At its unBoxed event in 2022, Amazon Ads announced a new Amazon Web Services (AWS) solution by way of subtle, yet impactful changes to the Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC). These changes include Sponsored Display signals, the ability to reach new and existing audiences with DSP – Amazon’s demand-side platform – and certified partnerships.
Already, the number of active AMC customers has quadrupled in the past year, a number that is a rightful result of the platform’s valuable offerings.
Sounds great, right? But what do these AMC upgrades really mean for Amazon sellers?
Maybe the biggest change to AMC, which will undoubtedly benefit advertisers in 2023, is the direct feedback sellers can get from their customers. That type of communication is, of course, always of high value in the marketing world, particularly as brands increasingly try to find new and better ways to connect with audiences.
But how exactly does it work for Amazon’s AMC? Adam Hutchinson, director of marketing at Pacvue explained this update in a blog by Amazon Ads, saying:
“AMC helps advertisers gain a clearer picture of the customer journey by answering meaningful and important questions around performance. Because AMC allows endless insight discovery, the Pacvue AMC Dashboard is a valuable starting point for the analytics that advertisers need to get a more robust picture of what is going on through the customer journey.”
Amazon’s Marketing Cloud also helps marketers by accurately measuring campaign performance. Increasingly more brands and agencies use AMC to obtain first-party data and build creative new ad tech capabilities unique to their business. We’ve seen that much in the quadrupling of AMC customers.
Tim Barnes, director of worldwide solutions for advertising and marketing technology at AWS, elaborated on AMC’s growth potential, saying, “Advertisers and agencies can use the solution to analyze datasets on advertising channels such as video, audio, display, and sponsored ads to gain a holistic and in-depth understanding of the customer journey.”
Amazon furthered the point about what AMC can be used for, and exactly how it helps sellers grow, noting that advertisers can use AMC insights on AWS to “run queries and monitor ongoing campaign performance across metrics such as reach and frequency, and dimensions including geographic area, audience segment, and device.”
For example, an advertiser could combine AMC API results from multiple brand campaigns through AWS, plus, “surface consumer segments that have a high propensity to purchase products, and prioritize high-performing segments for increased ad spending while reducing wasteful ad spending,” as explained on the AWS blog.
Altogether, these updates will guide advertisers and sellers, and help them to lead with data-based decision-making. The knowledge this solution provides will enable brands to decide which steps to take to achieve their marketing goals, and where to invest their marketing dollars, using highly specific first-party data from customizable queries.
With that overview of AMC, let’s get into more specifics of its updates, beginning with the much-touted Signal Coverage, and what is really means for advertisers.
The new Sponsored Display addition within Amazon Web Services gives advertisers a chance for higher visibility inside the total and incremental impact of different Amazon Ads formats.
In simpler terms, you get a lot more data regarding which ads work for your brand, and which ads don’t. This information is visible to you on a granular scale, as well as in the form of an overall "big picture."
So, you can see the impact your ads have on your day-to-day, and on your business as a whole. Sponsored Display will also provide more comprehensive cross-media attribution and a deeper understanding of the customer journey.
According to Amazon Ads, “Through an integration with Sizmek Ad Suite (beta), advertisers can build queries to analyze bidding efficacy, cross-publisher attribution, and total reach. Sponsored Brands signals will be added in early 2023." This change effectively allows advertisers to refine their investment strategy to optimize for the most profitable media mix.
If you’re a registered Amazon Marketing Cloud advertiser and you’re currently running Sponsored Display campaigns, you can begin to uncover a wide range of insights that could be what you need to reach your marketing goals.
But that’s not the end of the possibilities of AMC.
The second change brands will experience with AWS digital marketing is gaining the ability to create and manage Amazon DSP audiences. Now, Amazon Marketing Cloud can provide data on the performance of cross-channel media and complement Amazon DSP-reporting abilities. AMC includes Amazon Ads signals, as well as a seller’s own input, for a more holistic view across video, audio, display, and search campaign measurement, audience analysis, media optimization, and more.
This change “enables audience creation via an SQL statement, allowing for increased customization based on campaign goals and the ease of pushing these audiences directly into Amazon DSP for campaign activation,” according to Amazon Ads.
Here’s the best part: thanks to Amazon Web Services, sellers will now have more insight into what to tweak, and what to hone in on with digital marketing practices. This provides even more actionable and accurate insights for marketers, which alone makes the update quite a game-changer.
Perpetua ran a test case with apparel brand and client “Into the AM,” which found audiences were 16 times more likely to convert when they were reached by both Sponsored Products and Amazon DSP ads. In the end, Perpetua used that knowledge from AMC to create highly-specific campaigns for the growing brand.
Those new campaigns helped drive a 200% new-to-brand sales increase and a 49% increase in branded searches in the Amazon store. (Perpetua provided performance data, 2022, US).
“Certified partners are part of the Amazon Ads Partner Network and included in the partner directory, which makes it easy for advertisers to find potential partners based on their business needs,” according to this Amazon Ads blog.
Like those who are part of this network, agencies, software providers, system integrators, and tool providers will now have more opportunities to partner with brands and advertisers to help them optimize their business. This gives marketers the opportunity to validate proficiency in Amazon Ads products and solutions, boosts their resume, and increases business opportunities overall.
As an example, Essentia used analysis from AMC insights to double its on-Amazon customer base, driving a 69% increase in return on advertising spend in less than one year (OneStone provided performance data, 2022, US).
By now, you might be eager to get AMC and find out how this tool can start working for you. Well, according to AWS, it couldn’t be easier. Amazon Ads customers just need an API key and an AWS account, and can begin using the AWS Management Console or the AWS Solution Library all but immediately.
There are also zero licensing costs or fees to deploy the tools.
One thing to consider, however, is that, according to Amazon, “Advertisers need to have an executed Amazon DSP Master Service Agreement (MSA), planned campaigns or campaigns live in the last 28 days at Amazon DSP, and a technical resource familiar with SQL. For AMC API users, advertisers should also have an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account.”
The Amazon Marketing Cloud updates highlighted here will influence the way businesses use AWS for digital marketing in many ways, especially going into 2023.
For one, it will provide them with more partnering opportunities to connect with experts who can help them scale. It will also allow marketers validate Amazon Ads proficiency so they can increase business opportunities with Amazon brands that are ready to grow.
Overall, these AMC digital marketing changes will help Amazon Sellers analyze their business and marketing strategies on a much deeper level. Amazon Web Services will continue to empower brands and agencies alike by allowing them to leverage AMC’s functionality to guide decision-making and to help them achieve their marketing goals into 2023, and hopefully, for many years to come.
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