Developing the Amazon DSP: An interview with Ryan Mayward

OCTOBER 24, 2018

By Katherine Osteen
Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Ryan Mayward joined Amazon Advertising in 2012 and has been continuously focused on helping agencies drive results through our programmatic solution, the Amazon DSP. Today, Ryan leads our Global Agency Development team, which works with agencies on e-commerce education and training, adoption of our self-service offerings, and developing expertise in our tools and product suite. We spoke with Ryan about how agencies and advertisers are using the Amazon DSP today and our efforts to continually improve performance and efficiency for their campaigns.

What’s unique about the Amazon DSP?

There are a few things that make the Amazon DSP unique: access to Amazon’s owned-and-operated inventory, the ability to reach Amazon audiences, and, where relevant, reporting that includes Amazon-specific measurement capabilities.

What types of inventory are available through the Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP is the only way to access Amazon’s owned-and-operated inventory through a programmatic buy. Advertisers can also access inventory from leading websites and apps through Amazon Publisher Services (APS). Amazon’s cloud-based, server-to-server header bidding integrations allow advertisers to bid directly on APS inventory, bypassing the traditional supply chain and supply fees. We also make a wide range of inventory available through leading exchanges.

How are advertisers reaching their audiences?

To make ads as relevant as possible, Amazon DSP includes first-party audiences based on shopping signals we observe across Amazon’s sites, apps, and devices. Over the past few years, we’ve started to offer new audiences to align with advertisers’ remarketing and prospecting strategies. Advertisers have found a lot of value in delivering a follow-up message to audiences who searched for their product or viewed their detail pages on Amazon.

What’s an example of unique metrics the Amazon DSP can provide to advertisers and agencies?

For advertisers who sell products on Amazon, we provide closed-loop reporting with our full view of the customer journey, from awareness to loyalty, on Amazon. We can deliver unique metrics tied to each stage of the customer journey, such as Subscribe & Save subscriptions and the halo effect advertising has across a brand’s product portfolio. Advertisers are able to measure different types of conversions, including detail page views and Add to Carts, in addition to ad-attributed sales from their Amazon DSP campaigns. This helps advertisers better understand the business outcomes they are driving.

What are your near term priorities for Amazon DSP users?

We need to make the media trader’s life easier. For example, this year we’ve focused on evolving the Amazon DSP user interface. We’ve been rolling out usability improvements—like the new navigation design we just launched—and will continue to do so through 2019. Some of the upcoming feature releases include new bulk operations and reporting enhancements. We’ll also continue our efforts around providing more premium, brand-safe supply across display and video.

What are you most excited about on the supply side?

Video is an exciting area for us. We have unique value to unlock for advertisers in Fire TV. This year we built features to enable in-stream video ads on third-party Fire TV apps. We’re testing this capability in the Amazon DSP now. On a related point, we know advertisers are investing more in high-quality inventory—video in particular—through private marketplaces, or PMPs. To complement our focus on video, we are improving the PMP experience in the Amazon DSP. We’re making it easier for customers to set up deals, access customized packages, and analyze delivery.

Going beyond product development, how are you developing relationships with agencies and advertisers?

We’ve been building an agency development program over the past couple of years. Our agency development team works with agencies in North America, Europe, and Japan. Our focus areas have been launching an e-commerce training program and providing more support for our self-service tools. We’ve also been developing ways for agencies to jointly leverage Amazon Advertising and Amazon Web Services. This includes bringing machine learning and artificial intelligence workshops to agencies. These workshops seed ideas about how agencies can use this technology to solve their customers’ marketing challenges.

Where do you see Amazon DSP in the next five years?

Our vision is to deliver top-tier DSP capabilities as well as innovate in areas that are unique to Amazon. We will provide the tools our customers need to meet their business objectives through programmatic buying, whether those objectives are growing their e-commerce business or driving brand awareness.

Please reach out to your Amazon Advertising support team for more information or get in touch with an advertising representative to get started with the Amazon DSP.