Monday, 13 January 2014

How eBay improve its user acquisition?


Last Friday morning, Mr. Sebastian was invited to a breakfast networking event, giving a speak of eBay's advanced user acquisition strategy. Mr. Sebastian is Senior Product & Partnership Lead at eBay Enterprise, being a key player in monetizing, optimizing and maximizing digital marketing strategies with an attribution, cross-channel marketing lens. Here are some perspectives Mr Sebastian figured out on his speech.

1. Silo effect
Silo effect has been one of the hottest issues in the recent years, in which an information silo is a management incapable of reciprocal operation with other related information systems. Nowadays, consumer's purchase process has been developed to occur on different devices. It could be mobile, tablet, or laptop. However, most companies still report their marketing performance in silo. In the marketing department, SEO, PPC, Affiliate marketing and social media monitoring are responsible for different teams. Every team wants to do their best, but the budget is limited. The lack of communication among teams resulted in the inefficiency of marketing strategy eventually.

2. Customer Journey on eBay

There are many ways to acquire customers. In order to improve marketing performance and efficiency, eBay proposed a customer journey to reallocate limited budget. The following figure presents how digital marketing techniques play different roles towards customers.










Organic search plays a role as introducer for customers when they firstly are aware their demands and searching on the Internet. Then customers will start to collect information after they have chosen some targets to buy. The customer will be influenced by the display of products, the opinions on social media, and the promotion information from emails or SMS, to make their purchase decision. This process averagely lasts for eight days. Now, the customer has already known what they want. The paid research strategy will play a role of closer to help them find the product quickly and accurately.

3. Budget reallocation of eBay's marketing strategy

Based on the previous marketing performance and efficiency, eBay integrated the information from silos and figured out the following proportion on its marketing strategy.
13% Organic search (SEO)
17% Display (Web page)
40% Affiliate (online PR, direct email & SMS)
8% Social (Forum, Social media, friends)
22% Paid search (Google AdWords, PPC)

4. Data collection from clicks
As for the technology nowadays, the research team can only track consumers' purchase process by clicks, which is to save cookies and location data to pinpoint the target. Using this data helps eBay to profile potential customers, to figure out what they might be interested in, and then provide specific promotion information directly. However, eBay still can not access the user's social media to see what discussion is carrying on. In addition, it is expected that track by impression would be the trend in the future. The research team would be able to measure how much and who might have seen the online advertisement.

To sum up, optimizing digital marketing spend is highly concerned among the board-level decision makers. Marketers are required to justify the budget, in order to reduce time consuming and effort. The communication among different marketing teams should be enhanced, so that the marketing performance and efficiency would be improved by the integrated digital marketing strategy eventually.


Sebastian先生在上星期五受邀至倫敦市中心的一個早餐會,並分享eBay如何改善數位營銷策略以獲取更多客戶。Sebastian先生是eBay Entreprise的資深產品合作領導人,同時以數位營銷策略的獲利化、最適化、極大化為人所推崇。以下四點將闡述Sebastian於這場演講提出的幾個概念。

1. Silo Effect 筒倉效應
筒倉效應於近幾年來一直是再營銷研究領域裡的熱門議題,其概念將資訊引喻為筒倉,隱喻不同部門的資訊就如一個個筒倉一樣沒有連結,亦謂著各部門間並未進行相互溝通並整合資訊。現今每一個消費者通常在不同的電子設備上進行購買流程,不同的裝置也增加了企業端了解客戶的困難度。目前仍有許多企業是依照不同的裝置及不同區塊的營銷策略進行成果調查,並加強各個營銷小組單位的效率,其中包含了搜尋引擎優化、關鍵字廣告、直效營銷、社會媒體營銷等等。然而在預算有限的情況下,是無法單純增強每個小組的工作狀況,缺乏小組間相互的溝通,也將造成營銷預算的效用低落。

2. eBay的消費者購買流程
為了重新分配營銷預算,eBay營銷研究小組提出了以下的消費者購買流程,來解釋各個行銷工具在不同的時間點扮演著不同的角色。當消費者在一開始意識到自己的購買需求,消費者將在網路上展開搜尋。因此,原生搜尋在這裡便扮演著介紹者的角色,引導消費者在網站上找到自己想買的東西。接下來,在消費者鎖定了幾個目標之後,消費者通常會透過產品的展現方式、社群與論壇的意見、以及產品促銷活動等等,來決定最終購買的商品。因此,在這個階段的營銷工具皆稱為影響者。最後,當消費者再次回到搜尋引擎尋找特定商品的時候,關鍵字行銷將扮演了結局者的角色,以幫助消費者更快速精確地找到商品並下單,而這樣的流程平均來說是八天左右。








3. eBay營銷預算的重新分配
根據過去的市場表現與經驗,eBay整合了各個營銷小組的資料,並計算出一個新的比例已分配預算如下:

13% 原生搜尋 (e.g. 搜尋引擎優化)
17% 商品呈現 (e.g. 網站與商品展示設計)
40% 聯盟營銷 (e.g. 博客廣告、贊助廣告、直效營銷等等)
8%  社會營銷 (e.g. 論壇、社群營銷、口碑宣傳)
22% 付費搜尋 (e.g. 關鍵字營銷)

4. 資料蒐集
儘管科技發展之進步,目前市場調查也只能夠透過每一個點擊來追蹤消費者的購買流程,而無法直接追蹤消費者的社群媒體以及討論內容。eBay用這些資料來側寫潛在消費者的偏好,並進一步提供消費者所感興趣的商品及促銷活動。然而,在未來可以期待的是,科技將能夠直接獲取消費者是否看過該廣告,進而點擊該廣告。這樣的技術將能夠使營銷者更精確地分析營銷策略的成果。

總體而言,如何最適化數位營銷的花費,已經成為管理高層高度關注的議題之一。營銷部門必須再一次審核預算分配,並減少每一次營銷活動的時間與資源的花費,以增加營銷成效。各個營銷小組間的溝通也必須被強化,如此一來,整合後的數位營銷策略將能夠帶來更大的市場效用與效率。