eBay’s head of advertising Phuong Nguyen discusses key lessons from programmatic-only week trials

Earlier this year eBay kicked off its first programmatic-only experiment which saw it halt all regular ad deals to run programmatic campaigns. It worked with agencies incluing Essence and VivaKi to run the campaigns and Hipp Organic was among the brands willing to be named as participants.

Nguyen revealed his findings at The Drum’s Digital Trading Awards (DTA) breakfast briefing, where he outlined three major lessons it took from the trials.

The first was that programmatic mustn’t be isolated as one specific channel but viewed as a “technology enabler” that marketers should not fear but recognise it can free up their time by creating efficiencies, which mean they can focus on other core areas such as driving innovation and creativity.

The second major learning was that “humans matter” and the experiment showed just how critical people remain in what has become a technology and data-driven landscape. “We talk about the rise of machines and the potential for that to make humans redundant but that is the biggest phallacy we have taken away from Programmatic-only week,” he said.

However, thirdly, Nguyen spoke candidly about the fact there is a huge amount of work still to be done for the technology and infrastuctures to be ready for a programmatic-only future.

Following the trials eBay has reshaped its sales teams to be able to deliver more flexible packages for clients looking for programmatic-only campaigns.

Watch the above video for his full comments.

Nguyen spoke alongside the Guardian's Tim Gentry and the DTA pre-judging breakfast briefing. Gentry gave insights around the thought process which led to the launch of its first collaborative premium private marketplace Pangaea.

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