Driving a Full-Funnel Ad Strategy with Amazon DSP

Apr 17, 2024 1:30 PM2:30 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Amazon DSP (demand side platform) allows advertisers to purchase digital ad inventory both on and off the Amazon platform, targeting consumers directly. A recent study revealed that 69% of programmatic buyers consider Amazon DSP as a top choice for adapting to the demise of third-party cookies. How can you leverage Amazon DSP to optimize first-party campaigns?

Amazon DSP allows you to leverage Amazon’s first-party data to target consumers through its directly owned and operated inventory, like streaming or connected TV ads. DSP campaigns support all stages of the marketing funnel, including brand awareness, product consideration, and retargeting. Optimizing these campaigns requires establishing detailed strategies, well-defined goals, and effective success measurements. To organize your first-party data, consider utilizing Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), which aggregates data from various sources to provide actionable insights. Additionally, you can integrate AMC with DSP campaigns to capitalize on hidden touchpoints.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant hosts Nicole Reich and Claire Stevens Nikolla of Blue Wheel to talk about utilizing Amazon DSP for full-funnel marketing campaigns. Together, they discuss typical use cases for AMC, how to use DSP for sponsored ads and creative campaigns, and how to structure DSP budgets. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What is Amazon DSP? 
  • The fundamentals of Amazon DSP — and how to launch effective campaigns
  • An overview of Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) 
  • Integrating AMC with DSP campaigns 
  • Additional use cases for AMC
  • Considerations for using DSP for sponsored ads and creative campaigns 
  • Common DSP mistakes
  • How to structure DSP budgets
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Event Partners

Blue Wheel

Blue Wheel is an omni-channel marketing and operational partner delivering excellence in digital commerce -- from click to ship. As a new breed of omni-channel agency, Blue Wheel supports brands from marketplace management to performance advertising, and creative services. With over $1B in revenue managed for our clients, we help brands from click to ship, scaling brand sales across D2C, Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and retail.

Connect with Blue Wheel

Guest Speaker

Claire Stevens LinkedIn

Account Executive, Customer Success at Blue Wheel

Claire Stevens Nikolla is the Associate Director of Amazon DSP at Blue Wheel. As an expert in the programmatic and digital advertising space, she was a Programmatic Platforms Manager at The Washington Post, where she managed supply-side platforms and SSPs. Claire also managed Amazon’s internal advertising campaigns through DSP.

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Nicole Reich LinkedIn

VP of Sales & Marketing at Blue Wheel (Formerly Retail Bloom)

Nicole Reich is the Chief Growth Officer at Blue Wheel, which merged with Retail Bloom to deliver end-to-end DTC, eCommerce, and marketplace solutions. Nicole strives to guide eCommerce success by working closely with manufacturers and partners and offering a full-service array of marketing solutions.

Event Moderator

Claire Stevens LinkedIn

Account Executive, Customer Success at Blue Wheel

Claire Stevens Nikolla is the Associate Director of Amazon DSP at Blue Wheel. As an expert in the programmatic and digital advertising space, she was a Programmatic Platforms Manager at The Washington Post, where she managed supply-side platforms and SSPs. Claire also managed Amazon’s internal advertising campaigns through DSP.

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Nicole Reich LinkedIn

VP of Sales & Marketing at Blue Wheel (Formerly Retail Bloom)

Nicole Reich is the Chief Growth Officer at Blue Wheel, which merged with Retail Bloom to deliver end-to-end DTC, eCommerce, and marketplace solutions. Nicole strives to guide eCommerce success by working closely with manufacturers and partners and offering a full-service array of marketing solutions.

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant 0:18
Happy Wednesday, everybody, my name is Aaron. I'm co founder, chief digital strategist here at BWG Connect, we're a giant networking knowledge sharing group group, I kicked it off seven years ago just out of the need to talk with other brands on a daily basis of what was going on, to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it was that was shaping digital at the time. And that was everything from direct to consumer to Amazon to international expansion. And my thought is, there are a lot of people out there that love conversations like this. So I spend the majority of my time talking to brands 20 to 30, a week up every vertical. And of all sizes, just to stay on top of those trends down when the same topics come up over and over again, we host an event like this, we also do a lot of in person events. And so a lot of those that we do are going to be 100 of them across the country this year. If you're in the New York City area 514, we're going to have an event, as well, just a full day where we dive through a bunch of stuff. But the other thing we do when we're looking for those topics is we're also constantly polling the network on Hey, who are the smartest people out there? Who are the people you're using to help solve those problems when the same people come up over and over again. That's why we invite to host along with us these these events that we do both the online as well as in person. Anybody wants a complete rundown on everything we do and things are upcoming shoot me an email, Aaron Aaron@bwgconnect.com. Hit me up on LinkedIn. Love those conversations and more than happy to make connections with anybody that's on the line today. This topic of Amazon DSP is, I would say, really caught on over the past eight to nine months, people were dabbling in it, people knew they had to use it all of a sudden, every caught on with everybody. Wow, this can really, really drive. You know, filling the funnel, top of the funnel bottom of the funnel. And so a lot of questions around strategy, and what does it look like? And we've got some great friends, partners supporters, the network over at Blue Wheel, they have been for years consistently at the top of the list when it comes to Hey, who's great smart people helping a lot of brands out. And so we asked them if they would jump on and help explain to some of the the network what they're doing in this space. Nicole, you've been a great friend for so long now, you know in eCommerce years, but I'll kick it over to you if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and Blue Wheel. That would be awesome that we can declare and then we'll jump into some of the info. Sounds good?

Nicole Reich 2:52
Awesome. Yeah. Thanks there. Yeah. To speak to the friendship side. I was just thinking about it. I've been in the Amazon side of the business for almost 10 years now. And Aaron, I think we initially met in 2018, which is seems like a really, really long time ago. Crazy. Yes,

Aaron Conant 3:10
in e-comm years, they're almost like dog years, right?

Nicole Reich 3:13
Yeah. And even I think this picture was taken in 2000 2018. So give me another year, and I'm sure there'll be plenty more gray hairs. How about that? Well, anyways, thank you. Thank you for having us today. Thanks for joining everyone in the audience. as Aaron mentioned, I'm Nicole Reich shimmer treat Chief Revenue Officer at Blue Wheel, have been in the e-comm side of the business for at least for minimum 10 years. I'll give you a quick overview of Blue Wheel and what we do. But before I get to that, Claire I'll pass it to you to introduce yourself as well.

Claire Stevens 3:46
Great, thanks to call. Yeah, hi, everyone. I'm Claire Stevens, the Associate Director of Amazon DSP at Blue Wheel. I have over a decade of experience in digital advertising. I've focused on programmatic advertising, specifically for the past six years. My journey began in programmatic at the Washington Post. And prior to joining Blue Wheel, I was at Amazon managing their internal advertising budgets through Amazon's DSP. So excited to dive into this discussion today.

Aaron Conant 4:17
Really quick, before we jump in, I just want to remind everybody, if you have questions along the way, drop them into the chat, drop them into the q&a, email them to me, we want to get as many answered real time as possible. And when you drop them in there, we're not going to like jump out and you know, say your entire name if there's like, Hey, I don't know if I want to ask this or not. We'll just read them as they jump in. So feel free to kind of anonymously drop them in there.

Nicole Reich 4:44
Great. So quick. 15 seconds on Blue Wheel, weird omni channel agency. We support brands through both marketplace. One p three P on Amazon, Walmart, eBay, both us internationally, as well as being performance marketing today. Show agency for all things DSP, social, and influencer. So today we manage over a billion dollars in revenue for our clients. And we like to think that our services range from click to ship, the click side being front end driving strategy driving, new customers driving the flywheel on both Amazon and on DTC. And then the two shifts, that would be more so of the operational backend. So whether that be your Shopify account, your Tiktok, your social or even on the Amazon side, your three P or one P account, supporting brands with catalog management, fulfillment, inventory, customer service, and brand protection. So for today, as you know, as Aaron and Claire mentioned, we're really going to be digging into what we consider a part of our omni channel advertising strategies and even more specifically into DSP. Just some quick logos again, we work from with brands of of all sizes, enterprise publicly traded down to medium small to medium sized businesses. And then our categories really range as well. All of the products that we work with are very consumer focused, some DSP, maybe not, but for the most part, if it's sold on Amazon, we support the brands that are that are there. As for an agenda for today, we're going to be talking about driving a full funnel ad strategy with Amazon DSP, breaking it down into four different pieces. The first one just being Amazon DSP, fundamental fundamentals, just given the foundation of what is DSP? Why is it important? Why is it everyone talking about it right now, beyond that, if it's not DSP, very close behind is AMC, right? So providing a little one on one on Amazon Marketing Cloud, thinking about some tactical pieces of how to bring these together the things that we've learned over the last couple of years of running these campaigns for our brands. And then lastly, we want to close it out with bringing AMC and DSP together with one of our case studies, we work with a brand called area they're not they're the number one Western boot brand on Amazon and on other channels. And we've had lots of success in q4 and q1 of this year through DSP and AMC and just want to bring it all together to give you an idea of of what it looks like from the brand side. So with that Claire, I'll pass

Claire Stevens 7:16
it back to you. Great, thank you. All right. So, fundamentals of Amazon DSP, to kick things off. What is Amazon DSP? Well, programmatic advertising put simply is the process of buying and selling ad space via digital automation. And we can go to the next slide to the DSP or demand side platform is the tool where advertisers or agencies can do this. So what is an Amazon DSP specifically, it's Amazon's demand side platform, which again, allows advertisers or agencies on behalf of advertisers to buy digital ad inventory in real time to reach Amazon's consumers, both on and off Amazon properties. These ad types can include in stream or out stream online video ads, streaming TV ads on connected TV or mobile devices, display ads on desktop, mobile, mobile apps, and audio ads on podcast or music service providers, such as Spotify. Now, I just want to touch briefly on the anatomy of DSP campaigns. Amazon DSP campaigns are set up in a different platform than a brand's vendor or seller central account. And we can run Amazon DSP campaigns for brands who sell on Amazon, and who don't sell on Amazon. More on that in a minute. In addition, when setting up DSP campaigns, the nomenclature is unique. The campaigns are set up in what's called an order. An order is where we define budgets, flights and goals. Within each order, we set up line items which are truly the heart of the execution. line items include the inventory we want to run on. So either on Amazon's owned and operated properties, or externally on the greater web, the by type the audiences we want to target specific devices or geo targeting, and the creatives displayed when the ad is served. There are plenty more targeting capabilities that I could go into. But really the key to success when setting up Amazon DSP campaigns is granular breakout during line item setup. If you bundle all those different supply options or audiences into one line item, and each audience performs very differently, then you lose that ability to optimize, you lose the ability to baby paws what isn't working. So why Amazon DSP? There are definitely plenty of similarities between running your programmatic advertising strategy through Amazon versus other DSPs. These can include a single DSP interface, the ability to apply audiences to reach your ideal customer, the ability to use custom creatives. And most DSP platforms do offer some sort of exclusive supply, but for the differences as well Many of you may know the impending deprecation of third party cookies in Chrome presents a challenge for digital advertisers. However, Amazon with its substantial subscriber base and first party data across eCommerce and streaming service actually stands to benefit. Unlike its counterparts, Google and meta, Amazon's wealth of consumer data is linked to actual purchase behavior, making it exceptionally valuable for advertisers seeking actionable insights. While Google's well Google's data relies primarily on search results, and metas data is centered around social media activity. Both platforms can lack direct correlation with buying behavior. Amazon's ecosystem provides a distinct privacy advantage since everything consumers purchase and view is contained within their app. Amazon is also actively developing. It's a private proprietary identifier, which will integrate publishers first party contextual data with Amazon's retail data in a privacy safe way. And in addition to the ability to leverage Amazon's first party data for targeting which is definitely the prime differentiator. Amazon DSP is also the only way to access their owned and operated supply which includes Amazon retail sites, IMDb, streaming ads on Prime Video, freebie, Thursday night football, audio ads on Alexa devices and ads on Twitch which has a very unique audience that's hard to reach through other mediums. And I assume they will just continue to grow those those publisher offerings as well. To back up a little what I was mentioning on you know, just that the the cookie, a recent survey study revealed that 69% of programmatic buyers consider Amazon DSP as a top choice for adapting to that shift away from the third party cookie. Okay, cool. So jumping into campaign tights on Amazon DSP. So a common misconception we've encountered is the belief that you must sell on Amazon to utilize Amazon DSP ad campaigns. And that's not the case. Like other programmatic DSP platforms, you can leverage Amazon DSP, whether you aim to drive ad traffic to Amazon, or elsewhere. This is referred to either as a link in where the ad directs to an Amazon product detail page or brand store, or link out where the ad links to a direct to consumer website. We've collaborated with brands with various objectives, some solely aiming to drive traffic to Amazon, others focusing solely on their DTC site, and some pursuing both goals. By adding what's called an Amazon add tag to a DTC site. We can also track conversions from those Amazon DSP ads to DTC websites, and we can create audiences based on DTC website visitors. These audiences can then be utilized for positive retargeting, or excluded to target users who haven't visited a brand's site yet and to way to grow your new brand. When considering the marketing funnel, Amazon DSP ad X can effectively cover all stages, we can utilize awareness campaigns to showcase a brand through custom display, video or streaming as consideration campaigns can target users interested in similar items but haven't yet made a purchase. Additionally, conversion campaigns can be deployed to target those on the verge of converting whether it's retargeting users who've viewed a product detail page, or a competitor's page but didn't purchase or in a link out scenario visited the brands website. In terms of strategy, Amazon DSP can play a vital role in helping brands connect with customers through their entire path to purchase ultimately driving more valuable conversions. orders or campaigns should be tailored with various strategies and goals in mind. In the upper funnel scenario, for instance, if you're running an awareness campaign, the key performance indicator or KPI to track would be unique reach. If the aim is to build consideration for products, then KPIs could range from click through rates detail page rewrite. Then in the lower funnel situation where the focus is on driving conversions, KPIs would include return on adspend or cost per action, such as an app install. So to recap, Amazon DSP campaign strategy really hinges on some key factors and that's detailed setup, well defined goals, continuous audience exploration and effective measurement practices.

Aaron Conant 14:35
So really quick, I want to jump in just from the things I've been hearing from brands, but if I'm looking back like even a year ago, there's this consensus that there was so much inventory, you know, at lower level by a bottom of the funnel, right? almost entire budgets were being dumped into there. It was pretty crazy because you get so specific. Are you seeing that At become saturated, and therefore you see more top and middle funnel mid funnel.

Claire Stevens 15:07
Yeah, not necessarily, I mean, really these audiences, and we're going to talk a little bit about the AMC audiences, too, that can get really granular. These audiences can retarget, you know, across the entire web, and you can really narrow it down to make sure that on the converting level, you are going towards a pool that's, you know, really interested in your products. But I think using the upper funnel, and like streaming TV, and as you know, new awareness, plays come out on the DSP, I think they're extremely important to build that lower funnel as well. So a lot of the times when we are running that upper funnel situate scenario, we are excluding any of those users who have already, you know, already purchased from a brand in the past 365 days to build out that lower funnel, and then do your point to make sure that lower funnel isn't just mass, really, you know, using targeting to our advantage and narrowing it down. And again, we'll talk some about this. But there are some very granular ways to target with Amazon Marketing Cloud, and it's just really advanced with what how we can put that on our DSP campaigns. Yeah.

Aaron Conant 16:16
And one of the the comments that comes in here on the chat, which really, I think, is things we're probably going to get to the low hanging fruit, like best practices, you know, leveraging the marketing cloud, how are brands doing it? Or is it essentially, you're just agencies doing it today in their clean room? Do customer acquisition that then obviously, any Watch out? So? Yeah, we're coming through. And my guess is we're going to kind of tackle that as we go. But I wanted to make sure that I highlight those as so everybody knows it's listening in.

Claire Stevens 16:48
Yeah, no, thanks for highlighting that. And we'll definitely tackle that. And I'll keep that in mind when we get to the Amazon Marketing Cloud section to just make sure we circle back on that question. Great. This, again, is just one more thing I wanted to say as part of the DSP fundamentals is, you know, the reporting capabilities of Amazon DSP are highly advanced. And we can track a variety of different KPIs as referenced in the last slide on the different portions of the funnel. But while running upper funnel campaigns on Amazon DSP, we also highly recommend setting up a Amazon brand list study. These are currently complimentary on Amazon, or on the DSP, and it's an excellent efficient method of measuring ad effectiveness success, especially for those upper funnel campaigns. The study targets users enrolled in what's called the Amazon shopping panel. Participants are divided into two groups, those exposed to the ad and those in the control group who didn't see that customized questions are then presented to both groups. On the slide here, you will see some of the examples of questions that can be tailored to your brand. And typically results results are available approximately two weeks after the study is launched. So we can use these insights. In practice while the campaigns are live. You or your agency can review those results informed decisions regarding targeting creatives and or potentially increasing emphasis on brand awareness initiatives. So just something cool to to know about. Or ask about. Gong Well, I'm happy to jump into the fundamental Amazon Marketing Cloud Next. But are there any other questions just on the fundamentals of DSP, we'll obviously bring this all back together when we talk the DSP, about DSP, more within Amazon Marketing Cloud and beyond. Nope, just this, those kind of for that kind of highlight that were in there, but I think we're gonna tackle them as we go. Yep. And others. If you have specific ones as we dive into here, drop them in, we'll try and get as many answered as possible. Perfect, cool. So we discussed the measurement and audience capabilities offered by Amazon's DSP interface, but kind of like kind of like I mentioned, this really just scratches the surface of the insights accessible through Amazon Marketing Cloud. Amazon Marketing Cloud, or AMC for short, is a privacy safe, cloud based data cleanroom solution. For those unfamiliar you can think of a data clean room as a secure place where you merge different datasets, and then run a query to event identify which unique users are present across multiple datasets. So to recap, a data clean room aggregates data from various sources, and the combined output is often more valuable than the individual data set alone. With AMC, Amazon serves as both the data cleaner and hosts and one of the data providers. Advertisers can explore unique measurement questions across their Amazon DSP campaigns, Amazon search campaigns and or you can upload their own data to gain actionable insights and develop custom audiences for campaign activations all well. Safeguarding customer privacy is the clear

Nicole Reich 19:59
question there. So what You're thinking about the other data that can be uploaded, for example, that's what like Shopify transaction orders, right? Or insights from non Amazon one p three p three P data sources to bring them together. Is that correct?

Claire Stevens 20:15
Correct? Yes. If you have a CRM for from the subscribers or people who have purchased from your DTC website, then you could go ahead and upload that to AMC and see how those overlap as well. Oh, yeah. And it's, it is a cleanroom. Because you can't actually go into AMC and look at any one individual like, I can't go and see what Nicole's phone number isn't necessarily, but I could potentially see all the people who live in Detroit. So you can build cohorts of users and audiences. If you're running Amazon DSP campaigns, alongside Amazon search ads, or independently, it really is crucial to have this AMC instance setup so that the system can start to collect the data, so that you and your agency can use this data to inform future marketing strategies. We've looked at the Amazon advertising funnel earlier as part of our DSP fundamentals review. But when utilizing Amazon Marketing Cloud, with a sponsored ads and DSP Overlap report or a path to conversion report, we can really understand the relationship between these two advertising channels. So all this advertising data is already included. That's the point where I was saying where the Amazon portion that will already be included, whether you're, you need to be running on DSP as of right now, but you would include your DSP, CF, CF ID, which is an advertiser ID, and your sponsored ads, ID, if you had multiple between a vendor and a seller account, you can include multiple, and then be able to run these queries or these reports within Amazon Marketing Cloud.

Nicole Reich 21:53
Yeah, I think that's a really important piece that you mentioned there, especially with brands consider, you know, maybe one P, they've got a massive business there, right, they potentially want your seller account when they launched a seller account, they get a new Amazon ads account, right? Right. Find a lot of times when we're auditing other accounts that then you've got two campaigns running in two different locations that actually compete against each other, right? That's always an issue within one p and three P. But then on top of that, you never really get to see how those work together in a meaningful way from a customer journey perspective, right? So not only are you bringing those two together, or however many vendor codes or Amazon accounts you have, right, you're then partnering that with the DSP side.

Claire Stevens 22:34
Exactly. Yeah, we're doing that right now for some brands that are both on one p three P and running DSP. So we can actually see all of that together, not just one or the other. Right? Okay. It's kind of visualizing this, you consider a shopper browsing on Amazon. Each interaction they have with ads represents a touch point in their journey. For instance, they might first see a streaming TV ad via DSP, then a counter a DSP display ad, followed by a sponsored brand ad and finally engage with a sponsored product at perhaps they even add a product to their cart before making a purchase. Without Amazon Marketing Cloud brands remain unaware of these touchpoints or actions there's like a gap between understanding upper funnel performance and lower funnel conversions. With AMC, we can measure cross channel impact by running an overlap report, we can measure the effect of combining multiple ad types or what these ad types are doing on their own. Additionally, a patsak conversion report reveals the sequential touchpoints customer took the frequency of these paths and the performance. Typically the path to conversion reports that we run for our brands. Indicate that DSP, awareness or DSP consideration campaigns as the initial touch point for consumers with the highest conversion rates regarding attribution insights, well, AMS or DSP reporting attributes conversions to the most recent touch, or last touch within a 14 day look back window. In this example, the sponsored product ad would get the credit. But AMC data shows that all those sponsored products might have a higher return on adspend. Conversion and purchase purchase rates increase, notably when the customers encounter multiple ad types. Another vital use case and kind of to the question you guys were asking to for AMC is audience learning and creation, we can run exploratory queries to find out how many people have added product to their cart. And then we can generate audiences of users who added products to their cart but didn't purchase or those who clicked on a sponsored product ad but didn't convert or star saw streaming TV ad but didn't see a display at these audiences can then be targeted through Amazon DSP. In my testing for some of our brands, custom audiences created an MC have quickly become top performers in driving lower funnel conversions. And then to Shawn's question, I believe to a little more onto that. There's another report that we've pulled in AMC, it's called the gateway asin report. So this would report on if you had, what what asin really brought in new to brand customers. And then on the reverse side, we can see what asin is constantly getting repurchased. So with that lifetime value, we've purchasable product, we can retarget to people in a different way than we would potentially retarget to people where they're coming into this gateway new to brand ace, and we would, you know, exclude their other purchases, because we know that people come in as a first time buyer of our brand with this with this ace, and when we well, they'll they'll purchase this other one multiple times. So we will retarget to the users who are frequent purchasers. So definitely some ways to kind of pull insights. So it's one of the ways that we pull insights and action on the different audiences that we can build based off of that.

Aaron Conant 25:55
So really quickly, a couple questions. One comes in, how can I set up the Brand Lift study with Amazon?

Claire Stevens 26:02
Yeah, so that brandless study with Amazon is set up directly in Amazon DSP. It is the only stipulation to it. And it is complimentary, but you technically have to have 25k worth of spend on a campaign, but that campaign could be 25k through the end of the year, technically. So if you've ever 25k awareness or consideration campaign, reach out to your agency reach out to Amazon, whoever happened to be working with see about running an Amazon brand list study, they can set this up, they'll they can send you all the different questions that you can include, you can include, I want to say is four total questions per study. There's obviously six categories here, you can even use some of the questions twice, if there's, they kind of differ once you see the different options of awareness, examples and preference examples and such. But yeah, then your agency or if you're doing this directly yourself in the DSP, you should be able to set this up, and the results will come back in two weeks. And if they're really helpful, they'll they'll show you whether it's statistically significant first, if they actually feel they believe that the ad was what drove the result. And then it comes in like different bar graphs, you can see breakdowns, by age, by demographic by device by, you know, ad type. So there's a lot of interesting insights that come out of that brand list study. And I totally recommend doing it if you if you're already running with DSP. Awesome.

Aaron Conant 27:38
So the other one is more of a scenario, which is, am I able to take the customers data from my direct to consumer website, upload them into AMC, and then retarget a look alike, but not target them? Yeah, drive traffic back to my direct to consumer site. So essentially, do a look alike shopper on Amazon, but don't target those people that but only target new customers to drive back to my direct consumer site? Yes, absolutely.

Claire Stevens 28:09
It's important to know that you can targeting goes both ways. You can create those look alike targeting based off of your DTC visitors, and then exclude that look alike on whatever campaign that you were moving forward as well. That's awesome. Yeah, so in addition to the audiences mentioned earlier, there's a beta opportunity in AMC called high value audiences. While still in the early stages, it's really a convenient tool for quickly building audiences without the need for SQL queries. So these audiences are based on different percentiles of total spend for a brand or product. One of the exciting new features in this beta is the ability to target a brand's top purchasers from last year's Prime Day or cyber week. So this allows brands to reengage these high value customers during upcoming events such as Prime Day this year tapping into their loyalty and likely to take advantage of those deals. Cool, so that was my section on AMC. Did I answer those questions? It's definitely some more that we're gonna go through in the tactical tips, but let me know if there's anything else that came up.

Aaron Conant 29:23
Yeah, if you have questions, drop them in there and we'll get them answered. I don't have any dropping in right now. Great.

Claire Stevens 29:30
Cool. So DSP for sponsored ads. You know, I wanted to highlight some differences between DSP sponsored while there are more similarities and differences to explore than our than our right here. And but our our recommendation really is based on Amazon Marketing Cloud Data is to utilize all these ad types together if you are a seller on Amazon, but here are a few points to consider. By box limitations sponsored ads face challenges when not winning the buy box but with Amazon DSP. Ads continue to run unaffected. However, it's easy to pause DSP activity if there are issues with inventory or rogue sellers or anything like that as well. Keywords versus audiences so, high level sponsored ads target users based on what keywords or products they have searched or while Amazon DSP target specific audience profiles matching your ideal customer. Having said that, we can also create asin or competitor ace and retargeting audiences directly in Amazon DSP. And with AMC, we can pull reports to identify top converting keywords from sponsored ad campaigns, and then create DSP audiences targeting users on or off Amazon, who search those keywords but haven't made it purchased dachas Amazon sellers. We touched on this already but yeah, Amazon DSP is valuable for both brands selling on Amazon and those who aren't. And then creative capabilities. We haven't talked much about creative yet. My next slide is on the different creative types and Amazon DSP, but they offer auto generative creatives based on ace in detail, similar to sponsored display ads. And then on top of that is the custom creatives to align with a brand's look and feel. So to jump into the different creative types. When it comes to creative on DSP on the left hand side, you'll find a basic auto Gen an option not known as responsive eCommerce or rec for sure, when using rec, we would suggest still customizing it. So in the next two examples, you notice how the creative has been personalized with a logo, and then a clear product image for the one on the left, and a custom image for the one on the right. Additionally, we can incorporate a unique headline or include a real review from Amazon in an RDC variation. The fourth image from the left display is a sample of a custom creative so these are suitable for both desktop and mobile platforms. We think custom is definitely a good idea when you're doing more of the brand awareness consideration campaigns. And these custom images can feature you know additional messaging or specific branding elements for your average our advertisers. Our AC is quicker to set up especially if custom images are not readily available. And they do fulfill form really well for our conversion campaigns. Because you can imagine people have already shopped for the product they might have added into the cart, then they see an Amazon looking feel and they might be reminded to go back but not the same necessarily for someone you want to bring in new to brand that's kind of where you might want to showcase your your branding elements. Also, if a brand is interested in incorporating video, we can set up online video campaigns or streaming TV campaigns focusing more upper funnel but with creatives it's similar to how you know we're setting up the line items I would suggest running multiple variations because this really enables you to optimize creatives based on real time performance data. And then, I think my next slide, let's talk about some of the DSP mistakes that I've seen. So come across quite a few of these, set it and starting to set it forget it mentality. Well Amazon DSP offers features like auto optimization to simplify campaign setup. Relying solely on these I've seen can actually hurt performance. Manual optimizations on DSP are really crucial to ensure spending is allocated to the audience or supply that is driving the most efficiencies. Lack of granular breakouts. Oftentimes, campaigns are set up by lumping together numerous different audiences on one line item making it challenging to optimize effectively breaking out line items by different supply, Amazon properties verse, the wider web, and audiences enables better monitoring and optimization for example, separating audience such as customers who are in market, this is what de Amazon deems like, potentially going to buy in 30 days in market for shampoo versus reaching people. Beauty salon owners allows for more targeted adjustments based on where we're seeing the best performance maybe we're not seeing good performance on those that are in market for shampoo, but great performance of beauty salon owners. Yeah, see what I'm saying we can kind of pause and see what works and test something new. I'm ignoring Adebowale opportunities. So collaborating with Amazon is essential here. You know our team, we meet with our rep weekly and they frequently introduce new incentives to encourage testing of new ad types. Currently, there are multiple sensitives available for brands interested explore exploring Amazon's Prime Video Ads. And then lastly, under utilizing Amazon Marketing Cloud, setting up AMC instances is included. It's free for brands running Amazon DSP, there really is no reason that you should not have an AMC instance setup for your brand for data collection, which is becoming increasingly vital. As the cookie Democrats, first party data gathered through AMC is truly invaluable for insights and audience creation. So definitely recommend making sure that you have that up set up. If you are running Amazon DSP, really

Aaron Conant 35:12
quick, is there a minimum threshold that you would recommend? is a question that comes in so this isn't, like the minimum threshold that DSP would have had, or the you know, the platform would have, but that you would actually recommend, like, you know, I think it's a great question do like a 50 can even though the minimum is 25, but I have to hit 50, or 100, or it's not worth it.

Claire Stevens 35:38
Um, yeah, I think it can be worth it. I mean, we try to say around 10k per month, you know, if you are working with Amazon, they require about 50k per month, but we have brands that you know, will go lower and certain downtimes, I just think in that situation, targeting is even more important. So if you, you know, we have a brand that sells sprinklers, right. So in in the winter, they want to stay on, they have an always on strategy, they don't want to spend as much because people aren't buying sprinklers in the winter, but maybe they are in Florida, or Texas or somewhere hot. So in that case, you know, we can tailor the campaigns to a smaller budget by targeting by more efficient targeting. But ultimately, we do recommend around 10k a month, there's just so many opportunities, or more, if you want, if you want to do more brand awareness, that's where you know, you can see your budget kind of go out really quickly. So I mean, obviously it will pace evenly. But you know what I'm saying if you want to do some more of those brand awareness plays, that's where you want to grow that budget out a little bit more. But if you have a smaller budget, and you're really just interested in that retargeting, then it's really important to make sure that you're just using targeting to its best ability.

Aaron Conant 36:50
So this is jumping in. We had two more questions. Yeah, jump in, please. So yeah, I

Nicole Reich 36:55
think it's important at this, maybe this is the good time to share. But when we're working with brands on DSP, we're working with a different, usually a different person within the organization. So for sponsored ads, for example, and it is changing. But if you go back 10 years, right? Those budgets were really like as a percentage of the sales, right? And it was managed by the sales team to basically Hey, I'll spend more if I were to turn more, right. And I don't want to simplify Amazon ads, because they obviously need to be managed. But with DSP, it's much different, it is way more technical, it deserves more of a marketing experience is truly advertisers, right? It's not just lower funnel bidding on brand names. And because of it, like especially if you go to one or maybe even two, you can spend a lot of money very quickly if it's not under control. And I think what if I'm on the brand side, when you're thinking about going into Amazon ads, and DSP think of them separately, and especially because of the dollars that are associated to DSP cams, make sure that whoever is running them very much understands the difference between programmatic and ads, right? Because it can, it can blow up in your face. A lot of brands we talk to our, you know, they have a lot of bad taste in their mouth. Like what we ran it for 90 days, and we spent 30 grand a month we never saw return. It's like when you're doing this the right way. We see a huge lift in conversion, but it it requires different resources and a different skill set.

Aaron Conant 38:26
Yeah, I mean, so. I'm gonna before Chris, before I get to yours about balancing then, where do you see the budget coming from is another question that pops up? Yeah.

Nicole Reich 38:36
Right. Most of the time, it's from the the brand teams or the marketing teams, the DSP budgets aren't coming from the sales teams, maybe that's e-comm. It depends on how the the brand is set up. But most of the time these these budgets are coming from other programmatic placements, right, that maybe aren't as effective and they're repurposing those dollars, or it's coming from more traditional advertising avenues. Maybe it's off, you know, it's not even e-comm related, but it's coming from that type of marketing budget versus coming from the traditional Amazon ads budget.

Aaron Conant 39:10
Right. And I totally agree with you on where it's coming from and how it's being used. And then what are the answers that come out the other end, right? Because if you're at a very low funnel, highly targeted and you're doing a brand awareness campaign, you're not going to get the conversions, fuel ROI that didn't convert, well. Yeah, did brand awareness, you weren't driving traffic. You weren't actually trying to treat his performance marketing campaign. The next thing that comes up, how are you balancing Amazon PPC and DSP budgets for brands currently? Great question, Chris. Yeah, I

Nicole Reich 39:42
think it depends. I've claro I'll try and then please correct me if I'm wrong, but it really depends on first the budget that they have and if they are making the most out of this, the Amazon ads budget first, right. So Aaron, you mentioned this earlier before you go into DSP want to be maximized. I think the sponsored ads budget beyond that, then you start going more upper funnel and less, you know, unless we're working with the marketing team that has completely different goals. In general, I would say right now a lot of our brands are probably doing like 6040 60% sponsored ads 40% DSP, unless we're running certain campaigns like a Thursday night football, right, and that budget is coming from a different place. Yeah. One other thing that I would say and I think answers some of the well, it is related to some of the questions I want to go back to here. And Aaron, you mentioned this of like, well, maybe brands don't have to do DSP, because there's just so much inventory and sponsored product ads. I would say that that maybe was the case a couple years ago, but not so much the case. Now, yes, sponsored ads is more lower funnel, right, you're gonna see that return right away. But what is also happening at the same time is that these cost per clicks are going up dramatically, right? So your tacos or ROLAGS, is going through the roof. And all that you're doing is when you're doing just branded, or even maybe a level up from that is your reach or your audience is very, very narrow. And with DSP, you're getting a, you know, millions of more impressions, right? And you're targeting people ahead of time, so that when they get to here, they're more likely to convert, because your dollar is not going to go as far when it's just a sponsored product ad anymore than it did now than it did three years ago. Right. So we really need to nurture the customer from the top of the funnel, that once they get here, they have the highest chance of converting.

Aaron Conant 41:41
Well, a couple other questions that come in, how often are you making optimizations? And then can you elaborate on needing a specific skill set to get ROI on programmatic? So how often are you making optimizations? Yes,

Claire Stevens 41:55
starting with the how often you're making optimizations, I'd say we would put campaigns there a lot, they go live for about two to three weeks. And that's when we start looking at optimizations and then make a couple here and there seeing where you know, we're seeing the best performance on audiences, maybe adjusting some of the budgets to the line items that we see that best performance. And then again, waiting around two weeks like there is that 14 day look back window that's already included as part of the Amazon DSP measurement. So we want to give it enough time to see how our optimizations have set in. So about every every two weeks, I'd like to take a look. Awesome.

Aaron Conant 42:35
Can you elaborate on quote unquote, needing a specific skill set to get ROI? On programmatic?

Nicole Reich 42:43
Very, you want to answer that one from your perspective? And then I can chime in? Um, I can. Yeah. So from our end, and I think when DSP first came out, we were one of the first agencies with a seat. And what we assumed is that, and this is kind of giving you guys exposure to Blue Ellis is going back to 2019, maybe 2018, we assumed that the DSP campaigns worked relatively similarly to the sponsored ads, where it was very search focused, plug in a keyword, maybe pick it pick an audience, but it was, you know, pretty self service. And then, of course, we had our software that would even help automate it from there. What we learned over the next couple of years is that those individuals that grew up in the Amazon world that were just, you know, non branded, branded terms, whatever it might be, they didn't have the creative experience. They didn't have the programmatic experience. And they couldn't put those together in setting up the audiences. So now and we're not alone in this, you'll find that there are separate teams one for DSP, which you would consider more marketers, more advertisers, those, you know, with the types of experience that Claire has, and then there's others that are running those sponsored ads that you know, are more focused on the operational benefits, making sure your Buy Box making sure you have inventory, and then focusing on just the search terms themselves. Does
that help? Hopefully, perfect answer.

Aaron Conant 44:13
Next one, if executed, well, this will inherently impact lower funnel Correct. Might need more lower funnel budget to convert leads. Yes,

Nicole Reich 44:25
Which is a good problem to have, right? I mean,

Aaron Conant 44:29
you're filling the funnel, and you're not converting it at the bottom, you just put it at the top

Nicole Reich 44:33
right? That's right, your your branded search cup should go up. And then your sponsored product ads or sponsored brands, right, you'll end up needing needing to spend more because there's more traffic for the brand because you're driving that tap brand awareness.

Aaron Conant 44:47
I mean, isn't it just beautiful for Amazon? Right design a new advertising type of platform that encouraged you to spend more at all stages of the funnel and And both on Amazon and off as off Amazon. Like, it's so Amazonian for them to do that. Right. But their number one goal extract as many of your dollars from your company as possible. Whether it's avions, or paid media that are going to hopefully grow your money too. Yeah, right, right. Yes. That's a nice side effect. Do you have any brands using DSP only on Amazon?

Claire Stevens 45:29
We are working with some brands that are interested in running DSP, only on Amazon and my past experience working on at Amazon, we were only running DSP campaign. So yes, there, that is definitely the what we call a non endemic advertiser. So we're definitely working to, you know, kind of build that side of our business as well. For the non endemic advertisers, again, pros and cons, we can use, they can use Amazon's audiences to drive traffic to their, their, their website, like plain and simple that's Amazon has so much first party data on their consumers, as we sure all of us on this channel are Amazon Prime subscribers. That's a very unique value add that they have compared to other Amazon DSPs. Some of the cons, I think, you know, if you're interested in running programmatic advertising, then which you know, whatever platform you're interested in, running in is all going to have different benefits. I said, like I said, the Amazon CSP, their biggest benefit is those audiences. And you still can take advantage of the brand list studies of Amazon Marketing Cloud, even if you're an advertiser, not on Amazon. So not not a ton of cons. There's just depending on what service you'd want to use, because you're not necessarily tied to using Amazon's DSP. If you don't want to get that additional data from the sponsored ads as well. Okay, yeah, touch on this slide. And we haven't talked about yet to a few more things I just wanted to highlight viewability ensure your ads on Amazon DSP have view ability filters set up Amazon view to be the building controls aligned with the what's called the media rating Council MRCs definition requiring display ads to be in view for at least one second, and video ads for at least two seconds. So without viewability filters, ads may refresh at the bottom of a page potentially going completely unseen by consumers. private marketplace deals so I do have pretty ample experience in running PMPs and they can easily be set up in Amazon DSP PMPs enable you to run ads on specific publishers and either a one to one negotiation or with multiple publishers based on potential like contextual relevancy, such as sports or health publishers. If there are publishers that align with your products or if someone's you know, writing an article about your products, you could dedicate media dollars towards those spots, creative betas, collaboration with Amazon is crucial in this regard as well one of our brands is currently participating in a creative rewards beta program. This beta allows brands to offer discounts on Amazon to customers who click on the ads so since Amazon also typically covers the cost of these discounts during beta testing, there's little reason for brand not to you know at least explore these opportunities to potentially drive more conversions on on Amazon too

Aaron Conant 48:30
quick as a marketer delivering incremental sales is is a key value or delivering incremental sales is key value for organic sales can Amazon report on incremental ro as versus just regular ro s?

Claire Stevens 48:47
Yeah, you should be able and it within Amazon Marketing Cloud because you are well in your own Amazon account you should be able to see your total sales and then within Amazon Marketing Cloud you can see the incremental ad sales from your your advertising see, but between taking the difference of the two then you can understand your ads. return on adspend versus your total return on adspend. Today no worries. I think we got it.

Aaron Conant 49:17
I think we got it though. All right. Sweet a case study. Yes. But really quick one other Willie we be receiving this presentation recording. Yeah, we can make sure that we posted out there. A big initiative that we have this year is to post this and I'll probably over the last year slowly post them all just to a YouTube channel so you can go back and view these anytime you want. But I'm more than happy to connect you over to the blue whale team. I'm sure they can just give you the whole presentation. So but yeah, for sure.

Claire Stevens 49:49
Great. Um, yeah, so integrating everything with the case study from Blue Wheel. Our case study involves our partnership with Ariat an American footwear apparel and accessories brand, which has been a valuable partner for blue wheel our tasks was to execute their q4 campaigns on Amazon DSP, aiming to drive sales across various product lines and expand their new to brand customer base. We set up multiple promotional campaigns for different product lines. All campaigns were scheduled to launch in November and run through the end of the year. Approximately three weeks into the campaign, we met with area to present optimization opportunities across all live campaigns. Each optimization was tailored to the specific needs of that promotion. So recommendations included pausing certain supply channels, pausing certain devices, adjusting audiences targeting incorporating new audiences with high purchase rates, or from building new audiences in Amazon Marketing, cloud, and updating custom custom creatives to enhance consideration and utilizing customized auto generated creatives for those conversion focus campaigns. The results confirmed the significance of manual campaign updates. So post optimization analysis revealed a 230% increase in return on adspend and a 70% decrease in a costs for both our consideration and conversion campaigns. In addition, we drove 45% of new to brand sales over that two month period for them. And then last year, here's just some key takeaways from today. So you know, advantages of Amazon DSP, that first party data, another thing I wanted to mention, but back when there was the question on brands using DSP only on Amazon. There's also that owned and operated inventory that I forgot to mention as well. So if you want to run on Thursday night football, if you want to run on your free V or Twitch, you can only access that through the Amazon's DSP campaign strategies. like Amazon DSP can cover all stages of the marketing funnel, we still don't still recommend running that sponsored ads if you do sell on Amazon, but you can build that awareness, build, build the consideration for products, and then remarket with, with DSP all across the funnel. Detailed setups, well defined goals, continuous audio exploration, and effective measurement practice are essential. And then Amazon Marketing Cloud, make sure you're getting that set up. If you're running Amazon DSP campaigns, even if you don't have someone who can pull that SQL query yet just so that the data starts to pull in there. That you know, it's going to be great for future learnings and for audience creation and to inform your marketing strategies. So that was everything from us. But there are any other questions or not. That's great, too.

Aaron Conant 52:45
Yeah, I mean, really, if there's any other questions, you want to drop them in there. You know, I see we're almost we're pretty much right at time here. See, Claire, Nicole, thanks for being such great friends, partners, supporters, the network. If anybody's looking for support in this area whatsoever, they're helping a ton of brands and the network out they come highly recommended from them. More than happy to make a connection. Look for a follow up email from me. I'd love to have a conversation with people on the line today. Today Live to pick your brain. What are the biggest pain points you're trying to solve for make any connections? I can also get the ideas for the next webinars dinners if you're in New York City 514. Shoot us a no we'll send you an invite the call anything as we wrap up here. Yeah,

Nicole Reich 53:24
we'll be there on 514 I believe we have a session on on DSP in person. And I'm sure there'll be some of this and then also addition. So if you have questions for us happy to as as Claire mentioned, answer them through email, happy to connect with you but also would love to meet you in person in mid May in New York. Yeah. Awesome.

Aaron Conant 53:43
Well, thanks, everybody for down in. Nicole. Claire, thanks so much for your support. With that, we're going to wrap up this webinar here, everybody, take care, stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event. This has been so much fun already. We'll see everybody. Oh, bye. Thank you.

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