When it comes to Amazon Advertising, what’s old is new again

Nov 29, 2018 • Aaron Goldman

Well, Cyber Monday has come and gone. For Amazon, it was the biggest shopping day ever and the company sold 180 million products across the 5 day period beginning with Thanksgiving.

While these numbers are eye-popping, no one is really surprised by Amazon’s e-commerce growth. On the other hand, it seems like people are continually surprised by Amazon’s advertising growth.

A feature story in the Wall Street Journal by Lara O’Reilly and Laura Stevens ran this week under the banner: “Amazon, With Little Fanfare, Emerges as an Advertising Giant.” Some might say Amazon has been the sleeping giant of the media industry. But it’s not Amazon that was sleeping, it was the media

As reported in the WSJ, Amazon is now #3 in U.S. digital ad revenue behind Google and Facebook with 15% of all new budgets coming its way.Speaking of Google, much of the article reads as 2003 all over again with a swap out of Google for Amazon. In fact, let me find-and-replace that for you. (No to be confused with Let Me Google That For You.)

See what I mean?

“Meanwhile, the world’s biggest ad agencies are racing to become specialists in how [Google] wants to do business, which is unlike anything they’ve seen before.”

“Some advertisers say that [Google]—which has to balance the needs of big brands, ad agencies and smaller sellers—isn’t giving them anywhere near the support that [AOL] and [Yahoo] provide in the form of teams of researchers and others who help brands plan and execute ad campaigns.”

“[Google], however, can use its insights on shopping habits to help brands create messages that resonate the most with consumers, putting it ‘light years ahead of anyone else,’ he said.”

All seems quite familiar, right? Indeed, when it comes to Amazon Advertising, what’s old is new again. Or, rather, what’s new is Google again.

Just look at this graphic from the WSJ article showing an Amazon product search results page and pointing out all the paid placements.

WSJ - amazon product search wireframe
Source: WSJ

It’s reminiscent of this anatomy of a Google search results page – minus the snark – from Business Insider a few years back.

Business Insider - google search hierarchy
Source: Business Insider

So now that everyone is woke, it’s worth revisiting the Google playbook to see how brands can capitalize on the opportunities with Amazon Advertising.

Once again, the imperative is to apply advanced data science and marketing technology to your campaigns. Thankfully, the required solution is in Scope.

Now it’s time to give thanks for the rest of 4C’s Insights.

Get the rest of 4C’s Insights Volume 136 here.

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