Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) for Holistic Measurement & Analytics
For a long time, Amazon advertisers have struggled with measuring and optimizing their advertising efforts. Although the reporting process using Amazon's marketing analytics tools has changed over time, it was difficult to answer specific questions such as:
- Who are the audiences that engage with your ads the most?
- Which customer geography purchases your brand's products frequently?
- Which media mix do your clients prefer the most?
This is now possible with Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), which takes you one step closer to advertising insights and to your customers. With a record third-quarter spike of 25% year-on-year growth of Ad revenue, Amazon remains the top contender for advertisers for promoting their products and reaching out to broader audience segments. The eCommerce giant has gained significant momentum on its advertising front in the fast-changing digital marketing landscape. Amazon already enjoys widespread trust among its customers and with the launch of Amazon Marketing Cloud, it has gained the confidence of advertisers as well.
In this article, we will discuss in detail Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), and why it is actually a game changer for advertisers.
What is Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC)?
Launched in 2021, Amazon Marketing Cloud is a highly versatile and adaptable measurement tool that offers you holistic ad insights in a privacy-compliant, clean room setting. As AMC can not directly provide you with the personally identifying information for any individual consumer, advertisers can compile aggregated reports and conduct analytics across different (⩾100) pseudonymized signals.
The differentiator for AMC, however, is that advertisers can obtain specific information about the media mix that generates incremental sales or even attribute a purchase to the last ad clicked by the customer
With AMC advertisers get access to:
- Transparent & Custom Attribution: By introducing transparency to campaign measurement, optimization, and audience analysis, AMC makes data actionable. In order to make smart marketing choices both on and off Amazon, advertisers can also feed event-level data from their own websites into AMC and do custom attribution.
- Instructional Queries: Some level of SQL understanding is required from advertisers as they need to run custom queries in order to fetch relevant data and perform analytics. AMC, however, has made measurement easier with its instructional queries library that enables advertisers to perform measurement tasks faster. The path to conversion and technical text field queries are typically included in the library.
- Media Mix insights: With the help of Amazon Marketing Cloud and Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP), advertisers can target consumers at different phases of the marketing funnel and learn more about their performance. The icing on the cake is that it also enables advertisers to learn more about media mix (DSP+Sponsored Ads), i.e., whether customers favor a specific media channel or both.
- Clean room ecosystem: Built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), AMC offers a clean room environment in which both the advertiser and Amazon itself can not access either’s event-level data. Also, as it generates only aggregated reports (with a minimum of 100 users) not specific to any individual customer, the end-user’s private information is always safeguarded.
Why is Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) a holistic measurement solution?
Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) is a holistic measurement solution as it encompasses different touchpoints such as:
- Sizmek Ad Suite: a multichannel channel ad server that advertisers and agencies utilize to track, improve, and distribute digital ads to specific audience segments across a variety of media channels. Sizmek Ad suite also provides the functionality for creating & exporting relevant media formats (Banner+Video) to ad servers.
- Sponsored Ads: Also known as Pay-per-click ads, is one of the premium ad products offered by Amazon. Sponsored ads work on the PPC model using which advertisers can generate better sales for every ad clicked by the customer. The main advantage is that advertisers only have to pay for every ad clicked and not for the impressions generated by the PPC campaigns.
- Subscriptions-based data: A paid service essential for gathering insights on non-advertisement-related data to learn more about customers already loyal to a brand. For every visit made on the product detail page, the add-to-cart rate can be attributed using Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC).
- Advertiser’s Custom data: AMC essentially collects data from all touchpoints that advertisers can use to improve reporting and analytics. In order to generate aggregated, granular reports, advertisers can also feed their own event-level data into AMC from their websites or other third-party platforms.
- Demand-Side Platform (DSP): Amazon DSP offers a variety of ad products, including display, OTT, audio, and custom ads. This gives advertisers the ability to programmatically purchase, run and place digital ad slots both on and off Amazon. With AMC, advertisers and ad authors can now evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their DSP campaigns to broaden their user base and ad reach.
Benefits of Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC)
AMC is a highly flexible, comprehensive reporting tool that advertisers can leverage to:
First & Last touch Analysis: Advertisers focus on expanding consumer touchpoints to target the 86% of customers who will pay more for a better customer experience. Thus, getting a holistic view of the last-mile conversion into sales becomes necessary. From the first ad the customer ever interacted with during the discovery stage to the final click made on the ad that resulted in a sale, Amazon Marketing Cloud accounts for full-funnel attribution of the ad campaigns. Additionally, advertisers can learn about the many conversion pathways customers take (interact with before making a purchase) and which conversion path produced the best return.
Cross-channel analytics: As third-party cookies have started becoming more and more obsolete, accessibility to customer data has also reduced significantly. However, AMC removes that obstacle as it integrates cross-channel analytics and enables advertisers to run ads on Google/Facebook Ads and drive traffic from these platforms to your own website or to Amazon, all while safeguarding end-users’ personal data.
Higher Return on Investment (ROI): As advertisers gain custom & granular insights on their marketing campaigns, it empowers them to easily identify which media mix works best for which customer and leads to more conversions. Advertisers can also find out if the campaign performance aligns with their goals or not and optimize it accordingly for the big sale events such as Black Friday & Prime Day.
On & Off Amazon Impact: Advertisers may improve engagement both on and off Amazon with the help of Amazon Marketing Cloud. For e.g. DSP enables advertisers to target audiences across Amazon and its affiliated partners, combined with Amazon Marketing Cloud you can find out with which DSP campaign customers engaged the most and on which platform, thus, leveraging that data to bring in higher traffic & conversions.
How does Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) work?
Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) provides reports aggregated with at least or over 100 unique customers. The measurement solution is completely privacy-compliant and doesn’t use third-party cookies for capturing any personally identifiable information (PII).
Advertisers export their customer data collected either from their own website (first-party/1P) or third-party platforms (3P) where they also sell their products e.g. Walmart. The aggregated report generated by AMC will help advertisers draw relevant insights on customers for both 1P & 3P platforms, and if they can be targeted with ads on similar product categories on Amazon.
AMC also incorporates data from Amazon ads in addition to custom data from an advertiser. To learn more about the specific audience groups that interact with your marketing content or products on Amazon, you can export the event-level advertising data from Amazon ads into the Amazon Marketing cloud.
Finally, AMC will offer a thorough report that includes both Amazon ads data and advertiser-specific data. Every piece of information that AMC has access to is stored in Amazon Web Services (AWS), where an advertiser can access data going back up to a year.
*Apart from custom advertiser data & Amazon ads data, Subscriptions data that consist of organic data about the customers can also be accessed using AMC. As mentioned earlier too, subscriptions data include information about customers who are not exposed to advertisements, as well as specifics about loyal customers who visited a product’s detail page, added a new item to their cart, or even purchased it.*
Eligibility for Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC)
Not every advertiser can start using Amazon Marketing Cloud, you can only use the tool if you are:
- Already advertising using the Amazon Demand Side Platform
- Familiar with Structured Query Language (SQL), or are ready to invest in resources who have some expertise in SQL
- Ready to invest in Sponsored ads
- Willing to make your data actionable by gathering custom insights using AMC’s aggregated reports
Use Cases of Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC)
We have listed down some powerful use cases of AMC that will finally convince you as to why it should be an integral part of your marketing arsenal.
Full-funnel Attribution: Let’s say, a customer is first served a DSP ad clicking on which they land on the product page of a brand. After discovering the product, they were served Sponsored Brand ads to develop an interest in the product or brand. Lastly, the customer finally made a purchase after seeing a Sponsored Product ad. Earlier, without AMC advertisers were able to gather limited insights that too about the last ad product that the customer was served. Full-funnel attribution was not possible without Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC). Now, any advertiser can map the entire customer journey along different paths to conversion. The impact of advertising campaigns run for customers in the discovery stage on those run for clients in the last stage of the funnel can also be attributed to advertisers.
New-to-Brand Customers vs Non-new-to-brand customers: If you want to find out the efficiency of your campaigns you can do that simply by writing a custom query or using an instructional one in the Amazon marketing console. You can identify the product category having repeat purchases and build more awareness campaigns around similar products to increase your reach with customers who are new to your brand or who haven’t purchased a single product of yours in more than a year. The comparison with non-new-to-brand customers can then be made to establish a customer base that already has high purchase intent for your product and can be served relevant sponsored product ads.
Frequency Analysis: This use case helps you identify the no. of times customers has to be served with different ad products before they really decide to purchase your product. For e.g. if you want to find out if the purchase rate is higher when customers are subjected to Sponsored product ads after sponsored brand ads or if there is a positive correlation between an increase in the number of touchpoints between customer and product.
How DataChannel can help you with Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC)?
Given its complexity, Amazon Marketing Cloud is a measurement tool that demands considerable technical proficiency. Additionally, AMC utilizes cloud instances that are specific to each Advertiser Id, and advertisers must make a request to Amazon officials in order to access them. Only with their permission may the AMC data be made public.
Though it offers a holistic view of your ad data, you need to be familiar with writing queries. You will need to create the query from the start if you're seeking an answer to a particular question that isn't covered in the library of instructional queries.
- DataChannel can help you with data analysis for your custom queries that are not there in AMC’s repository. We can have custom query snippets built for you that will help you in getting answers to specific questions about customer demographics, ASINs, etc. Our dedicated team with sound technical expertise will help you at every step from writing custom queries and scheduling pipelines to catering to your business needs.
- AMC natively restricts data availability to the past one year. Making it impossible to do long term analytics. By regularly exporting and storing historical data in a data warehouse of your choice using DataChannel, you can then use the data at any stage to draw long-term insights around shifts in customer purchase behavior over time and changing customer segments. This would prove to be crucial in the long term as your business grows and scales.
- Machine learning (ML) driven trend forecasting can further be powered by DataChannel. Let’s say, trend forecasting needs to be done for custom audience data (offline events), that data can be put into our managed data warehouse and by using any ML tool parallel trends can be produced. As fresh data is automatically updated in your warehouse by DataChannel, trends are also adjusted appropriately.
- Insulate yourself from future data governance changes. In today’s regulatory scenario it is impossible to predict the data governance laws in the years ahead. All trends point towards greater stress on personal data security & increasingly restrictive cross platform data mobility. To prevent loss of accessibility to your customer data due to stricter data governance regulations, it is best to consistently move it to your data warehouse for posterity.
- Be future ready for any new technological shift. Any disruptive technology may upend any established business model at any time. Your ability to rapidly adjust to any such emerging trend will greatly depend on having complete control over your data at all times and not be tied down to any particular platform or existing business model. The agility of a platform agnostic tool like DataChannel is an unmatched advantage and crucial edge your business will need in the years ahead.
AMC is truly worth it and it is one of the best analytical tools that you could’ve asked for. If you want to learn more about how to fully leverage Amazon Marketing Cloud data in your own data warehouse with DataChannel, schedule a demo call today.
Don’t forget to watch our video to know more about loading AMC data into Google Big Query with DataChannel.