Case study

Skai and Marketwake help Yamaha Boats and WaveRunners, a brand that doesn’t sell on Amazon, reach new customers with Sponsored Display

Yamaha “Women run the water” campaign ad on the ocean

In spring 2023, Marketwake, a national growth marketing agency, collaborated with solution provider Skai to help expand into new audiences for their client Yamaha Boats and WaveRunner's latest campaign, “Women Run the Water.” Yamaha Motor Company is a global manufacturing brand that specializes in designing, building and distributing, among other products, boats and WaveRunners giving customers the opportunity to experience thrilling and lifelong memories on the water. Fueled by a passion to innovate, Yamaha creates exceptional value and experiences that enrich the lives of customers through their products.

Yamaha wanted to empower and encourage women across the U.S. to take control of their personal watercraft experiences, so they worked with Marketwake and Skai to accomplish this with Amazon Ads. Skai is a leading omnichannel marketing platform that uniquely connects data and performance media for informed decisions, high efficiencies and optimal returns. Through their advanced partner status with Amazon Ads, Skai was able to offer Marketwake the opportunity to take part in Sponsored Display’s beta program for brands that don’t sell on Amazon.

Yamaha's Women Run the Water campaign highlighted the excitement of water activities to women with a goal to increase brand awareness, drive incremental traffic to the website, and capture newsletter registrations. As a result, Marketwake and Skai wanted to increase the number of ad impressions on Yamaha campaigns by measuring cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM), and drive clicks to the campaign’s landing page, all while keeping cost per click (CPC) as low as possible.

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Marketwake’s innovative approach to leveraging Amazon’s first-party data, combined with their ability to secure this unique opportunity, has allowed us to reach highly targeted audiences with incredible efficiency. We were very impressed by the detail of the audiences we’ve been able to reach and the efficiency of the CPCs and CPMs we’ve been driving. We couldn’t have achieved these results without Marketwake’s expertise and execution, and we’re excited to continue this partnership moving forward.

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– David Manders, advertising supervisor, Yamaha Boats and WaveRunners

Turning the tide with Sponsored Display

Since the Sponsored Display solution for brands that don’t sell on Amazon is in beta, the Amazon Ads team guided Marketwake to create an advertising account for Yamaha. Marketwake was then able to create their first campaign directly within the Amazon Ads console.

The campaign was set to optimize for page visits with a focus on click performance. Marketwake used one creative asset, the top performer across other media channels, to ensure a controlled test on performance and optimal success.

The ideal customer persona of the campaign guided the audience strategy: a self-reliant, curious and adventurous female who lives an active lifestyle and has a propensity to enjoy outdoor activities. Marketwake leveraged lifestyle and in-market personas with a focus on water sports and healthy lifestyles, such as an affinity for yoga, including related products.

Once the Yamaha campaigns were set up within the Amazon Ads console, they were imported into Skai’s omnichannel marketing platform so Marketwake could activate unique management capabilities. With Skai, Marketwake had one centralized view for cross-channel marketing management: Marketwake was able to view Yamaha’s Sponsored Display performance data alongside other active campaigns within Skai’s platform, namely their paid social and search campaigns.

Marketwake leveraged Skai’s dashboards to keep a pulse on budget pacing and understand how much of the daily budget was being spent, which was especially crucial since this was a test for a new ad type. The team also used Skai’s tool to tailor optimizations for Yamaha’s success metric: newsletter sign-ups.

Getting shipshape with cost per click

When comparing this campaign to Marketwake’s other programmatic display efforts, the Sponsored Display for brands that don’t sell on Amazon campaign drove nearly 3X the impressions at half the cost of other display efforts in a given month.1 In addition, the campaign drove nearly the same number of clicks to the website at a CPC that was 50% cheaper than their programmatic CPC average. The bounce rate and time spent on Yamaha’s site from users were in line with other media efforts across search and social.2

The success of the first Sponsored Display for brands that don’t sell on Amazon campaign goes a long way to help prove the product’s value.

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Skai is always on the cutting edge of media, and when they approached us about the Amazon Ads Sponsored Display beta opportunity, we knew we had to be a part of it. Skai and Amazon Ads worked with us to set up the beta test, and we were excited by their support and the power of having access to these first-party audience insights. The value of advertisers who don’t sell on Amazon having access to this beta is incredibly valuable. Both the Yamaha Boats and WaveRunners and Marketwake teams have been thrilled by the results and cannot wait for more.

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– Brooke MacLean, CEO, Marketwake

1–2 Source: Agency-provided data, United States, 2023.