Q&A: Kijiji, an eBay Company, on Using Automation to Capture Ad Spend

By Archived Rubicon Project Archives
Cover image for  article: Q&A: Kijiji, an eBay Company, on Using Automation to Capture Ad Spend

In the final installment of a three-part series, Jay Sears, Senior Vice President Marketplace Development of Rubicon Project discusses how to use automation to capture advertising spend from small and medium-sized businesses with Alan Maitland of Kijiji, an eBay company. The two executives appeared at a program titled “$50B Left Behind: Capturing SMB Spend” during Advertising Week New York in September 2015.

During Advertising Week in New York, Jay Sears (left) of Rubicon Project, Ryan Davis of The Weather Company, Tim Daugherty of Lonely Planet and Al Maitland (right) of Kijiji appeared at a program titled $50B Left Behind: Capturing SMB Spend.

Be sure to read Jay’s interviews with Ryan Davis and Tim Daugherty.

Your Name: Alan Maitland

Your Company: Kijiji, an eBay company

Your Title: Head of Display Sales, Kijiji/eBay/StubHub! Canada

JAY SEARS: What do you read to keep up with politics, art and culture?

AL MAITLAND: The Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail (Canada’s National News Source)

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with friends?

MAITLAND: Facebook, LinkedIn

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with our industry?

MAITLAND: Business Insider

SEARS: What’s your favorite commercial of all time?

MAITLAND: My all-time favorite is the Reebok Terry Tate Super Bowl commercial.

SEARS: With regards to self-service advertising automation, what are Kijiji’s three biggest company-wide initiatives for the remainder of 2015 and into 2016?


  1. Optimize how we capture and manage SME leads coming to our Kijiji for Business site.
  2. New Head of B2B to help define strategy and how we sell value to SMEs.
  3. Renewed focus and analysis of the large base of SMEs using our site and how to best engage with them with our offerings.

SEARS: Self-service advertising is used in a variety of customer use cases. Which of the following use cases apply to your current business?

  1. Walk-up business from small and medium size businesses
  2. Small and mid-size agencies
  3. Specialized markets (such as bed and breakfasts for a travel publisher or home appraisal services for a real estate publisher)
  4. Vendor or co-op advertising
  5. International markets

MAITLAND: The answer is A. We have reach of 48% of online Canadians.  With almost 20% of our product and services listings being from businesses (mostly SMEs) they represent an important base to us. We know a significant amount of SMEs use our site to promote their business or services, so they are an important part of our business.

SEARS: What are some of Kijiji’s unique assets and /or advertiser value propositions you are able to leverage using a self-service system?

  1. 1st party data
  2. Hyperlocal targeting
  3. Mobile ad opportunities
  4. Video ad opportunities
  5. Native ad opportunities
  6. Email opportunities
  7. Ad creation (via self-service)
  8. 3rd party ad tags (via self-service for approved buyers)
  9. Selling in local currencies around the world
  10. Accepting credit card payment

MAITLAND: A, B, C, E, F, G, J. We extend most of the ad targeting features and benefits to our self-serve offering.  Partnering with [Rubicon Project] we’ve built a user friendly experience for SMEs to work with us that includes a payment and banner creation solution.  We’re also exploring mobile and looking at native opportunities for our self-serve program.

SEARS: Do you foresee using self-serve in areas such as print, radio, out-of-home and television in the future?

MAITLAND: We currently use in-house banner inventory to support our self-serve program.  With our Head of B2B Marking on board and a fully baked strategy in place, additional support is likely.

SEARS: Tell us the about the self-service advertising operations and capabilities of Kijiji.

MAITLAND: We are quite happy with the ease of use for SMEs engaging with our self-serve offering.  Programs begin at $250 and using an iFrame around [Rubicon Project’s] self-serve tool, the experience is quite intuitive.  Users can pay and create their own banners and approving and implementing program is really straight forward for our team.

SEARS: Please tell us:

  • SEARS: When did you first add a self-service component to your sales efforts?
    • MAITLAND: 2012. This stemmed from a growing demand from small businesses to spend budgets below our minimum thresholds.
  • SEARS: How many people internally are involved in the management of the self-service offering?
    • MAITLAND: Currently, we have two resources on the ad operations team who handle this as needed.
  • SEARS: Percentage increase, self-serve sales 2014 vs. expected 2015:
    • MAITLAND: We’re seeing roughly 10% growth with limited resources dedicated to our self-service option.  We see greater growth potential in 2016 with a more focused effort.

SEARS: If you could go to the airport right now with friends or family and fly anywhere in the world for vacation, who would you take and where would you go?

MAITLAND: I would take my family to Rome and the Amalfi Coast.  We love walking cities and soaking up the local culture, history and architecture.

SEARS: If you could create an endowment to fund any existing non-profit you designated, what lucky non-profit organization would that be?

MAITLAND: At Kijiji, we’re big supporters of Habitat for Humanity. A number of us from the company have participated in the builds and the results are palpable.

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?

MAITLAND: The Kennedy here in Toronto. Great food, great people and a great outdoor patio.

SEARS: Thanks, Al!

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