Alan Osetek is CCO (Chief Commercial Officer) at Intentwise, a Boston-based ad optimization and data analytics platform whose goal is to help brands and agencies compete effectively on marketplaces such as Amazon and Walmart. These marketplaces are important both from a size perspective (Amazon’s ad revenue is pegged to hit $40 billion in 2022; Walmart’s ad marketplace is growing 30 percent YOY) and because Amazon and others are rapidly deploying new features designed to make advertising easier and more effective in these marketplaces. For example, on Amazon, it’s now possible for sellers to respond to questions asked via Alexa and and use Amazon’s Customer Engagement tool to engage with repeat, high-value, or recent customers via email.
Alan and I discuss the many targeting levers availability of targeting levers on Amazon allowing CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization), and the fact that it’s possible now for marketers to design and deploy closed-loop attribution models. We converse about the fact that a strong presence on Amazon and other marketplaces may contribute to favorable SEO rankings that otherwise might not be possible, and touch upon the fact that Amazon appears to be giving DTC brands more flexibility in terms of reaching consumers on non-Amazon sites through its Sponsored Brands ad product.
As Alan observes, the fact that Amazon is adding more optimization tools echoes similar steps that Google has taken over the past decade with regard to search advertising. “I don’t want to compare Amazon to Google but they’re falling along the path of something like a Google, which, over time, over the course of years, just continuously brings new optimization toolsets into the marketplace.”
We also discuss competitive conquesting on Amazon. “From a conquesting standpoint, you’re really conquesting at the keyword level across a number of competitors that you don’t see anywhere else,” said Alan. We touch upon the importance of creative optimization on Amazon, especially with respect to building strong brand pages.
While it’s clear that advertising on Amazon is growing and more brands and agencies are gradually becoming more familiar with how its system works, Alan believes that this process should accelerate as we approach 2023.
“The three key themes I was thinking about, whether I was a brand or an agency, anyone working with Amazon or another marketplace, are people, tools, and data strategy. On the people side, it’s basically rounding out the type of skillsets that you have within your team to attack marketplaces and retail media, with a combination of people with creative, technology, data, and even Amazon retail experience. We see a spectrum of different levels of expertise across the agencies and brands we work with, and that spectrum is wide. On the people side, it’s, basically, finding really smart, inquisitive people, and retraining them into the Amazon marketplace, taking the people you have and finding new ways to build processes, and then training your people in this new way of thinking, depending on their background and where they came from. On the tools and technology sides, there are companies like Intentwise and a variety of others that are going to help you in a cost-efficient manner to increase your level of optimization capability, starting with strategy and going all the way to optimization, and then, last but not least, the data strategy’s going to be really important because, while it’s going to become even easier, in some respects, to reach the consumer and use optimization techniques to really hit the person with the right message, right time, offer, etc., the data is going to become overwhelming.”