Amazon Tests Data And Media Bundling As It Targets New Marketer Budgets

amazonbundleimgDespite Amazon’s legacy as a giant digital walled garden, marketers say it’s in the early stages of a major expansion into an ad platform model.

Specifically, Amazon is testing ways to tie together its properties to form a more comprehensive, full-funnel offer, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the early products. Amazon didn’t return requests for comment.

Some businesses rely heavily on Amazon’s advertising capabilities – which gives the ecom giant outsized influence – whereas businesses focused on branding aren’t as interested in Amazon’s paid media offerings, said Bill Burkhart, president of Wunderman Data.

“But every client we work with wants to be more like Amazon, and its use cases (for nonendemic advertisers) is growing pretty quickly,” he said, with the company pushing into video subscriptions and live streaming, grocery delivery, internet-of-things devices and even an early app store.

Amazon’s offerings have been fragmented, said one agency executive piloting Amazon ad products under an NDA. “There’s a lot going on between Twitch [the video game live-streaming network Amazon bought for about $1 billion in 2014], Amazon Prime, the main marketplace, Alexa [the voice-activated connected home device], the mobile app and desktop, but now we’re seeing things applied together.”

Another senior agency source working under NDA with Amazon similarly said that “Amazon to date hasn’t bundled its media, data and marketing services the way Google or even Facebook have.”

“That ad-oriented data science is happening in the background, though,” the source added, “and they’re developing cross-property offerings.”

Jonathan Opdyke, CEO of retail ad tech firm HookLogic, noted that Amazon is starting to make performance-driven pitches.

“Marketing dollars in general are becoming more performance-oriented,” he said. “That’s not just happening with retargeting and digital-only channels, it’s an attitude that moved up the chain.”

Amazon’s quiet inroads into holding company agencies underscores this point exactly, according to the same agency sources speaking on background.

“They didn’t spend billions of dollars assembling those pieces for fun,” said one executive. “They’re coming to us because our perspective is broader than the product retargeting and ecommerce dollars they already pretty much own, and they’re figuring out what budgets to grow into next.”

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1 Comment

  1. If Amazon can extend the ‘customer obsession’ ethos powering AWS to enterprise marketing … lookout GOOG and FB ! But – bottom line – to do this they would have to drop the “data walled garden” approach, which keeps marketers disempowered and in the dark.