Prior to 2018, consumers and even marketers could be forgiven for not knowing that Amazon had its own advertising platform. After all, with Google and Facebook dominating the online advertising landscape, there’s little room for outside competitors. But Amazon isn’t just any ordinary business. It’s more than just an e-commerce leader – for many people, it’s a lifestyle. And Amazon is about to capitalize on that devotion.
Amazon has actually owned and operated an advertising platform for some time now. However, their ad platform was rather cluttered, with the company using three separate services to encompass all of its marketing activity. Amazon Marketing Services was Amazon’s answer to Google AdWords. Amazon Media Group handled display ads, such as banner ads and ads that appeared on Kindle tablets. Amazon Advertising Platform focused on third-party vendors that wanted to raise visibility for their products, mainly through retargeting. Today, Amazon has consolidated all three of these wings under one umbrella, known as Amazon Advertising. Realizing the potential to increase its advertising profile, Amazon is supporting this new uniform concept with a major financial investment.
It’s that last piece of Amazon’s puzzle – Amazon Advertising Platform – where challenger brands will want to focus their energies. Now known as Amazon DSP (demand-side platform), this vendor-based tool helps small businesses to get noticed among the endless product offerings on Amazon.
While the name Amazon DSP may be new, its execution is something that’s been desired since the early days of the Internet. Amazon DSP offers programmatic advertising – in other words, largely automated marketing that feeds off of the data that’s received by Amazon’s system. The goal is a well-oiled marketing machine that thrives with minimal manual intervention.
Does it work? Well, it’s hard to argue with the results. MediaRadar states that Amazon’s DSP has grown more in 2018 than any other demand-side marketing platform. What’s more, Amazon DSP’s adoption rate is tied for first (alongside Google) in the industry. The end result – getting visibility and linking directly to product pages on Amazon, where purchases can be made – is a win-win for all parties.
Benefits to Challenger Brands
The idea of taking interested consumers directly to an Amazon product page is huge for any business, but especially for challenger brands. A consumer that seeks out a product page on Amazon is generally beyond their research and awareness phases. They’re ready to buy. And taking that interested party directly to the place where they can make a purchase is a very powerful tool.
For those consumers that do land on an Amazon product page while conducting research, the retargeting aspect of Amazon DSP is highly beneficial. Although we’d all love to believe that our products will wow customers right away, the reality is that a fair amount of research must be done for even the most minor online purchases. Investigating product features, price points and consumer reviews are all part of the process for most shoppers. If a potential buyer leaves your site, retargeting will remind them about your product. Amazon’s display ads also feature current price data and the average customer rating, reinforcing the quality of your product at the same time as it gently nudges the shopper back to Amazon to complete their purchase.
Amazon’s advertising also allows challenger brands to stand apart from the big-box competitors in their respective industries. When a user searches for, say, a case for their iPhone, challenger brands can buy ads that are featured right at the top of the search results. The same principle applies if the user searches for a particular brand, such as an Otterbox. The challenger brand gets much-needed attention, and the consumer becomes aware of an equivalent alternative at a fraction of the cost. It’s a great way for unheralded, but top-quality brands to get noticed by consumers.
The Data Difference
Everyone knows that data is a major part of modern decision making. Unfortunately, many challenger brands struggle with data collection and, subsequently, the implementation of changes that should be made based on this data. Because data isn’t always easily accessible for challenger brands, it’s possible for burgeoning businesses to miss the mark with their initial efforts. If your business isn’t able to fully hear the voice of the customer, it’s impossible to give people what they want.
Amazon DSP is notable for the amount of data that can be found in the platform, which gives it far greater value than it holds as a standalone advertising platform. Through Amazon DSP, challenger brands can see exactly who’s looking at their products, how their ads influence buying behavior and who eventually makes purchases. It’s a level of data you can’t get simply by having a form on your website or via social metrics.
For a challenger brand, the access to this data may well be the most valuable part of Amazon’s advertising platform. Finally, you can get to know your audience on an unprecedented level – and that will give you the tools you need to tailor your products and advertising towards your true audience. That knowledge may be the final piece of the puzzle that lets you take on the established gorillas in your industry.
To learn more about Amazon’s advertising platform and how it can help your challenger brand attract attention, drop us a line today.