COLOGNE — For a service that is all about price auctions, you could be forgiven for thinking eBay had programmatic advertising licked.

But, in this video interview with Beet.TV, eBay director of ad-tech and innovation, EMEA, Geoff Smith explains how, at its scale, selecting elements of its ad-tech stack can be a headache.

“The problem with having a core business that’s not ads revenue is that we have to build a lot of our own ad tech ourselves, which becomes difficult when you have to make long-term decisions on which partners you want to integrate with,” says Smith.

“Ultimately the market can shift one way or another, and then you lose the ability to monetize with that partner. Ultimately, that creates major challenges because you’ve invested a huge amount of time and resource, and it creates a lot of churn.”

Smith is a former Publicis UK programmatic managing director and long-time digital ad exec.

He is operating in a digital ad world which, for many technology companies and agencies, has turned bearish over the last couple of years.

“When a partner all of a sudden has a massive shift in public perception, that can be quite problematic for us if we’ve put all of our eggs into that one basket,” he explains. “Managing all of those different partner relationships and the longevity of which ones we want to go deeper with and lean in with, that changes massively over time. And we have to be very, very reactive to what’s happening across the market.”

He says the company will place a renewed focus on its mobile app in 2019, and Smith welcomes new IAB auditing of viewability measuring partners.

This video is part of a series produced at DMEXCO 2018 in Cologne titled:  “Finding Success in a Time of Transformation.” It is is presented by PubMatic. For segments from the series, please visit this page.