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.
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.
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.
Cannes, Rose, Culture, and eCommerce! eBay is proud to be an official sponsor of the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. This year, it’s especially fitting as the festival’s theme is centered around the intersection of brands and culture – a place not unfamiliar to eBay.
The Speed of Culture
As the inspired eCommerce marketplace celebrating passions, eBay has always focused on how to bring the speed of culture to its users. Whether it’s a brand new Supreme collab, a classic Stan Lee comic book, or the Game of Thrones Oreos, eBay has always made culture shoppable.
If it’s trending, dropping or releasing, it’s happening on eBay.
The eBay Advertising Cannes cabana will bring to life some of the most memorable shopping moments in the last decade.
eBay’s 109M monthly are highly engaged and seek brands that keep up with influential cultural moments. Thanks in part to AI and advanced data collection, the platform deeply understands what interests users. eBay also understands how pop culture and social media play a role in what inspires user purchases. We know that the same person shopping for a Steph Curry jersey is a parent who will likely share this bit of nostalgia with their children. It’s our deep connection to culture, driving scale, and engagement, combined with our wealth of first-party shopper data that makes eBay a premiere media partner for brands.
See you at Cannes Lions!
Brands are increasingly moving dollars from platforms made for search to platforms built for shopping. This is happening across the globe. For instance, Alibaba, China’s largest online retailer is expected to claim more than a third of all of the market’s digital ad revenues in 2020. In the United States, marketers are considering a similar shift in their media mix. Read on to learn the top three reasons why advertisers are considering advertising on eCommerce platforms.
Imagine you’re in a physical store. Let’s say you’re looking for a new phone. Now imagine that each salesperson comes by with suggestions for a designer handbag or new running shoes. How frustrated would you be? You were there for a new phone and while you like the idea of new running shoes, you’re not in the market for them. These salespeople are interrupting your experience and unfortunately, this scenario occurs most often online.
According to Dr. Volker Hildebrand, author of The Customer Experience Edge, “Customer experience is a holistic experience, and being able to offer a personalized approach for each customer can give your company a big advantage over the competition1.” Shoppers do not want to be served irrelevant ads. eCommerce ecosystems remedy this by providing an unsurpassed number of touchpoints with consumers from research to purchase.
Implicit Data vs Explicit Data
The metrics available to advertisers today has increased their demand for real performance and return on their ad spend. Advertisers want data driven success stories. However, not all data is created equal.
Implicit data is what we find on digital advertisers such as Facebook and Google. This type of data draws inferences from user data and makes suggestions of what to buy. Implicit data is often the culprit behind irrelevant ads.
To create customized experiences for online users, marketers must use explicit data. When we think explicit, all sort of brand safety concerns come to mind. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. Ernan Roman, president of ERDM and author of VoC Marketing, describes explicit data as, “self-profiled preference information customers provide in the Preference Center of a site or through dialogue boxes.” 2 An example of this on eBay is the My Garage tool. Users login to fill out the preferences for their vehicle. Everything from year, make, and model allows ancillary brands the opportunity to target a consumer appropriately. With this data, a customer can be served ads from insurance companies or auto part retailers that make sense.
A Better Ad Experience
Brands want their current and potential customers to remember them favorably. They don’t want to be associated with a pop-up ad that appears as a reader scrolls through an article about a recent tragedy. They also don’t want to be associated with ad units that seem almost impossible to close out of. Fortunately, shopping platforms provide a quality environment that prevents advertisers from annoying their customers.
As we approach the second half of 2019, marketers must resolve to use data wisely. Consumer patience is dwindling with every generic ad experience. In a 2018 Adobe study, 66% of consumers said encountering a poorly designed and impersonal ad experience would prevent them from making a purchase 3. As consumer expectations increase, marketers will benefit from leveraging brand safe, explicit data available to them on eCommerce platforms like eBay.
Stop the ad clutter and build a relevant campaign with eBay. Connect with our ad sales team.
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th every year and seeks to celebrate advancements in women’s rights. As a company founded on the premise that humans are inherently good, eBay is committed to diversity in the workplace. On this International Women’s Day, eBay would like to highlight Bridget Davies, VP of Revenue and Seller Growth, eBay Americas.
Bridget recently participated in a panel at RampUp, one of MarTech’s premier conferences. On February 26th, Ramp Up hosted, Building Data Narratives – Data & Technology Trends in Practice Track. Bridget and her fellow panelists discussed the importance of using data to create meaningful business insights for brands. Read on to learn more about how Bridget is using eBay’s proprietary data, scale, and advanced technology to help brands.
eBay Data for Brands
eBay has acquired valuable shopper data over the course of two decades. And it’s thanks to this data, that eBay is able to understand what’s culturally relevant and what’s trending at any given moment. Advanced and long term data collection is something that is uniquely eBay. This data allows for a customer-centric approach, to better connect with 109 million unique shopper journeys each month. Bridget and her team are responsible for bringing that data, and the insights it provides, to brands both on and off the platform. When asked about how eBay’s data supports brands, Bridget said this:
There are three things I focus on when thinking about solutions for advertisers: our phenomenal scale, our ability to build audience data and pair it with behavioral and contextual data, and the mindset the customer has when they are in the marketplace. Bringing those three things together can be really powerful for brands.
Long-term Growth for eBay Advertising
eBay’s data capabilities allow for turnkey audience segments as well as custom segments that help partners connect to their target audience.
In our advertising organization, we have a team that understands our 700+ audiences and can partner with our clients and agencies to help in a consultative approach. – Bridget Davies
With a highly technical and creative team, eBay offers smart audience activation that drives efficiency and campaign success. In 2019, eBay will focus on further evolving the user experience, while pursuing significant long-term growth opportunities in advertising. eBay ultimately serves as a partner, not a competitor to sellers and brands. As discovery and technology advances, eBay is confident in the strength of their business and future growth prospects.
Want to learn more about eBay’s growing advertising opportunities? Contact our ad sales team.
We’re just a month into the “new” year, though 2019 is shaping up to be transformative for digital advertising. Campaigns are become more personalized than ever, yet marketers have developed heightened awareness to brand safety and compliance – all while still finding new paths to successful campaign optimization.
Only on eBay, a platform visited by as many as a third of all Americans, are marketers equipped with scale and precision – informed by millions of hours of logged shopper data – to execute campaigns that pair the right message with a highly-curated audience. Leveraging eBay’s advertising solutions, brands can keep steady control over their brand experience and profit from some of the biggest trends that continue to shape digital advertising.
Programmatic Guaranteed Meets Brand Safety
Last year saw increased interest in programmatic guaranteed ad buying, including greater optimization through leveraging a publisher’s audience data.
On eBay, programmatic guaranteed not only enables more personalization than private marketplaces, but also can help improve visibility above-the-fold.
With this methodology, advertisers have greater oversight into campaign targeting, pacing and delivery – all with the help of expert-level visibility from eBay’s advertising team. Line of sight into campaign progress and results allows the platform to offer personalized insights, improving future campaign executions and optimization strategies.
High Demand for High-Impact Brand Awareness Campaigns
An effective strategy for long-term relationship building with interested buyers, high-impact brand awareness campaigns match brands with shoppers poised to become their biggest fans. Some of eBay’s most successful brand awareness campaigns have converted first-time buyers into brand repurchasers, who keep engaging long after initially viewing an ad and boost branded search traffic.
Combining eBay’s robust audience data with key placement opportunities, brands can create informed, impactful campaigns that augment ROI by identifying shoppers with the greatest potential for engagement. Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, did just this when partnering with eBay. The organization launched a Community Selling Campaign, targeting eBay sellers with potential interest in their mission for donations. High-impact ad units on My eBay, Sign Out and the homepage directed targets to a customized charity page, resulting in over 8.4 million impressions.
Through campaign-generated funds alone, Feeding America funded over 124,000 meals from over 16,000 visits to its landing page and over 132,000 listings that donated a portion of their proceeds. The campaign resulted in a 60% increase in brand awareness and led to a 45% increase in consideration.
Tech Leads the Way
Coming out of CES 2019, we’ve heard a lot about technology—but eBay’s audience data finds shoppers have been scoping new electronics and gadgets all year round. In fact, several tech-focused audience segments rank among 2018’s top-performing eBay audiences for pulling some of the highest click-through rates.
Many tech-savvy shoppers rely on the platform to exchange old and new smartphone models, evidenced by high-performing segments like iPhone Shoppers and Cell Phone In-Market Shoppers. Other top audiences include Tech Knowledgists and Consumer Electronic In-Market Shoppers, who use eBay as a reliable access point for the industry’s most popular and cutting-edge items.
eBay’s passionate audiences use the platform as a social marketplace to connect with other enthusiasts and find curated, one-of-a-kind items. Segments valuing niche items like Motor Parts & Accessories In-Market Shoppers and Fashion Brand Sensitive Shoppers rank among top-performing groups as well.
While these audiences certainly appeal to brands within specific industry verticals, other custom segments also drive performance thanks to eBay’s shop-alike models. Working with advertisers, the platform identifies active users most likely to respond positively to a campaign. These custom segments become curated audience targets, driving the success of some of eBay’s most successful campaigns.
In 2018, marketers navigated a demanding advertising landscape that challenged brands to maximize engagement while retaining expert control over brand safety and reputation. In the year ahead, brands can breathe easy knowing eBay’s advertising solutions drive strategic activations that help marketers profit from digital advertising’s most advantageous trends.
Eager to learn more? Contact our ad sales team.
All signs suggest e-commerce will remain as popular as ever in 2019, meaning many brands will continue trying to build relationships with online shoppers and attract attention in as short a time as possible.
Tracking the user journey to inform these objectives is easy on eBay, thanks to a cross-device user ID. Considering over 80% of active buyers are persistently logged in, marketers can pinpoint how and when their target audience begins a shopping session.
But in order to make a strong impression, advertisers must also know the consumer behind the screen. A number of factors–including users’ preferences, habits and moods–all impact whether a message will resonate. Here are a few of our best tips to leverage eBay’s audience insights and make the most of your next campaign.
Track the Customer Journey with Pixel Placements
Brands who implement eBay’s conversion pixel have first-class seats on a user’s customer journey, from the moment buyers are first exposed to an ad to when they check out. Illuminating audience demographics, cross-shopping behaviors and shop-alike segments, pixels can improve the precision of campaign targeting and timing.
They also keep advertisers aware in real time. Once a brand’s campaign goes live, pixels allow eBay’s Data Science team to deliver actionable insights at the campaign line-item level, fine-tuning audience insights to help improve ROI.
Placing a conversion pixel helped a leading car insurance brand find new customers. Targeting first-party shopper audience segments on and off eBay, the brand optimized their campaign through insights discovered from campaign purchase funnel data. It didn’t take long for the brand to see results–within just a week of placing the pixel, data insights resulted in a performance boost of 3x. By the end of the campaign, the brand achieved an 8% better CPA average than expected, and users were 121% more likely to engage with the ad.
Send the Right Message to the Right Buyer
An ad, even when placed at the right moment, will not make an impression if it doesn’t target the right customer. To help advertisers find their target audiences, eBay has constructed hundreds of evergreen audience segments based on interests, demographics, purchase habits and more. These segments are constructed with insight from countless hours of transaction-level data, logged by over 177 million active buyers who browse eBay’s 1.1 billion listings.
Brands who think outside the box can also leverage Shop-Alike Audiences to target users who behave like existing customers and create custom segments.
Additionally, eBay’s Client Insights & Analytics team helps advertisers figure out which members of their target audience cash in on trending shopping moments. During viral campaigns like Nike’s Just Do It launch last fall, searches on eBay for the brand jumped 600%–creating an e-commerce event that other brands could leverage.
Leave Room for Creativity
Jennifer Werner, eBay’s Head of Industry, works with brands of all sizes across a variety of verticals to reach their most passionate shoppers. Even though her clients are experts in their goals and audience targets, Werner expects her team will surprise them with new insights.
“Our campaign managers bring new ideas forward and share really good insights on ways to optimize any kind of campaign,” she says. “We always hope our clients are willing to test new areas, because that’s where we see the best success.”
This collaborative relationship helped one financial services firm’s high-impact awareness campaign perform above expectations, and even pick up some new customers.
“Today, we have a strong partnership with them, and we’re continuing to have a dialogue on testing new areas of opportunity,” Werner says.
Brands that work with eBay can benefit from expert audience analysis. With a small budget set aside, they can test different audience segments and increase their chances of maximizing the success and reach of campaigns.
Greater precision, focus and flexibility is guaranteed to help digital marketers stay ahead of the curve. As brands reflect on a year full of can’t-miss e-commerce moments and advancements in audience targeting, eBay Advertising is helping them set ambitious resolutions for each interaction ahead.
Ready to make each moment count in 2019? Contact our ad sales team.
Where, when and how we shop is changing, and as marketers – we must adapt to this new reality. This month, eBay sponsored the Commerce Marketing Summit at AdWeek New York, hosting sessions that focused on a range of topics, from content to personalization, to top trends shaping the future of commerce. Watch the replay below.
Key Trends Shaping the Future of Ecommerce
The e-commerce industry is booming. And, with rapid growth comes frequent changes. We sat down with some of the brightest minds from eMarketer, Feeding America and Isobar to discuss what’s next for ecommerce marketing.
Getting Personal – A Customer Experience
In today’s ever-changing retail landscape, capitalizing on data-driven insights to build dynamic relationships with customers is more important than ever. Poor personalization can, in turn, lead to lower engagement and bad brand experiences. We sat down with Pandora, Gravity Road and Reebok to discuss how marketers are leveraging data to provide a greater user experience.
Learn more about why eCommerce Platforms make sense for advertisers in eMarketer’s webinar here.
Learn more about how eBay Advertising leverages their wealth of audience data to partner with brands seeking to reach the right audiences during the moments that matter the most in this video below.