As online shopping continues to evolve, this is how brands can meet consumers in more places

25 March 2022 | By Matt Miller, Sr. Copywriter

Phil Christer and Elli Menze discussing how brands can grow their business across an increasingly complex media landscape.

Phil Christer and Elli Menze discussing how brands can grow their business across an increasingly complex media landscape.

From working to shopping to socializing, the past two years have seen significant changes in the ways consumers live their lives. In 2021, global online shopping sales rose by 16%, and are expected to grow by 50% over the next four years, according to Statista.1 Consumers are increasingly engaging with brands across more media formats and channels, and it can be important for brands to understand how to meet these consumers across multiple touchpoints.

At Mobile World Congress in March, Phil Christer, the Managing Director of Amazon Ads UK, and Elli Menze, Partner of Performance Marketing and Digital Commerce at Mindshare Worldwide, discussed how brands can grow their business across an increasingly complex media landscape.

Online shopping and marketing, as Menze explained during Amazon Ads’ Coffee and Conversation series, has become increasingly important for Mindshare’s clients across all categories.

“There are two underlying reasons for that,” Menze said. “One is obviously the huge growth that we’ve seen in e-commerce in the last couple of years, and the trend of consumers shifting their purchasing online. The other trend we’ve seen is that media is becoming a bigger part of the conversation for how to succeed in commerce. Part of that is due to the rise of retail media.”

Building a more balanced media mix

In an increasingly fragmented landscape, audiences consume and purchase across more media formats and channels than ever before. For brands, each touchpoint presents an opportunity to make a connection, to grow or change perception, and to inspire a purchase. And in recent years, Mindshare has worked with its clients to evolve their strategies for growth.

“What we have seen recently is the collapse of the traditional marketing funnel. Today, consumer journeys are no longer linear. If you think about it, consumers can go from hearing about your brand for the very first time to buying from you within seconds if they want to. What that means from an advertising perspective is that every ad you put out there is also an opportunity to sell,” Menze said. “And on the flip side, it takes more than just investing in short term sales tactics. Those lower funnel tactics alone don’t cut it anymore to grow in e-commerce spaces like Amazon. We really need to invest in more brand building activities.”

When it comes to Amazon, Menze explained, the conversations Mindshare has been having with their clients still certainly feature sponsored ads. Beyond that, Menze sees Amazon DSP play an increasingly important role in helping brands engage consumers earlier in their journeys. “It helps us leverage more display, more video advertising, to really build that brand familiarity, build consideration with consumers for brands and ultimately reach a much broader consumer base,” Menze said.

Mindshare has been advising clients to pivot their strategies toward a more balanced media mix – one that is multi-channel and takes the entire consumer journey into view.

Phil Christer and Elli Menze discussing how brands can grow their business across an increasingly complex media landscape.

Phil Christer and Elli Menze discussing how brands can grow their business across an increasingly complex media landscape.

Making meaningful connections with consumers

As Menze noted, consumers today are seeking out more meaningful connections with brands. According to a 2021 Amazon Ads and Environics Research study, 72% of consumers are willing to pay more for brands that come from a place of authenticity.2

“Consumers demand more meaningful experiences with brands, they demand more personalized experiences,” Menze said. “So, we’re really thinking about how can we deliver on that? How can we think more creatively about how we leverage the full suite of Amazon Ads solutions?”

Menze stressed the importance of product pages, detail pages, Stores and optimising content for conversion as foundational steps for brands. “But how can we also think about leveraging content and putting that at the heart of advertising and how we build brands on Amazon,” she said. “We’re thinking about how we can layer in interactivity and influencer content into solutions from livestreaming, voice and audio ads, streaming TV, and Twitch to build that long-term association with brands, that deeper engagement with our audiences that will ultimately grow business in the long term.”

Digging deeper for more nuanced measurement

For many brands, key performance indicators like return on ad spend may not stack up to brand building-focused strategies. As brands rethink their media mix and pivot toward brand building in addition to sales, Menze said it’s important to also reconsider measurement strategies as well.

“That’s a big mindset shift for many marketers,” Menze said. “Just because you’re able to measure the immediate impact that your advertising has on sales, that doesn’t mean that’s the right metric for every ad you put out there.”

As Menze explained, brands should try and diversify the metrics that they look at across those tactics and different channels.

“We’re talking to clients about not measuring all elements of your media plan equally, diversifying the KPI sets that you’re looking at, building robust measurement frameworks and then also deploying analytic solutions that will help us better understand the impact that media has on your total sales velocity,” Menze said. “That’s where I think we get into a really interesting space of moving beyond that ad assisted view of the impact we’re driving.”

Menze specifically mentioned Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) as a helpful too for brands to harness nuanced insights.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2022, Menze said that Mindshare is excited about harnessing streaming TV, AMC, “and new measurement and insights solutions that really help us gain a better understanding and nuanced look at how we grow brands on Amazon in the long term.”

“2022 at Mindshare is also going to be about talking to our clients about how they can grow their brands on Amazon by taking a broader perspective than just media,” Menze said. “We know that advertising is only one element of growing your brand on Amazon, and actually elements like your selling strategy, your portfolio design, your content – they’re all really critical levers that underpin your ability to grow your business. They’re all linked. So we’ll continue talking to clients about their overall business transformation and how they can really start to take a more agile approach to how they operate on Amazon end-to-end.”

1 Statista, 2021, Global
2 Environics, Social Values Global Consumer Themes, USA/Europe, 2021