Amazon Could Be a Contender in the Digital Ad Market
Facebook and Google, you’re on notice. Amazon has entered the advertising arena and in a big way. Unlike Facebook that has lots of user data, but less on their customer behavior and Google that relies on search terms to target consumers, Amazon’s prime competency is shopper data.
In other words, Amazon’s data is oriented toward product placement in a way that search and social can’t begin to match. And Amazon ads are only gaining momentum.
Amazon: The Shop That Has Everything
Unlike other ad platforms, Amazon’s influence begins and ends within its own properties.
But that’s ok because the $235 billion e-commerce arm of the retail giant is flush with customers primed to buy things. Unlike search, where users may actually be looking for instructions, help or ideas for using their new item, when someone searches for an item on Amazon, they’re definitely engaged in the buyer’s journey.
That’s why companies like Verizon and Geico are revving up their engines and investing more in Amazon ads this year. Gieco ran six times as many display ads in the first quarter of 2018 as it did in the first quarter of 2017. Verizon has also increased its year-over-year spend.
“They have people who are in a shopping mindset, so that’s valuable for Verizon to be seen as a resource within that mindset,” Verizon Chief Media Officer John Nitti told The New York Times.
A Safer, More Reliable Brand Experience?
Where Facebook can target a 35-year-old mother of two in Chicago, Amazon can take that a step further. Amazon knows if she’s been shopping for school shoes or office equipment and can then place a third-party ad in front of her when she’s trying to make a buying decision.
Then there’s brand safety. The unpleasant debacle last year that resulted in big advertisers appearing alongside hate speech and other highly offensive video content on YouTube is virtually impossible on Amazon or its other properties, such as Zappos or IMDB. The worst possible scenario for Coca-Cola is that they would appear on a page with Dr. Pepper, or worse, Sierra Mist.
What Amazon knows about its customers is far more valuable to other brands than search and social data, at the end of the day. Kellogg Company, for example, is shifting more money toward Amazon ads because the value of the data cannot be underestimated.
“We can reach the right consumer at the right time using their wealth of data to target,” Kellogg chief revenue and e-commerce officer Monica McGurk wrote in a statement to The New York Times. “Other traditional digital platforms do not have the level of purchase data that Amazon has on their customers.”