Brian Burt is the Founder and CEO of CANOPY Management, the leading full-service Amazon agency.
Amazon is even more widespread and influential than you may think. Amazon Prime counts almost half of the adults in the U.S. among its members. Even those who might avoid shopping at Amazon are likely doing business with the company simply by using the Internet: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the biggest cloud-computing provider in the world, and much of the internet operates on Amazon servers.
Amazon has leveraged its dominant position in cloud computing and customer data collection to launch Amazon DSP (demand-side platform), which enables Amazon sellers to utilize the company’s reach across owned and third-party platforms to run comprehensive digital ad campaigns. Although not as well known for advertising as Facebook and Google, Amazon ad revenue reached $15.73 billion globally in 2020, and it is predicted to reach $40 billion by 2023 according to Juniper Research.
Amazon DSP has arrived at a time when the technology that led the way for effective digital display advertising — the third-party tracking cookie — is being phased out by Google and other key technology providers. With this transition as a backdrop, Amazon has developed a digital marketing platform that combines its own vast trove of first-party consumer data with access to the vast majority of existing digital channels. As the founder of a full-service marketing agency that specializes in Amazon, I believe this could be a game changer for marketers if you know how to harness it. Below are my tips for getting started.
An important strategy for succeeding with the Amazon DSP is to not engage the platform until you know you’re ready. One tactic is starting ad campaigns with Amazon’s sponsored display ads, which are far less expensive than the DSP platform. With sponsored display ads, you can advertise exclusively to your most likely customers on the shopping platform where they’re already looking for a product. With their lower costs and scale, sponsored display ads can serve as a great testing ground for product campaigns and listings before upscaling to Amazon DSP.
Once you have your newly optimized campaign, you should assess how you could maximize it on Amazon DSP. For example, you might retarget shoppers who have already visited your product page on Amazon. Or, if your goal is to drive brand awareness and customer acquisition, you can run video ads introducing your product on any number of third-party websites, apps or mobile devices according to a broad array of audience targeting options.
It’s interesting to note that Amazon DSP doesn’t exist exclusively for Amazon product listings. In fact, it’s possible to use it to direct shoppers to your own e-commerce site and fulfill orders directly.
Given Amazon’s track record of providing customer-centric services and competitive prices, Amazon DSP is likely to remain one of the dominant consumer advertising platforms for the foreseeable future. Just as Amazon made much of modern consumer life easy and convenient, so it aspires to do the same for advertisers. Smart advertisers will embrace it for all of the advantages it conveys. Love it or hate it, Amazon isn’t going anywhere. If you know how to use it, Amazon DSP can offer a path to commercial success both on and off the world’s largest shopping platform.