Why Spectrum Brands Is Bringing Its Amazon Advertising Approach To The Web

There is a distinct Amazon approach to advertising, and it’s taking over the rest of retail media.

To be successful within the walled garden platform, brands must be sharply focused on search. They also become accustomed to seeing ad costs factored as an incremental part of overall sales.

Spectrum Brands honed its advertising approach on Amazon. Now, it’s bringing metrics like share of search and ACOS (advertising as cost of sale) to its broader open web advertising and analytics, said Lenny Glick, the company’s head of ecommerce marketing and business intelligence.

Spectrum, which operates a portfolio of manufacturing and personal care brands such as Black+Decker and Remington, is branching into programmatic retail media alongside CommerceIQ, its ecommerce advertising software. CommerceIQ, which is also expanding its footprint, recently partnered with Criteo and is developing products for retailer platforms like Walmart Connect and Target’s Roundel.

For the past couple years, Spectrum used CommerceIQ to manage its Amazon advertising, Glick said. A typical programmatic metric like return on ad spend (ROAS) is “benchmarked and pegged” to the cost of advertising, but not necessarily to true incremental business growth.

“This allows us to apply that same methodology to Target and to Lowe’s, to name a couple of the important retail players to us,” he said of CommerceIQ’s deal with Criteo – which works with those retailers.

The closer retailers get to the ecommerce purchase, the more they’ll be lit up by Glick’s marketing unit within Spectrum. In-house, they run a retail media team that targets point-of-sale ads (in-store or ecommerce shopping where transactions are a click away) and a marketing team for brand advertising.

Even a few years ago, online retail media campaigns came with interim or post-campaign reports on sponsored product clicks and store sales lift, but not the kind of data Spectrum wants to optimize ad spend, Glick said.

If a brand promotes a product with a retailer in a certain market, and that retailer also discounted the price or ran coupons for that product, the brand could actually have an unprofitable jump in store sales – which would just be reported as a jump in store sales. The brand may have spent heavily to acquire some new shoppers who are more interested in the discount than the product, and sold at a discount to many customers who would have purchased at the normal, profitable price tag.

That kind of ACOS data, which Glick said are the overall components of incremental growth, are built into Amazon’s advertising platform, and are only now gaining adoption across the web.

When a campaign must be optimized based on common KPIs such as click-through rates, last-click sales or ROI, Spectrum’s marketers must take a more hands-on approach. None of those metrics align with what Spectrum actually wants from its ad spend: improved discoverability in search indexes and online retail, and incremental customer growth. And so those campaigns need constant adjustment to stay on track.

“If we can set the campaign by the KPIs we’re going for, then we can let the platform make the hundreds of tactical decisions,” he said. “Any chance to get my team out of that tactical decision-making mode to leveraging automation, that’s a good place to head towards.”

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