Up Your Advertising Game with Amazon DSP
Since we live in the digital age, your day may include any – or all – of the following activities:
When you need to know the answer to a question, you ‘Google’ it. Google then stores your search inquiries to be more helpful in their predictive text during future searches.
You scroll through Facebook or Insta during your downtime and ‘Like’ (or love, or cry at, or whatever other emoji you click) a photo or an ad, and Facebook tracks your behavior to show more relevant ads and posts in the future.
And, when you are stuck at home during quarantine, looking for the next series to binge-watch on Netflix, they also utilize your past watching and browsing behaviors to improve their suggestions of what to watch next.
The common theme with all of these major services is that the more you interact with them, the more informed and accurate their customer profiles become. The more they collect data on you – and other customers in a similar audience as you – the more accurate their algorithms become.
Amazon also tracks user behavior, but to a whole new level.
And this information is a powerful tool marketers can leverage to further promote their brand both on – and off – Amazon platforms. To do this, sellers are utilizing DSP: Demand-Side Platform.
What is Amazon DSP and How Can it Benefit Me?
In essence, Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP) is a powerful media buying software service. Whether you are looking to place video ads on mobile devices or a banner ad on a popular blog, approved sellers are able to find new ways to reach their target audiences – by searching for advertising placement opportunities across the internet.
Two unique features make Amazon DSP stand out from other DSP services available:
- Ability to leverage Amazon’s exclusive purchase data to enhance your targeting options
- Automatic ad buying across thousands of websites
Using Amazon’s algorithm, you will be able to select the best ad spaces within your budget, on platforms and websites where your target audience tends to ‘hang out’ online. Since Amazon continues to get smarter and more accurate the more you use it, this level of informed targeting will lead to better ad placements, and more effective ads long-term which, in turn, makes scaling your business a whole lot easier.
How Well Does Amazon Know Your Customer?
Anyone who has ever advertised online knows that a lot of guessing is involved to reach potential new customers. But, when leveraging Amazon’s consumer behavior data, you are given six very specific targeting options which include:
- Behavioral: Helps you target people who have browsed items in your category in the last 30 days
- Contextual: This option allows you to show ads relevant to the site you are advertising on, rather than relying on information about the person viewing them
- Lifestyle: With this approach, you are showing ads to people who typically buy from specific categories or brands – perhaps even a competitor
- Remarketing: Want to re-attract people who have either purchased from you before or interacted with your ads in the past? This is the way to do so.
- Audience Lookalike: Since you already know what your current customers typically like, purchase, and interact with, why not target people who have the same interests? This option allows you to target potential customers whose interests are similar to your current customers.
- Advertiser Audience: Utilize a tracking pixel to leverage information from a brand’s data.
Amazon DSP takes some of the guesswork out of advertising.
However, this program is often confused with Sponsored Display, which was initially only focused on re-targeting your ads than expanding your current market.
Have you ever been looking for a product, but not purchased, and a few days later seen an ad for the same product while you are looking for something different? This is an example of a retargeting campaign.
It is literally an ad that ‘follows people around’ trying to bring them back to the sales page to purchase a product they had recently searched for, but didn’t buy.
DSP, on the other hand, is available to sellers with advertising budgets over 35k – not just on the Amazon platform – and takes potential customers to your website. This option is great for sellers that are ready to scale up their advertising efforts. However, sellers who are not able to access DSP still have the ability to target DSP placements within Amazon through the new product targeting capabilities for SD campaigns.
Yet another way to understand DSP is to think of brick and mortar stores.
If Amazon was one of these, Sponsored Display ads would be similar to placing popular items at eye level to catch the eye of the consumer – customers who are already in your store and aware of your brands. In contrast, DSP would be the advertising that is done outside of the store – radio spots, commercials, billboards, magazines, etc – in order to bring the attention of new potential customers to the store.
Advertising efforts on Amazon – or any other space for that matter – can fluctuate due to the ebb and flow of supply and demand – meaning that brands need to be flexible in their advertising strategies in an effort to find their way in an ever-changing world. However, according to a recent report from Clear Ads, DSP has seen significant growth since its inception in 2017, and now encompasses approximately 46% of all digital ad purchases. When compared to Google, whose performance has dropped to 33% in the same time period, it is safe to say the true value of Amazon DSP will continue to draw sellers to the platform.
When it comes to deciding if you are ready to up your advertising game via DSP – only you can decide. We’re not saying it’s your golden ticket to growing your business – in fact, some brands may not even be eligible for the program as you need to have a budget that allows for 35k in ad spend – or partner with an authorized agency partner to share the ad spend with other customers. But, if you are ready to up your Amazon advertising game, it is worth considering as part of your strategy going forward.