eBay creates ‘channel agnostic’ sales team to boost programmatic trading | M&M Global

eBay creates ‘channel agnostic’ sales team to boost programmatic trading

EBay Advertising is overhauling its UK agency sales team, creating a “channel agnostic” approach, following its recent ‘Programmatic Only Week’ trial.


Between 16 and 22 February, the ecommerce firm only allowed inventory to be purchased via programmatic trading.

The experiment was intended to measure the appetite for automated buying in the market, and led to one billions ad impressions being purchased on eBay.co.uk.

As a result of the trial, eBay is to create a channel agnostic agency sales team, led by sales director Rob Bassett, offering both direct sell and programmatic methods of trading.

Speaking to M&M Global, eBay Advertising UK’s head of programmatic Jean-Baptiste Goux said the ‘Programmatic Only Week’ trial brought into focus that programmatic is misconstrued as a separate channel.

“Programmatic is only an enabler, not a different channel, so you should not silo programmatic and direct separately,” said Goux.

“We need to have a channel agnostic sales team managing both methods at the same time, but we don’t need to hire different people, and we still have to listen to agencies, in order to make sure that we offer the right solutions.

“We think the market is going to go through more automation over the coming months and years, but we need to be conscious that some advertisers are going to want direct integration with us, and we need to be able to respond to that.”

EBay already sells the “vast majority” of its UK inventory programmatically, according to Goux, but the business still felt it needed to push the message that it can offer all solutions programmatically.

“We wanted to be a catalyst, showing the market that you can buy programmatically without affecting your business in terms of revenue. We are still not mature enough as a market [in the UK] to be 100% programmatic, because lots of agencies silo programmatic and direct,” he said.

“Minds are shifting, little by little, but you end up with the misconception that only remnant inventory is available through programmatic.”

And Goux did not rule out another ‘Programmatic Only Week’ to gauge market maturity at a later date: “We wanted to understand the maturity of the market, and it was a good learning for us. It is not something we will need to re-learn. But we may do another programmatic-only experiment in the future if we need to see if the marketing is gaining maturity.”

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