Tambo, Amazon Advertising and Brand Leaders Share Brand Strategies For Success

Global marketplace services platform Tambo recently collaborated with Amazon Advertising, Lily’s Kitchen and itsu [grocery] to share key insights behind successful strategies on Amazon during a unique, conversational panel event with Tambo’s clients and closest partners. The event was hosted by Tambo Managing Partner, Jake Hewlett.

Setting the scene for the discussion, Alec Burns, Tambo Marketplace Advertising Lead, shared his view on the most important changes in 2020 together with his expectations for Amazon Advertising in 2021.

His overview for 2020 was as follows:

  • A year of huge peaks out of seasonality driven by the pandemic, creating budgeting challenges, especially combined with the late confirmation of Prime Day. Varied significantly between categories.
  • There was of course a natural shift online with physical stores closed. According to a Google Think survey, the 3 biggest drivers among customers trying a new brand were price, convenience and speed, with convenience becoming more important as price decreased in importance. These are of course areas where Amazon excels and has excelled for some time.
  • A delayed prime day driving huge sustained demand from October to year end, especially with stricter lockdown in place during the Xmas shopping period seeing very strong December performance.
  • As a result we saw a large increase in interest and budgets in Amazon Advertising with an aggregated YOY increase across our client base of 180%

With his expectations for 2021 being summarised below:

  • In our recent survey, Marketplaces were ranked above Search, Social & ATL in terms of being the most important channel for growth efforts in 2021 so we see the rate of growth we saw in 2020 continuing.
  • At Tambo we expect further reporting functionality, offering more detailed insight into performance.
  • We expect Amazon DSP adoption to continue strongly. Many brands will be looking to the DSP as the natural next step for growth both on and off Amazon, making use of 1P data.
  • International expansion: we’ve helped numerous clients expand their operations across Europe. In our recent survey, 68% of our clients expect to use Amazon for further international expansion in 2021.

Michael Swilley, Amazon Advertising Global Lead of Strategic Independent Agency Development, built on the above, providing exceptional insight behind the evolving products available in Amazon Advertising: including the newer tools that can support sales and growth, as well as helping brands connect with shopper brands.

Moving into the panel, Tambo CEO Paul Adams, began the discussion by explaining the unique benefits and complexities of Amazon, “The mistake many businesses and agencies make is to treat advertising separately from the rest of the Amazon customer experience. They are intrinsically linked together - advertising directly influences your organic ranking and vice versa. The available Amazon Retail data can be incredibly powerful for advertisers.”

The discussion then turned to the breadth and depth of Amazon Advertising, with Paul observing that “It is broader and deeper than marketeers realise. The majority of clients see it just as a vehicle to drive sales at the low end of the funnel. A few years ago this would have been the case, but Amazon’s worked hard to build its brand building credentials with better audience engaging, richer formats and better placements.”

Similarly, Jack Rutherford, UK Sales Director at Lily’s Kitchen, shared that “this is something we’re increasingly learning about- there is a diverse set of marketing channels within Amazon (Prime video, DSP, Audio etc). I think the biggest barrier for us fully exploring the world beyond Sponsored Ads has been one of educating ourselves and our business of the opportunity.”

Regarding content, Ellie said that “For us, the content side of Amazon Advertising (beyond just Sponsored Ads) is an area where we see there is greater potential to maximise - we are keen to drive traffic to Amazon from multiple channels... we have the ability to be dynamic with updating our Brand Store in real time. For example, the relatively new introduction of Themed Brand Stores led to us creating a Veganuary theme on our brand store to help capture additional vegan interest/traffic”.

Another point of discussion amongst the panelists was the importance of getting the basics right and understanding the flywheel effect in order to do Amazon well. Namely, advertising is a key element and is ultimately what turns the wheel to ensure best in class organic retail listings is a top priority.

Paul said, “The mistake many businesses and media agencies make is to treat advertising separately from the rest of the customer experience. They are intrinsically linked together, unlike other PPC channels. We talk with our clients about five factors that you have to take care of: Availability, Price, Quality, Popularity, Relevance). Before you embark on any advertising you need to optimise against these factors. We see them like cogs in a wheel that are then powered by Advertising.”

Jack Rutherford reiterated this point, “We believe that the efficacy of your paid activity depends entirely on you getting the basics right. I would compare it to how you wouldn’t spend money driving customers to fixture in a bricks and mortar environment if the product isn’t on shelf, is hard to find or is not competitively priced. We view advertising as an accelerator rather than something that drives sales growth in and of itself.”

Finally, the panelists spoke about international expansion on Amazon and the growth opportunities this could unlock.

Itsu’s Ellie Leek spoke about their expansion into the German market, saying “Our launch on Amazon Germany is imminent… we will be kickstarting the launch with all content in place, rather than gradually as we did with the UK – setting ourselves up for success... We’ve ensured all our imagery/A+ content is localised in German. It will be our first touchpoint for itsu in Germany (grocery range ahead of any restaurant presence) so how the brand shows up is crucial for introducing ourselves to German consumers”.

Closing the webinar Jake Hewlett summarised with three takeaways:

  1. We are clearly still in the early days of Amazon Advertising. It’s far from perfect, with gaps in measurement and targeting but things are moving fast and the options available to advertisers are becoming broader & deeper across both the sales & brand spectrum.
  1. To do Amazon well, you need to get the basics right and understand the flywheel effect - Advertising is a key element but is ultimately what turns the wheel. You need to make sure there is a wheel to turn first and that’s all about ensuring best in class organic retail listings.
  2. We know from our survey that many of you are thinking about international expansion - for many we of course are working with you in new markets already. This continues to be a huge area of opportunity for growth and as Amazon continues to launch into new locales will continue to be moving forward.

This is the third event Tambo has facilitated in collaboration with Amazon Advertising - each providing a unique insight and expertise to growth strategies and opportunities on Amazon. With 100% positive feedback from every event, these spaces provide an excellent platform for brands to share expertise and learn from each other. To find out about our future events – sign up to Tambo’s newsletter: www.tambo.io/blog

Webinar feedback:

  • 100% would like to attend future webinars
  • 86% would recommend Tambo events to a colleague
  • 100% found the webinar useful (29% extremely useful | 71% somewhat useful)
  • 86% said the webinar was presented at the right level (14% said it was too advanced)
  • 86% said they learned new tactics that could be applied to their business
  • Suggestions for future webinar themes: “Maybe one purely on content would be great. Really honing in on aesthetics, what style of product photo's work best etc.”

No of invitations sent: 128

Confirmed delegates: 79

Attendance: 68 | 85% positive attendance rate

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