As the worlds largest online auction site, youd think eBay would have more sense and tact in their B2B relationships. Despite their prominent presence, however, eBay has carelessly handled the way they relate to other brands. Whether its Google Adwords or a competitor such as Amazon, eBay has been sloppy in handling their public relations.
eBay vs. Adwords
The most recent gaffe is eBays scathing report of Google Adwords. The auction sites report claims that PPC doesnt work while stating that they intend to discontinue doing business with Adwords. Aside from trashing a B2B partner, eBays lack of tact in ending their partnership is embarrassing. Not only are they insulting one of the largest companies in the world, theyre claiming that an entire industry is useless. It also doesnt help that eBay is notorious for their inefficient PPC strategies.
eBay vs. Amazon
Though both ecommerce sites, eBay and Amazon have two completely different niches. While eBay focuses on auctions, Amazons marketplace is more online-store oriented. However, this didnt stop eBay from taunting retailers over internet commerce to advertise with them over Amazon. While theyre competitors, could eBay have tried better to at least remain amicable competitors with Amazon? I mean, even the most competitive football teams shake hands at the end of a tough game!
Lesson Learned from eBay
While we understand that eBay is looking out for their business and bottom line, what we dont understand is why they would choose to throw other brands under the bus. Perhaps eBays attitude is a reflection of why they are slowly losing market share to sites like Amazon. Lessons marketers can learn from eBay include:
- Ending B2B relationships gracefully. Stopping a B2B relationship should be like an amicable break-up. You dont want to burn bridges and you should never want to embarrass the other in front of an audience, especially in the business world. eBays decision to bash Adwords and PPC was reckless.
- Competitors are not enemies. Whats most interesting in the eBay vs. Amazon case is the fact that they both have different niches in the online world. While some of their business and target audience overlaps, theyre largely different sites with different concepts. You want to be competitive with your competitors, not act like youre declaring war on them.
- Know what youre talking about. eBay gained a lot of negative press for themselves when they bashed PPC, especially since its well documented that their PPC efforts are pitiful. Save you and your brand the embarrassment by keeping criticism to yourself.