How Advantage Solutions develops insights using Amazon Marketing Cloud
October 08, 2021
Advantage Solutions delivers full-service online retail and digital marketing services to help brands optimize business growth on Amazon. They have been an Amazon Ads API beta partners since 2017 and recently started to utilize Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) to help their clients hit their unique business objectives. In this piece, Camille Agoncillo, Director of Marketing at Advantage Digital Commerce, shares how they used AMC to help clients better understand audience engagement and to capture and maximize growth opportunities.
What is the story of Advantage Solutions? How was it founded, where are you now, and where do you see it going next?
As with most successful businesses, it all began with a simple revelation, an “Aha!” moment. Founder Sonny King saw an unmet need in the local sales agencies he encountered as an executive at Vons. He saw the opportunity for a strategically placed, trusted intermediary between manufacturers and retailers—one with the perspective to bring the outside in, an ability to connect the dots that others didn’t see, and a relentless dissatisfaction with the status quo. And so, Advantage was born.
Three decades later, with a service that extends to more than 40 countries, that same vision drives every aspect of Advantage on behalf of more than 3,500 clients and our own business.
Through all the change of the last 30 years, our Advantage team remains certain in Sonny’s guiding principle: Whatever the present circumstance, there is always a better solution.
Tell us about Advantage Solution’s approach to Amazon Marketing Cloud.
AMC is a much-needed solution for us. It helps us understand how audiences are engaging with digital media as well as when and where the conversions are happening. Transparency brought by these signals helps us maximize our clients’ media dollar more efficiently and effectively, and ultimately help meet and exceed their growth objectives.
A big percentage of our clientele are consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers. As we advise them on digital media strategy and execution, scaled insights on how each media channel performs and what impact it generates is essential. It’s also important to understand what these channels’ impact is to sales—not just online sales, but offline conversions as well. With AMC, we are now able to measure and analyze our marketing campaigns holistically, and that is not something readily accessible in other measurement solutions.
For example, a CPG advertiser asked us whether they should pause their Amazon DSP ads and just focus on their Sponsored Products ads because they thought that the latter was the best tactic to reach shoppers who are ready to purchase. We then used AMC to generate the media channel overlap report, which helps to demonstrate the immediate impact on ad-attributed purchase rate when audiences are exposed to both Amazon DSP ads and Sponsored Products ads. We quickly realized that customers were 5x more likely to purchase after seeing one of the advertiser’s Amazon DSP ads versus their Sponsored Products ads1. We also found that when unique audiences were exposed to both an Amazon DSP ad and a Sponsored Products ad, they were 25x more likely to purchase compared to seeing Sponsored Products ad alone.
Using these insights, we helped the advertiser understand the importance of leveraging Amazon DSP in helping to increase purchase rate. We then were able to help the advertiser see the benefit of full-funnel strategy: adopting Amazon DSP and sponsored ads together can help them achieve better overall sales, and running always-on campaigns can help maximize their growth opportunities throughout the year.
What are some of your best practices in terms of using AMC and setting up campaigns for Amazon DSP and Sponsored Products?
To seamlessly utilize AMC, we recommend setting up your campaigns by what we call the “4 Pillars of Precision-Driven Campaigns." This includes separating your campaigns by 1) goal type, 2) audience type, 3) keyword match type for Sponsored Products or supply source type for Amazon DSP, and 4) by advertised product or product group. With this campaign structure, we can easily slice and dice the reporting we generate from AMC.
Do you have any more specific tactics that you recommend?
When looking at the impact of each media channel, we recommend separating your reports, regardless of what media advertising you are running, by product or product type if you are advertising multiple product lines, and by goal type, so that you are looking at the correct key performance indicators (KPIs). For example, Product/Product Group A has goal of driving consideration so you will need to pull metrics such as unique reach, click-through rate (CTR), detailed page view rate (DPVR), or video completion rate (VCR). Since Product/Product Group B’s goal is conversion, the right metrics to look at should be purchases, conversion rate (CVR), and return on ad spend (ROAS).
When reports are separated this way, you will be able to examine the performance from different viewpoints in relation to the campaign goals and provide scaled insights surrounding how effective your media campaigns are for each goal.
1Advertiser internal data, 2021