Why Amazon is a programmatic marketing essential

Amazon’s appeal to consumer brands is not negotiable. It’s the world’s biggest retailer, and there is just no comparable place to reach consumers with retail intent. With 75% of shoppers stating they regularly use it to make purchases, and 90% of the UK public using it, we’d say it’s as much channel as it is retailer. 

data first brands see the benefit in the advertising data that can be used across wider marketing activity, both on and off Amazon

Your customers are on Amazon

So why should Amazon matter to every consumer brand? In the simplest of terms, Amazon reaches consumers easily. Not having a direct relationship with these consumers puts brands at the mercy of anyone who does have that relationship.  

Most consumer brands have a presence on the platform. If they don’t, you can usually find the product for sale on Amazon via a third-party seller. Direct to Consumer (DTC) brands, who’s very name suggests they will shun big retailers in favour of a one-to-one relationship with their customers, are also now starting to see the value in having a presence on Amazon. These data first brands see the benefit in the advertising data that can be used across wider marketing activity, both on and off Amazon. 

For the B2C advertiser this reminds us a lot of the days of Froogle, and then Google Product Search (the precursors to Google Shopping) in the early noughties. The platform is using a crawler to index product data from vendors instead of using paid submissions. It’s also full of high intent users ready to buy. Things are changing at a similar pace, with new features and opportunities coming out on a weekly basis. Knowing which levers to pull when, is the key to brand visibility on the platform. 

The data value in the Amazon DSP

Over the last couple of years, Amazon has evolved its advertising proposition and has, somewhat stealth like, created an impressive demand side platform (DSP).  It is now primed to disrupt the B2C programmatic landscape. Brands simply can not ignore the reach, data and customers that can be targeted.

For the programmatic marketer, the Amazon DSP is full of valuable insight and performance data. You can track ads to sales on Amazon, integrate with Amazon first-party proprietary data, and layer on owned first and third party data sources.  

One of the major benefits of the Amazon DSP is that it gives amazing intent signals. This means a brand can find their audience exactly where they are in the buying cycle. Audience targeting on the DSP is broadly broken broken into six segments

  • Demographic: standard segments to reach a specific audience type (age, location, income level)

  • Behavioural: targeting based on historical search, browsing and purchase history. (In Market: active shoppers; Lifestyle: habitual shoppers)

  • Contextual: segments based on the detail page/IMDb title/actor page a consumer is actively viewing (Products the customer is viewing at that moment)

  • Remarketing: standard pixel based visitor remarketing of customers who have visited a website

  • Advertiser Audiences: custom audiences created specifically for a brand advertiser. Generally a mix of Amazon customers combined with the brands own database.

  • Audience Lookalike: very familiar to most brands from paid social, these are created to reach a unique audience or other customers who have similar behaviors as an ideal audience

There are obviously some nuances to throw in to the mix also. Product remarketing, similar products and cross selling, are all worth consideration as part of an ad strategy, but in the main the six segments are where you should focus on first.

The future is programmatic

The Amazon DSP is not perfect, and it still feels like there is some way to go on the roadmap. It can be difficult to navigate for the novice and creative can take longer than it should to be approved. That said, it’s improving all the time, and recent acquisitions and improvements will help it become a fully formed DSP. Amazon will continue to build out its tech stack and inform marketers more effectively how to buy and measure ads on and off of Amazon.

In our opinion any programmatic consumer brand strategy has to involve Amazon. Even if that is just a justification why the brand is not using the platform, when everyone else is. Especially consumers. 

If you want to find out more about how the Amazon DSP can fit into your programmatic strategy, get in touch using the form below. Along with knowledge and access to the DSP we have an Amazon representative, partners who are ex-Amazon employees and set-up the DSP, and we have a tried and tested approach on the platform.