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Google and Facebook, Amazon is coming to eat your lunch

So far, Google and Facebook have enjoyed the lion’s share in digital advertising. However, Amazon’s foray into the advertising space through Amazon Marketing Services and Amazon Media Group (later rebranded as Amazon Advertising) has made it a powerful contender to challenge Google and Facebook’s duopoly.

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Amazon Marketing Services

Amazon is no longer just an e-commerce platform with guaranteed one-day deliveries. With 54 percent of product searches conducted on Amazon, it is clear that customers are using it as a product search engine. Now if we consider YouTube as part of Google, Amazon is currently the second-largest search engine in the world.

This has also resulted in the marketers reimagining digital advertising and evaluating the valuable real estate offered by Amazon for placing digital ads. So far, Google and Facebook have enjoyed the lion’s share in digital advertising. However, Amazon’s foray into the advertising space through Amazon Marketing Services and Amazon Media Group (later rebranded as Amazon Advertising) has made it a powerful contender to challenge Google and Facebook’s duopoly.

Although Amazon Advertising has barely scratched the surface, it is already a multi-billion dollar business that has generated USD 10 billion in revenue earlier this year. Once it goes all-in, it will be easy for Amazon to capture a big piece of the online advertising pie.

But what makes Amazon so special? As digital marketers, we know that targeting a captive audience within a specified demographic or segment can fetch significant returns on ad spends. So, the ability of Amazon to provide performance marketing outranks everything else.

The good news is that placing an ad on Amazon will not merely end with increased brand awareness, which is the case with Google or Facebook. You will be able to take the customer through the sales funnel, convert them, and make a sale. It also helps that unlike Google, Amazon is not fussed about the user search intent. It focuses on understanding the search query of a customer and shows them exactly those products, ranked on the basis of the probability of a sale.

Secondly, Amazon has access to an enormous pool of data from its millions of users across the globe. This gives Amazon a unique advantage of monetizing the data and targeting the right customers through personalized ads. While Google stores your search history and retargets ads on that basis, Amazon allows you to retarget advertisements that match the consumer’s purchase and search history perfectly.

Amazon also offers Advertiser Audiences for off-platform targeting by brands. An advertiser can use the audience data collected by Amazon as well as its own data about the customers to find new and lookalike customers. Since all the advertising is internal, there is no chance of losing the traffic either, generating more revenue for the advertiser whenever an advertisement is clicked or a completed purchase.

The cross-device marketing supported by Amazon allows advertisers to stay engaged with the same set of customers even when they switch between screens. This allows a cohesive consumer experience, and this is where Amazon Advertising gets a leg up.

You can also engage in different types of re-targetting through Amazon Advertising. For instance, a demographic and geographic targeting to reach a specific audience based on age, location, gender, and even the type of browser they are using.

Another advantage offered by Amazon is product targeting. Instead of just using keywords for targeting the sponsored ads, advertisers can now target a specific set of products or product categories for better product discovery. For instance, customers are actively browsing for sports shoes for home workouts. Amazon’s product targeting will make it easier for a shoe brand to target those customers and introduce them to the latest edition of their sports shoes.

You can apply the same strategy for targeting complementary goods. If you are selling artisanal coffee, targeting coffee makers is a great idea as a customer looking for a coffee maker is likely to be interested in your product.


Amazon advertising is here to stay:

It is now inevitable that Amazon Advertising will become part of all media plans. 41% of advertisers plan to spend 25% more on Amazon advertising than the previous six to twelve months while 22% want to increase the spendings to 25 to 50%. 10% of advertisers even expect the Amazon advertising budget to increase by 50% or more. 31% believe that the funds needed for Amazon advertising will come from non-digital advertising budgets, which gives us a clear indication of how powerful Amazon Advertising is going to be.

With predictions of raking in approximately $40 billion in annual ad revenue by 2023, Amazon Advertising is slated to become the next disruptor in the digital ad market. Placing ads on Amazon can help brands achieve greater operational efficiency and much better conversion rates. For brands that want to reduce the customer acquisition timeline, neglecting Amazon Advertising is no longer an option.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Inderjit Singh Matharu

Founder & Director of White Digital

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