Amazon, automation, and the multichannel mix - an interview with Jeff Cohen

March 14, 2024

Everyone is looking for the next thing they can add to their marketing mix for greater impact. Recently we had the opportunity to discuss eCommerce advertising strategy with Jeff Cohen, Tech Evangelist at Amazon focusing on the impact and advantages of Amazon Ads.

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Amazon, automation, and the multichannel mix - an interview with Jeff Cohen

In the dynamic realm of eCommerce and digital advertising, Jeff Cohen has emerged as a key figure, utilizing his extensive expertise to navigate the intricacies of Amazon Ads.

Since his induction to Amazon in January 2022, Jeff has embarked on a global journey, sharing his insights into Amazon Ads technology and best practices.

His enthusiasm and expertise extend beyond the corporate sphere, evident in the creation of a thriving community within the Amazon Ads tech space. Notably, Jeff curates a weekly LinkedIn newsletter , a trusted source for thousands of partners and advertisers seeking to remain informed in the fast-paced world of Amazon Ads.

His nuanced comprehension of ROI metrics, campaign structures, and adaptive strategies in the ever-evolving advertising landscape gave us a dialogue rich in both substance and practical application.

So let's jump into the world of Amazon Ads with Jeff and discuss some insights together.

1. In your opinion Jeff, what are the most significant challenges sellers face when running campaigns on Amazon Ads, and how would you address them?

One of the challenges a brand faces when running campaigns is providing a return on investment (ROI) for ad spend. When you are focused on conversion campaigns, this ROI is often seen as Advertising Cost of Sale (ACOS) or Total Advertising Cost of Sale (TACOS).

These provide a measurement that compares the cost of the campaigns to the conversions. As you move up the funnel to awareness and consideration, brands begin to look at Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) which looks at how many dollars they are making for each dollar invested.

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While ROAS is a valid measurement it may not always provide the full picture of how your ads are performing. This is where new metrics like new-to-brand, video views, and other metrics can begin to demonstrate how a campaign can help drive new customers to your brand.

2. Can you share a specific example of a successful campaign on Amazon Ads? What type of campaign structure was used to achieve the results?

Amazon Ads system is robust to allow for different structures, this allows brands to set up what is best for them. While campaign structure may vary, one best practice that you want to remember when developing Sponsored Products campaigns is to:

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Technology is a great way to stay ahead of the evolving landscape as it provides a way for you to scale your advertising and manage larger campaigns.

In addition, I recommend you keep up on industry trends via the Amazon Ads blog and learning console, they are great resources for learning.

4. How do you see the role of insights and analytics for campaigns on Amazon Ads? What specific metrics and KPIs would you prioritize, and how do you use them to refine your strategies?

Insights and analytics are critical for any business, not just Amazon Ads. The specific metrics will vary based on the goals you are trying to accomplish.

My recommendation is that you spend time during the planning phase to really understand what action you are trying to drive, then you can select metrics and KPIs that would signal you are encouraging the right behavior.

For example, if your product detail page is converting well and you want to increase traffic, you may look at impressions to help increase the number of shoppers who view your product.

5. What strategies do you recommend for optimizing product listings to complement campaigns on Amazon Ads and enhance the overall shopping experience for customers?

Your product listings should always be optimized for the shopper, not the campaign. Put yourself in the shoes of your shopper, and use terms they are familiar with.

Provide details about your product that demonstrate the value a consumer will get. Always work backward from the customer and ensure they are getting the right experience on your listings.

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6. How important are customer reviews and feedback in the context of Amazon Ads, and what strategies can be implemented to help improve review ratings and credibility?

Shoppers look to reviews as a way to learn about your product. The best strategy to improve reviews is to listen when customers provide feedback and make product improvements

7. Amazon Prime Day and holiday seasons are critical for sales. What strategies would you propose to capitalize on these peak shopping periods and stand out?

When you think of an event, like Prime Day, break the event into three phases. The lead-in phase is the time before the event. This is your opportunity to warm up your campaigns, engage with new audiences, and look for signals that could indicate shoppers are interested in your product.

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The second phase is the actual event, it is recommended that you manage your budgets during the event to ensure you don’t run out. This will also help to maximize your exposure.

Finally, don’t forget about the lead-out phase, which is the period after the event. This is a great chance to re-engage with shoppers who showed intent but didn’t buy.

8. How important is brand consistency in Amazon Ads? What strategies can businesses employ to maintain a strong and consistent brand presence across their product listings and ads?

It’s important that shoppers see a consistent look and feel from your brand across Amazon as well as your direct-to-consumer shopping site. This instills confidence that they are getting the product they are looking for.

Amazon Ads has a store feature that allows you to build out a “mini-site” that can provide a custom look and feel for your brand, allowing you to tell your brand story and build trust with shoppers.

9. What strategies would you recommend to maximize ad spend efficiency while still achieving desired results in competitive categories?

When starting a new campaign, I always recommend you employ a test-and-learn mentality. This allows you to set goals, start with a budget you’re comfortable with, and then grow as you see the results you desire.

Campaigns need ongoing care- make sure you determine what metrics you are going to follow and set a floor. This ensures you let your campaigns develop without making any knee-jerk reactions.

10. From Amazon’s point of view, what role does automation play for Amazon Ads?

Amazon Ads makes all of our technology available via an API so that our technology providers can build upon the tools we have created. For many of our tool providers, automation provides a way to scale advertising in an efficient and effective manner.

11. What is a good practice when it comes to a seller scaling their Amazon Advertising efforts? How can they best grow and expand on Amazon?

Amazon Ads has many tools that you can use to increase the exposure of your brand to new shoppers. As you expand you may want to consider some features like Amazon Posts and Amazon Stores which help to build followers.

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Brands should also take advantage of A+ content and video as a way to further demonstrate product value. All of these products are free and many have templates available.

Amazon Ads provides opportunities to remarket and engage new audiences via Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display. These tools help you reach shoppers who may be interested in your product.

12. Thank you for all the insights and strategies from this session. As we close, are there any last thoughts or topics you would like to share with our audience?

The advice I give the most is 1) be patient and 2) be prepared to learn. Advertising properly takes time, ensuring you are delivering the right message to the right signals and engaging with shoppers who may be interested in your product.

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The process requires a learning curve and, as mentioned earlier, things are always changing.

An ad that didn’t work for you six months ago may be perfect for you today.

Brands that are always testing and learning are the ones that can maximize their return as the industry evolves.

Vanshj SethBrand Marketing

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