This year’s unBoxed conference in New York unveiled many new and exciting features to Amazon DSP and AMC. These new capabilities aim to improve the user experience for advertisers at every touch point of their marketing journey, including but not limited to setup, optimization, and reporting. More importantly, these capabilities provide a much clearer and more detailed view of the shopper journey, allowing advertisers to better fine-tune their strategies. Let’s take a look at key takeaways.
1. Holistic Strategy and Budget Planning
Amazon multi-channel marketing has been simplified. Advertisers now have a bird’s-eye view of their account’s total Amazon performance from the DSP console through the new cross-channel planner. The cross-channel planner is part of a new media planning suite in DSP, providing holistic insights and performance related to audiences and supply across both Amazon and third-party sites and apps.
What this means for advertisers: The ability to see and compare the performance of several platforms in one visualization makes it much easier to identify duplicate strategies across different platforms and prevent advertising cannibalization. It, in turn, also allows advertisers to easily identify and fill gaps in their account’s strategy in order to better engage with their users at more touchpoints, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion to captivate their interest across the shopper journey. More importantly, understanding each platform’s performance in the cross-channel planner allows advertisers to make more informed budgeting decisions, as we can identify what avenues can use a boost and which ones to phase out.
2. Target Your Audiences
Gone are the days of manually setting up your custom audiences from more generic, broad audiences. Advertisers can now turn their AMC insights into custom audiences available for use in Amazon DSP. Advertisers can also utilize AMC Audiences to produce look-alike audiences to the converting customer base.
What this means for advertisers: Your advertising dollars are now more appropriately spent on users that are most likely to convert. Look-alike audiences allow us to grow incremental audience reach by deploying campaigns specifically targeting new-to-brand customers that are similar to our existing buyer profile.
3. Easy Automatic Optimization
As is the case with programmatic advertising, Amazon DSP offers automatic optimizations, freeing up advertisers to make higher level decisions and not worry too much about day-to-day optimizations. That functionality is now further enhanced as Amazon Ads unveiled predictive modeling fueled by machine learning. Another added advantage is that advertisers can now set a target for their desired KPI, be it reach or conversion, and DSP can tailor the strategy and optimizations accordingly.
What this means for advertisers: Leave everyday optimization decisions to Amazon DSP’s artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, you can focus on perfecting your ad strategy and audiences.
4. Real-Time Hourly Reporting
Say goodbye to navigating different platforms to view performance metrics. With Amazon Marketing Stream, a push-based API solution that delivers hourly campaign metrics, advertisers can now see both Sponsored Ads and Amazon DSP data in the same dashboard. We also have the ability to marry campaign metrics with hourly retail metrics such as sales, traffic, and inventory levels with the integration of Rapid Retail Analytics.
What this means for advertisers: We now have a holistic view of the entire business as a whole, not just of the marketing silo. The additional insights from Rapid Retail Analytics is the much needed missing piece from the big picture. Now, we can better pinpoint whether the significant drop in conversion rate is due to low inventory levels or problematic ad strategy.
5. Improved New-to-Brand Metrics
Taking another step towards providing more ways for advertisers to engage with its customers, Amazon Ads is expanding its new-to-brand metrics suite. We can now view consideration metrics by campaign, particularly how many customers saw our ad then visited a product page or added a product to their cart for the first time in the past 12 months.
What this means for advertisers: We see a great opportunity for retargeting campaigns to nudge these close-to-be-new-to-brand customers towards becoming actual new-to-brand customers.
6. Better Understand Your Shoppers’ Journeys
Before coming to a purchase, the shopper goes through a multitude of touchpoints that are both advertising and non-advertising. We now have access to them with Amazon DSP Events Manager. Utilizing events tracking (that is reminiscent of Google Analytics event tracking model), advertisers can now see more actions that a user takes before that final checkout. For example, per Amazon, “a fashion brand or automotive dealer may learn that new-to-brand purchases made by those who have watched videos on their website lead to more purchases down the road.” Even more exciting is that Events Manager will soon feed into AMC, allowing even non-Amazon advertisers to analyze both first and third-party signals for a 360-degree view of the shopper’s path through their brands.
What this means for advertisers: These insights are invaluable in that they show us which touchpoints are contributing to a conversion, allowing us to prioritize and improve them, as well as trim down the ones that are not working.
In theory, these are all new exciting additions to the existing monoliths that are Amazon Sponsored Ads and Amazon DSP. We can only wait to see how they will actually perform once all the features are rolled out. Until then, we suggest you remain cautiously optimistic.