudulent views to how we manage influencers and regulatory oversight, solid partnerships with organizations like the ANA will ignite change. After all, brand safety isn’t just a problem for brands; it’s a problem for our consumers as well. 

To learn more about the ANA and how to become a member, please visit https://www.ana.net/membership

 

eBay is open for business: A conversation with Scott Kelliher

There’s no denying the rapid growth in the eCommerce space. With the proliferation of eCommerce specific agencies, a deeper understanding of shopper behavior, and an explosion of new opportunities, an eCommerce strategy is top-of-mind for many marketers today. And at such a transformative time, we’re excited to welcome Scott Kelliher to the eBay team as our new Head of Brand Advertising & Partnerships. Prior to eBay, Scott held Sales & Marketing leadership positions with several digital media companies, including Time Inc., Yahoo, and AOL.

We sat down with Scott to get his take on the state of eCommerce, what gets him excited about his new gig, and how working for eBay is turning him into a sneakerhead. 

Scott, we’re so happy you joined the team. Can you let us know a little bit more about how you landed at eBay?

Most recently, I worked with premium content at Time Inc., helping transform their globally recognized brands for the digital and programmatic space. When I had a chance to sit back and reflect on what I wanted to do next, I realized what was missing and what I wanted to go back to was data – and truly unique data at that. 

This is what really moved me to join eBay – the enormous logged-in user base and the massive amounts of shopper data eBay sits on. eBay knows what customers are buying, how they like to buy, and what triggers them to buy.

How do you see eBay adding value to brands? 

Once a brand understands what data signals allow them to really understand how their customers buy, they can truly be effective. And because our users are consistently logged-in, these signals are always firing. We can provide our partners with a quantifiable understanding of how people shop. And knowing how to leverage that data to inform campaign strategy is a massive game changer. 

Innovation means different things to different people. What does it mean to eBay Advertising? 

For me, the word innovation in media is one of those terms that leads to a lot of products and tools that don’t necessarily move an advertisers’ needle. People may invest in the new and better widget or mouse trap but that often comes at a great cost. eBay’s ability to get a true understanding of the heart and soul of people and how they work is what is truly innovative. It’s also really cool for a data geek like me.

What would you say differentiates eBay from other eCommerce marketplaces? 

eBay is a true marketplace – we don’t own any inventory and never compete with our sellers. We also have a massive range of products on the platform – everything from cars to home decor. And we know how users shop for these items. We know how long users are researching and how many items and brands they’re considering. We know if they’re impulse shopping or making a considered purchase. All of these data points are key for advertisers looking to understand the purchase journey of their individual customers, and the consumers that are most likely to purchase their products for the first time. 

Knowing the behavioral patterns that lead to this first purchase is what gets me all fired up. There’s a huge range of products on eBay, from Teslas to Yeezy sneakers to Cartier diamonds. The purchase cycle for a car is extremely different than the purchase cycle of a pair of sneakers.  Think about the last time you bought a car. You might have had a few makes and models in mind, but you probably spent time doing your homework on safety, the newest in infotainment systems, and whether or not you wanted to go electric. You probably wouldn’t spend as much time researching shoes as you would a car. Although some might beg to differ with me. Being able to understand that difference and how shoppers evolve throughout their journey on eBay is extremely valuable.  

What are your top priorities? 

Our main priority is to spend more time with our brand and agency partners. I think people really underestimate the wealth of shopper data we have, our scale, and what it means for their brands.  We have unique assets that no one else can offer. We need to understand our clients’ needs and better communicate and customize the solutions that will drive their success. eBay is open for business and we are excited to build solutions that help our partners meet their goals. 

eBay continues to be a pioneer, innovating and personalizing the shopper experience. What do you think has contributed to eBay’s success?

Devin Wenig said it best. He said, “eBay empowers people and creates economic opportunity. We play a positive role in people’s lives.” That is why eBay continues to be one of the most powerful brands in the world. It’s an open, diverse, and unbiased marketplace; we don’t tip the scales in any way. And on top of that, you can find anything on eBay and usually for less money than other marketplaces. No matter what side you are on, buyer, seller or brand, we bring value to everyone.

Now for the fun stuff.  Tell us about your latest eBay shopping experience. 

I bought these sneakers the other day and love them. But more than anything, I loved my shopping experience. The sneakers are brand new, and I got them for less than they’re available at the manufacturer’s website, and with free shipping and returns.

A big thanks to Scott for his time and perspective on our business. It really is an exciting time to be in eCommerce and at eBay! 

eBay’s massive audience of highly-engaged shoppers is the perfect combination of scale and precision for advertisers. Scott and his team are ready to listen and learn about your business needs. To connect with Scott and the eBay Advertising team click here.