How to reach the ever-moving customer: examples from Amazon Ads

Amazon’s advertising business grew 19% last year, in stark contrast to slowdowns from Google and Meta. Here’s how a customer-centric attitude and 'test and learn' approach can help marketers get the most out of this growing platform.

No two customer journeys are the same, so how can advertisers ensure they reach customers in the right place, at the right time?  Phil Christer, Managing Director UK at Amazon Ads, explains in three steps how advertisers can engage ever-moving customers.

Connecting with consumers has never been more difficult for advertisers. Shoppers today are engaged with a growing number of advertising channels and formats, follow increasingly non-linear paths to purchase and have an average attention span of just eight seconds

So, what can brands and advertisers do to connect with consumers that are constantly on the move? 

Work backwards

At Amazon, we are customer obsessed. This means we start with the customer and work backwards from their challenges, innovating on their behalf, anticipating their needs and delivering products and experiences even before they realise they want or need them.

We encourage our advertisers to do the same and work with them to understand their customers. Many of our advertisers use Amazon audiences, which are informed by Amazon’s first-party shopping and streaming signals, to develop their audience strategy. Advertisers can choose from thousands of pre-built audience segments that can form part of their overall campaign and help them to engage with new and existing customers. 

It’s important brands also think about different types of ads, such video, display or audio, when working backwards. Interestingly, many advertisers are considering video advertising and we are supporting them by building out our suite of solutions that aim to simplify video advertising.  For example, late last year we launched Amazon creative services, which is a free to use service that allows advertisers to discover, compare, and book directly with trusted service providers for the creation of impactful videos and other creative assets. 

Test and Learn  

Once a campaign is live, we recommend adopting a test and learn approach. We are continuously testing, iterating, and optimising at Amazon, and believe that it is only through experimenting that marketers can understand what approach works best for their business. 

For example, after sales of HRA Pharma’s blister and cold sore treatment line Compeed started to shrink, Amazon Ads worked with the outsourced marketing business Ceuta Healthcare and eCommerce agency Channel Bakers to test a new advertising approach, after previously having success using sponsored ads to advertise Compeed’s products. 

Working alongside Amazon Ads account executives, Ceuta Healthcare and Channel Bakers tested using online video (OLV) campaigns coupled with Amazon DSP to reach relevant lifestyle and in-market Amazon audiences. This approach was informed by Channel Bakers using API access and strategic insight on Amazon DSP, working backwards from the customer and refining their strategy as they continued to test.

During this testing phase it became clear that the new approach, using OLV with Amazon DSP, was delivering both greater awareness of the Compeed brand and increased traffic to its product detail pages, compared to using sponsored ads. 

While the decision was made to adopt this new approach, the iterating and optimising didn’t stop there. Working with Channel Bakers, Ceuta Healthcare utilised Amazon DSP insights to make strategic decisions on consideration tactics that could be trialled through the shopping journey. For example, Ceuta Healthcare tested moving more spend to video ads on Fire tablets to engage on-the-go shoppers. 

Through continuously iterating and optimising throughout the course of the 10-month campaign, Channel Bakers and Ceuta Healthcare ultimately delivered a 54% increase in units sold compared to the previous campaign period, while new to brand sales made up 73% of sales volume

Don’t underestimate the importance of measurement

It is an obvious one, but don’t forget to measure campaign performance. Measurement can be a challenge, especially with the rapidly shifting consumer landscape, and significant changes in digital marketing. Yet with advertising budgets facing increasing scrutiny, it has never been more important.

Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) can help advertisers achieve a more detailed view of a campaign’s performance, helping them to improve effectiveness and maximise return on investment. AMC is our secure, privacy-safe and cloud-based clean room solution in which advertisers can easily perform analytics across pseudonymised signals, including Amazon Ads signals as well as their own inputs. Both brands and agencies can use AMC to guide decision-making and achieve their marketing goals.

By Phil Christer

Managing Director UK

Amazon Ads