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How to Scale Amazon Sponsored Display for More Results and Less Cost

Data has always powered digital advertising, and emerging channels are making it possible to activate data more strategically than ever. The rise of Amazon Ads offers a highly compelling use case, as advertisers now have an unprecedented opportunity to tap into Amazon’s wealth of consumer data to reach highly targeted audiences. 

Amazon and other retail networks leverage vast amounts of audience signal data, enabling advertisers to deliver personalized ads to consumers at the perfect moment in their purchasing journey. Incorporating these retail media networks into your ad strategy can significantly enhance your reach and impact; however, with these opportunities comes capacity challenges: as operational and execution teams grapple with the increasing complexity of managing diverse channels. 

Earlier this week, I shared strategies for seamlessly and scalably integrating emerging media into your existing ad mix at the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo™ in Colorado. In this article, I’ll summarize those key insights we shared with an emphasis on the following:

  • Key trends in media landscape: automation and scaling of multichannel strategies
  • Amazon’s rise in the media mix
  • A use case in adding Amazon’s latest ad unit, Amazon Sponsored Display, into a multichannel mix.  

The new enterprise media mix: locally-targeted, multichannel, and data-powered

In the rapidly evolving landscape of advertising, brands must increasingly scale campaigns across a growing volume of channels, at the local level. 

As a result, advertisers are reallocating their budgets towards programmatic and emerging media channels. For instance, Basis Technologies forecasts a 15% year-over-year growth in programmatic advertising, while Fluency forecasts a 350% increase in spending on Amazon and other demand-side platforms (DSPs) by 2027. This trend highlights the sustained momentum in investments in programmatic and retail media, as brands strive to forge more effective connections with their target audiences.

New ad types are creating immense opportunity

Emerging channels are creating immense opportunities to reach high-value, high-intent audiences across our vertical in a way that is more targeted and relevant than ever before. One key example we are tracking closely is Amazon Sponsored Display, which allows advertisers to target shoppers and use high-intent data without having to be an actual Amazon retailer. Key industries that are a great fit for Amazon Sponsored Display include:

  • Travel and hospitality
  • Media and entertainment
  • Real estate
  • Consumer services
  • Automotive
  • Home and building services
  • Education

These industries can leverage Amazon's extensive consumer insights to reach potential customers with precision and relevance, driving better engagement and conversion rates.

Success starts with your operations, and overcoming the “crisis of capacity”

To succeed with Amazon Sponsored Display, or any other new ad unit or channel, you must evaluate your ad operations. Digital advertising teams are encountering immense operational challenges. Channel proliferation, for example, creates or exacerbates labor inefficiencies and opens the door for risk creating significant downward pressure on your account strategists and account management. 

The reality is, we’re asking a lot of today’s digital advertisers. Agencies are spending around 80% of their time on advertising execution tasks that can be easily automated, such as budgeting, compliance, and creative scaling. 86% of brands struggle with advertising automation, a crucial first step toward efficiency. Yet, a small but growing number of agencies are mastering automation tools to truly enhance their effectiveness. 

To scale profitably, you need an operating system

So how do we dig ourselves out of both the labor and technological challenges of these traditional scenarios? First, we need to start thinking about advertising operations holistically. 

To achieve profitable scale, it is essential to automate key work streams to enhance both scalability and overall performance. By implementing a digital advertising operating system, you can automate critical processes systematically such as campaign execution and management, content and creative deployment, and performance reporting. The end result enables your teams to communicate with publishers in real-time, while offloading the most labor-intensive advertising tasks, thereby increasing efficiency and effectiveness. 

Whether you’re not currently using technology, like automation, or you’re using some technology —but it isn’t doing what you need at the publishing level — you’re likely feeling the weight of this on your operations. By leaning into automation, and creating a unified approach with your technology and your people, you can start to pull that operational weight off of your teams and start reaping incredible cost-savings.

Let's look at an example: How the largest agency in automotive launched over 1k locally targeted Amazon Sponsored Display campaigns in minutes with automation 

There’s profound benefits you can see around key work streams, so let’s make this real by exploring a practical use case by examining how the largest agency in automotive managed to launch over 1,000 locally targeted, Amazon Sponsored Display campaigns within minutes by leveraging automation in their digital advertising operating system.

How did they do it? It all started with a clear strategy and goals. The agency aimed to help two major brands enhance display ad performance by testing new channels. They already had a multichannel strategy in place but sought to improve performance and optimize budgets while maintaining their operating margins. Let’s dive in further:

Background and Challenge

Dealer.com, part of Cox Automotive and the largest advertising agency in the automotive sector, aimed to expand their capabilities to include Amazon Advertising. With the goal of enhancing their innovative, data-driven advertising services for automotive manufacturers, regional groups, and local franchise dealers, Dealer.com faced the challenge of integrating Amazon Sponsored Display without overextending resources.

Implementation and Strategic Approach

To tackle this challenge, Dealer.com leveraged Fluency’s Amazon integration to automate the creation and management of over 1,100 locally targeted Sponsored Display campaigns within minutes for their extensive network of Ford and Subaru dealerships. This strategic move enabled seamless integration of these campaigns into their broader media mix, including paid search, display channels, and YouTube. Centralizing campaign management into a single interface, Dealer.com could access a holistic performance dashboard, simplifying operations and enhancing strategic oversight.

Results and Insights

The implementation of Fluency's Digital Advertising Operating System (DAOS) resulted in significant operational efficiencies and performance improvements for Dealer.com:

  • Labor and Time Savings: Automation drastically reduced the time required for campaign setups from weeks to minutes, saving over 550 hours of labor and significantly reducing costs.
  • Cost Efficiency: The campaigns achieved a 65% reduction in cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) compared to other display channels, enhancing cost efficiency.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: This strategic integration provided Dealer.com with crucial insights, informing future advertising strategies and channel expansion efforts. Ben Gilbert, Dealer.com’s Sr. Director of Advertising Innovation, said: "It’s important to work with a partner who not only has expertise in Amazon Ads products and services but also understands your specific needs and can contribute to your growth and client needs. By carefully selecting a partner that meets these criteria, you can leverage their expertise to optimize your Amazon Ads campaigns and achieve better results. A well-selected partner can be a valuable asset in navigating Amazon’s advertising ecosystem and driving success for you and your clients." 

These outcomes underscore Dealer.com’s enhanced ability to efficiently launch, manage, and optimize a large-scale advertising portfolio. By embracing automation and leveraging Fluency’s DAOS, Dealer.com has set a new benchmark in the industry.

Final thoughts

By integrating emerging channels, such as Amazon Sponsored Display, into your comprehensive advertising strategy, you can start to deliver highly targeted and relevant ads at pivotal moments in the consumer journey. 

Whether you’re a brand or an agency, we recognize the complexity that managing diverse channels presents to your teams. By embracing automation and strategic data utilization, advertisers can navigate the evolving media landscape and achieve outstanding performance across their campaigns. Learn more about how you can scale your Amazon Sponsored Display Ads, alongside other critical channels by connecting with our team