Let’s talk Amazon strategy.

If you’re…

  • Putting out great content
  • Using the best strategies on Ad Console
  • Running Amazon DSP (demand-side platform)

…how can anything go wrong? Three words: lack of communication

For many businesses, Amazon is just one (small) piece of a greater media strategy. Both within your Amazon team and throughout your entire company, it’s important to make sure that you stay aligned. When everyone understands how Amazon fits into the greater strategy, you can stay ahead of any issues.

Earlier this year at AdNYC, Jen Acosta, Sr. Marketplace Channel Analyst at Tinuiti and Jaime Smith,
VP, Integrated Media Strategy at Tinuiti explain how to make Amazon a truly integrated piece of your media strategy.

If you didn’t get the chance to attend, this is a summary of their presentation.
 

Creating (and maintaining) alignment between teams

 
Picture this: You have an amazing Amazon strategy in place — and it’s working. You’re beginning to drive sales velocity; the orders are pouring in. Then, all of a sudden, your product goes out of stock.

For marketers, this can be incredibly frustrating. You’ve been working hard to build up demand and interest, just to have your momentum ground to a halt by stock issues. Don’t let that happen to you: make sure you’re in constant communication with your operations teams. Stay aligned on what you plan to promote and make sure there’s plenty in stock. Be prepared for the demand you’ll encounter if (when!) your Amazon strategy works the way it should.

The bigger your company and the more departments there are, the more complex it can be to keep everyone aligned. The larger your company, the more important transparency becomes. It can be easy to accidentally stay siloed when you’re focused on working quickly and getting your ads live — but don’t let communication get lost in the shuffle.

You also need to make sure the goal of your Amazon team matches the goal of your company as a whole. Are you trying to push awareness? Are you focused on profitability?

Make sure to communicate:

  • Where you plan to invest budget (Ad Console? DSP?)
  • Which products you plan to promote

 
When you openly share these things with other teams, they can share valuable insight in return. For example, your finance department can help you identify whether a product is truly profitable and worth promoting — or something that will end up a waste of money.

 

 

Sharing Amazon strategy across the company

 
Amazon works very differently from Facebook, Google, and any other form of digital media. It can be hard to explain how things work in the Amazon ecosystem to people who haven’t been in the trenches.

Figure out who across your company will be involved in building and reporting on your integrated media strategy, then give them an overview of how Amazon differs from other channels. Getting everyone on the same page up front can get ahead of questions or disagreements on what and how you promote on Amazon.
 

The Value of Amazon DSP

 
Amazon DSP lets you leverage Amazon’s data to build audiences and target Amazon shoppers — whether or not you sell your products on Amazon. You can use Amazon DSP to drive awareness for your brand both on and off Amazon.

From an integrated standpoint, even if you’re not ready to play in the Amazon space, you can still use Amazon DSP to target specific customers.
 

Focusing on the consumer, not the channel

 
When choosing how to divide your media spend, it’s mostly about “The Big 3”: Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

But whether you’re already heavily invested in Amazon or it’s a brand new initiative for your team, your strategy comes down to the consumer, not the channel.

The channels you choose depend on:

  • Your brand goals: Are you focusing on attribution and last-click data, or do you care more about awareness and demand generation?
  • Where your customers are: Where do your customers spend their time? What does their journey look like?
  • Customer data: How much data do you have on them? What do you need to know about them? How are you capturing that data?

 

The 3 A’s: Attribution, Audiences, and Allocation

 
Each of the Big 3 channels has its own way of measuring attribution.

Attribution helps you understand:

  • How your media dollars are being spent
  • If you’re getting the right return on ad spend

You don’t have an unlimited budget, so you need to make sure you can figure out where your money’s going — and if it’s worth it.

Next comes audience. Access to Amazon data can be key for brands to understand their audiences. Facebook and Google also offer their fair share of customer data. All of these channels know how important data can be for brands, so it’s in their best interests to make their attribution and audience reporting as robust as possible. You need to be able to use that data to make strategic decisions across platforms; the more accessible the data, the more powerful it can be.

Third, allocation. Figuring out how to allocate your budget across your portfolio can be a challenge. These factors will help determine how you allocate spend:

  • Your adversity to risk
  • Which part of the funnel you want to tackle
  • The impact of your current awareness campaigns
  • How you measure and think about your data

Don’t spread yourself too thin. You might have a small budget, and that’s okay! By understanding your customer journey, you can figure out which areas to prioritize. Don’t be afraid to test new things on a small scale first, then continue to grow what works best for your brand.
 

Three more tips for Amazon success

 

 
We have three final tips on successfully making Amazon a part of your integrated marketing strategy:

1. Don’t forget about creative

With budget and ROI top-of-mind, creative can often be left by the wayside. Don’t let this happen! You need to have the right creative for each channel and change it out frequently. Keeping creative fresh can help you cut through the noise to hold customers’ attention spans.
 

2. Keep an eye on the competitive landscape

Know where your competitors are. Are they on The Big 3? Where aren’t they spending their media budget? Some areas may be easier (and cheaper) to get into if your competitors aren’t already exploring them. It’s a pay-to-play ecosystem: As Amazon Ad Console and DSP gain popularity, it becomes more expensive to use them. Make sure you spend strategically and competitively.
 

3. Test, test, test

Make testing part of your marketing budget. Take 5-10% of your budget and use it to start dabbling in one or two areas that are new for your brand. Once you have your standard foundation, you know what works for you and how to optimize it. But don’t get comfortable! Continue to identify different areas and different ways to acquire customers and keep them coming back for more. If you don’t, your brand growth can end up stagnant.

To sum it all up: Always be testing, always be learning, always be growing. Just make sure your team is aligned and your customer journey is front of mind.

How do you integrate Amazon into your media strategy? What are your biggest Amazon challenges? Let us know in the comments below!
 
 

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