Google Dynamic Ads? Check. Facebook Video Ads? check, check. 

If you’re thinking your advertising mix is complete, think again because there’s a massive piece missing to the marketing puzzle: Amazon advertising and its full range of offerings, including programmatic. Fortunately, these missing pieces snap perfectly into place within your omnichannel marketing strategy.

According to the authors of The Amazon Jungle, “Facebook knows what you like, Google knows what you search, but Amazon knows what you buy.” 

And, at the end of the day, isn’t buying the name of the e-commerce game?

Here, we discuss the ins and out of one of Amazon’s most promising offerings, Amazon DSP–what it is, how to integrate it into your marketing mix, and the proven value of leveraging all it has to offer.

Why Amazon? Why Now?

It’s no surprise that the e-commerce giant is one to be reckoned with, for brands both big and small. And, it’s only growing mightier. According to research firm Cowen, the Amazon platform is set to make $17.6 billion from advertising this year, up 36% from 2019, and a staggering $46.6 billion by 2025. 

Amazon has the largest database of online shoppers in all stages of the customer journey across hundreds of shopping verticals. It’s the number one destination shoppers go to to conduct product research, compare prices, make purchases, and repurchase. 

What’s more, its wealth of first-party data is massive, and in a post iOS 14+ world where signal loss is making performance tracking increasingly more challenging, tapping into it is more essential than ever to gauge performance and successfully maximize ROAS.

If your brand is already running the basic Sponsored Ads on Amazon, you’re off to a great start. But an entire world of opportunity awaits with Amazon’s Demand Side Platform (DSP), which only continues to expand its features for advertisers since launching in 2018. 

Over the years, Amazon DSP has evolved exponentially to include invaluable offerings that take data insights, audience building, bidding strategies, and targeting to the next level in digital marketing. 

So, What Is Amazon DSP?

An impression-based display marketing platform, Amazon’s demand-side platform enables advertisers to programmatically buy display, video, and audio ads to promote their products, services, or brands essentially across the internet. 

With Amazon DSP, marketers are able to access exclusive audiences across both Amazon-owned sites, such as IMDB, and leading publishers’ sites by offering inventory from Amazon Publisher Services and third-party exchanges. 

Available to brands who sell products on Amazon and to those that do not, it allows them to tap into exclusive audiences to exponentially broaden their reach both on and off the site and target them much more broadly than your traditional paid search or PPC ads. 

Why Should Brands Incorporate Amazon DSP Into Their Advertising Mix?

There’s no doubt about it: Sponsored Ads should always be the first place where your brand invests money. However, there comes a point when you have fully maxed out on the on-platform demand. 

That’s where Amazon DSP comes in, as it allows you to scale toward outside audiences and contextual segments, such as lookalike, lifestyle, and in-market audience segments, both on and off Amazon.

In other words, it helps advertisers reach consumers far beyond those who are actively searching on-site, target them more broadly, and leverage Amazon’s rich first-party data to refine their marketing efforts at every stage of the sales funnel. 

With this enormous wealth of data, brands can drive top-of-funnel awareness through various audience segments, while pushing them further down the funnel to the consideration and purchase phases by using various methods of retargeting. 

For DTC brands, it can become increasingly more powerful if they are willing to upload their own first-party site data to create Amazon-matched lookalikes. 

How Should Brands Get Started With Amazon DSP?

As mentioned, once you have maximized all the other ad types, it’s time to rev up your Amazon advertising strategy. Amazon DSP should typically be layered into your Amazon advertising strategy when brands are spending, at minimum, $25-30K per month (depending on category). 

We suggest starting slow, with dynamically generated ads and figuring out which audiences and placements work best for you. At MuteSix, we recommend first executing lower-funnel retention strategies, such as product / brand remarketing, in order to provide a retargeting opportunity for advertisers to re-engage brand / product viewers.

Case in Point: Perfect Keto’s Amazon DSP Strategy That Skyrocketed ROAS 

Though already the leading Keto brand on the market, Perfect Keto came to MuteSix looking to increase subscriptions with existing purchasers and secure new-to-brand purchases because of how highly competitive this particular segment is. To accomplish these goals, Perfect Keto knew they needed to leverage Amazon’s first-party shopping behavior data, and they turned to the Amazon DSP strategists at MuteSix to accomplish that.

Prior to coming to MuteSix, Perfect Keto had not been engaging existing Amazon shoppers to build retention. The keto-friendly brand had also run DSP tests previously and saw less-than-optimal performance from an ad-attributed perspective. They were thus skeptical to duplicate a similar, low-performing strategy without leveraging new retention strategies.

With that in mind, MuteSix implemented a full-funnel test focused on one ASIN group, the Perfect Keto Collagen Powders. With the test, we were able to target purchasers, product viewers who had not purchased, competitors’ viewers, category viewers and a broad awareness audience of consumers interested in exercise and diet-related lifestyles. 

The primary goal was to engage consumers at every stage of the purchase cycle to build retention, while raising awareness to prospective consumers.

The full-funnel DSP strategy not only drove positive sales volume within lower-funnel tactics, but it also boosted discoverability with new consumers. In building customized segments to refine large, in-market segments, MuteSix was able to reduce cost and deliver YoY increases even when the category was seeing seasonal lows.

In terms of creative, MuteSix utilized two in particular: Dynamic E-commerce Ads (DEA) and Custom Images. DEA creatives were leveraged in lower-funnel tactics, as those graphics are more product-focused and depict discounts and star reviews. 

For our awareness strategy, we generated custom images to provide a more visual context of Perfect Keto’s value props for consumers who were in-the-market for similar products, but had not yet heard of Perfect Keto.

As a result of our full-funnel Amazon DSP efforts, Perfect Keto saw a whopping 52.94x ROAS for Retention Ads, 22x ROAS for Retargeting Ads, 2.8k+ purchases from new-to-brand consumers, and a 46% increase in detail page views.

Final Takeaway: There’s a Reason Amazon’s Demand-Side Platform Is So in Demand

The ability of Amazon DSP to so drastically increase ROAS for DTC brands like Perfect Keto is a testament to its impact, which, if executed strategically, can transform lesser-known brands into household names.

In Q1 2021, Amazon’s DSP saw tremendous growth as ad spend on the platform soared nearly 90% compared to the year prior. There’s no denying its potential and advertisers are catching on quickly.

While Facebook and Google are still the leaders in programmatic display advertising, Amazon DSP is encroaching quickly onto the changing programmatic landscape and should be part of every brand’s Amazon advertising strategy. This is thanks in large part to its exceptional targeting, capabilities, unparalleled reach across the web, and wealth of first-party data, which is growing increasingly essential in Apple’s iOS 14+’s privacy-first world. 

With Amazon DSP, self-service and managed service options are available. However, navigating the platform can be both difficult and time-consuming, and for optimal results, it’s smart you partner with an agency well-versed in the ever-evolving platform.

To see if your brand is ready for Amazon DSP and learn how you can best leverage it, reach out to the MuteSix Amazon Advertising experts today.