Jun 24, 2019 5 min read
Unlock the Potential of Advertising on Amazon
Updated: June 27
Q&A with Michael Kazantzis of Kane Creative
On June 20th, Pacvue hosted a webinar with Michael Kazantzis, Principal at Kane Creative - view the recorded webinar here. Discussion points included what contributes to optimal ad performance on Amazon, and what you should be paying attention to to maximize your ROI. We had some great questions coming in from our live audience, so we wanted to follow up with all of them and share Mike's expertise. Special thanks to Mike for joining us for the webinar and answering these questions.
Q: What tool do you use to pull reviews from other brands?
I used to use an application called Heartbeat a few years ago but I find the built in filtering and search tools Amazon has built in to the reviews on every detail page much easier to narrow down a particular sentiment. The Review Index is also a good starting point to get a sense of review trends.
Q: Can Amazon ads include motion? (ie: gif)
Yes. Amazon allows for 3rd party animated HTML5 ads for certain placements but they must be policy compliant and adhere to numerous guidelines. More on that here: https://advertising.amazon.com/resources/ad-policy/en/technical-guidelines
Amazon’s Fire Tablet wakescreen ad placements also offer native support for animation or video and Amazon’s video ads also allow motion.
Q: How does changing the product image to a clean digital version affect customers when they receive an item that looks completely different from the images on amazon?
Ideally the goal would be to digitally optimize the product shot that is in the ad creative only in order to enhance legibility but not drastically change the product image. The product shot on the PDP should remain true to the product customers will receive but there are, however, several brands who have added digitally optimized and mobile-ready product images to their PDPs as their main ASIN image.
An example of Mobile-ready ASIN image: https://www.amazon.com/Dove-Advanced-Antiperspirant-Caring-Coconut/dp/B00ZOIEHYS/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=dove&qid=1561151393&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1
Q: Any additional POV on auto gen vs. custom DEA when it's onsite vs. offsite? As obviously auto gen looks native within amazon but looks quite basic off of amazon.
I don’t have any data to support on vs offsite but it all really comes down to the KPIs and the targeting the most effective strategy really is a 1-2 punch.
Custom designed ads are more effective the higher in the funnel the customer is and vice versa. Custom ads are effective to drive awareness and CLP views, particularly for emerging brands that aren’t as well known. For holdouts and retargets, the more native and automated DEA ads were more effective with CTR and DPVR since they include the relevant information needed to drive customers to a purchase decision.
Q: Any copy recommendations with the new enforcement of title character limits?
Ensure you product titles are optimized to include popular keywords from your product category
Q: Any recommendations re: using a landing page within your storefront vs an amazon built custom landing page?
Stores and Landing pages have different purposes but can be used together in a campaign. Stores are really meant to drive purchase and lower funnel actions and have limited functionality and capabilities. The customer experience in that environment should allow a customer to easily purchase a product without any extra steps involved. CLPs usually are more of an awareness or full funnel destination, provide the ability to have a much more branded environment, and the capabilities are much more robust – limited only by a budget. The CX there would provide a customer with additional content beyond just a purchase.
Also worth noting, an agency can also build a CLP and provide assets to Amazon for development as long as the agency understands how the product works and what the limitations are. At KANE we’ve built many.
Q: Any insights as to AMS & ads working together? And how to analyze impact of both on each other?
We’ve always advocated for brands to maximize their search and sponsored ad budgets when possible and to think about having an always-on campaign to maximize campaign performance. Since the decision journey is no longer linear, this will allow for brands to continuously fuel the flywheel. Media starts the flywheel, which in turn, improves search results and product rankings. AMS placements have placements that display ads don’t and can work well for things like conquesting and retargeting.
You could use display ads to drive to a branded destination such as a CLP and use AMS to drive to a destination such as a PDP or Stores page, depending on the campaign goals.
Q: Are there any interesting test and learns we should be thinking about?
There are many T&L opportunities with Amazon. Depending on the type of products you have, you could start with things like the implementation of creative best practices, contextual targeting and placement-specific messaging optimizations, regularly updating and rearranging your Store to align with seasonal events and promotions, and even testing the impact Amazon has on brand lift and offline sales.
Q: What are some of the best examples of customer obsession and working backwards that you’ve seen executed with Amazon Advertising?
That’s a tough one. There are a lot of great campaigns I’ve seen over the years and many that have gotten a lot of buzz, but I think the best examples are those that feel seamless in the with Amazon environment, almost not like advertising at all, and showcase not only the brand but how the brand and Amazon partner perfectly together. The reason I mention that is because that is the currency at Amazon. The more integrated the concept and the better the amazon customer experience – the more likely amazon will dedicate the resources to it. Two examples that come to mind are the initial Prime Now Drive Now campaign, when Hyundai was delivering test drives to amazon customers through prime now, and a similar campaign where Loreal was delivering home makeovers to amazon customers. I thought both of those are great examples of how brands, both endemic and non-endemic, worked with amazon to create a great customer experience. True customer obsession on display.
Q: What are some of the most common pain points you’ve seen brands facing when trying to launch a campaign on Amazon and what advice would you give to brands to avoid them?
I would say they all have to do with Policy issues and the pushback brands get, and aren’t used to getting, from Amazon. The polices are vast and ever evolving and very difficult to know or find up front until you run into one. It’s probably the single most common reason for launch delays and creative churn. My advice would be to work closely with your Amazon campaign managers and ensure whatever agency you work with has a thorough understanding of Amazon’s policies to avoid that friction far upstream in the creative process.
Stay tuned for additional webinars announced on Pacvue's events page.