Amazon unBoxed Global Conference 2021 Key Takeaways: PART 1

2021-11-10 11:29
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With the long awaited unBoxed Global Conference 2021 recently coming to its close, businesses across the world were left with some of Amazon Advertising’s most groundbreaking solutions and features to reach consumers and grow their brands within the digital space. unboxed, formerly known as AdCon, is an annual event hosted by Amazon Advertising that aims to share the best ways of using Amazon Advertising to establish meaningful touchpoints with consumers at key moments of the shopping journey. Held for its third year in a row, the virtual, two-day conference featured new advertising solutions to help sellers achieve business growth and build a better brand. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the highlights of Amazon's latest advertising products and solutions.

Interactive Video & Audio Ads
Attracting more users through increased interactions

This year, Amazon Advertising launched new interactive video and audio ads (beta) in the United States, which has transformed the traditionally passive experience of watching video ads into an invitation to interact with brands through the click of a remote control and/or shop on Alexa or Amazon Eco TV via voice commands. Advertisers can now directly add voice commands and calls to action such as "add to cart", "add to list" or "buy now" to seamlessly weave advertising and shopping into the consumer experience.

Amazon Advertising also announced the introduction of another new feature, Amazon Interactive Audio Advertising (beta). Brands can now place 10 to 30 seconds of audio ads on Amazon Music for free, allowing them to interact more natively with consumers through call-to-action (CTA) ads.

New Performance Measurement Solutions
Quantifying Advertising Impact at Every Touchpoint and Data Enabled Growth

Reaching target audiences and continuously improving engagement is a key factor when measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Amazon’s latest survey found that 49% of respondents in the United States believed that measurement and attribution would command most of their attention for the year ahead. Therefore, in addition to Amazon Attribution, Amazon Advertising launched two new advertising effectiveness measurement solutions, Brand Metrics and Amazon Brand Lift.

While many might be familiar with Amazon Attribution’s free measurement solutions and how these help advertisers understand the shopper journey even when it happens off Amazon, the newly released Brand Metrics quantifies opportunities for a brand at every stage of the consumer journey on and off Amazon. Brand Metrics helps to understand the value of different shopping engagements as customers move closer to the purchase and loyalty stages. This solution is helpful when examining major stages of the consumer journey, analyzing consumption behaviors closest to purchase and measuring the overall interactive value that drives towards business growth. Currently, Brand Metrics is in its testing phase and can be used in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain.

On the other hand, Amazon Brand Lift helps advertisers carry out and collect consumer surveys on a large scale while producing fast, trustworthy and actionable insights to better understand brand marketing impact. According to a sample Amazon shopper survey, brands can quantitatively evaluate the effects of marketing activities through awareness, preference and purchase intention. Currently, the beta version is available in the United States.

New Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) Features 
Multi-Dimensional Data Insights, Analytics and Modeling

Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) is a comprehensive data measurement and analysis solution. Providing a privacy safe, dedicated cloud-based environment, advertisers can easily achieve higher levels of sophistication throughout the planning, purchase, measurement and optimization process of their media.

AMC’s feature updates include three key elements: Firstly, in addition to event-level data sets, brands can now upload existing anonymous data sets to AMC and perform multi-dimensional data analytics, helping sellers understand how owned audiences overlap with those on Amazon; Secondly, the newly-added query library provides a series of templated analysis and query functions that allow brands to customize queries and obtain cross-channel insights, minimizing query time and achieving more accurate insights; third, the overall interface and functions are more concise and user friendly. At present, AMC provides the following core functions:

1. Media portfolio analysis: Evaluates the impact of multiple advertising product portfolios and determines the most effective combination.

2. Omni-channel impact analysis: Helps advertisers understand all touch points on and off Amazon by uploading sellers’ own datasets to AMC. 

3. Evaluating the consumer journey: Analyzes the effect and attribution of every touch point in the shopping journey.

4. Audience insights analysis: Helps to understand the least and most engaged audience groups, allowing advertisers to adjust and plan future advertising strategies based on insights and results.

5. Custom attribution: Advertisers will be able to extend the lookback beyond 14 days and develop custom attribution models such as first touch or multi-touch.

New SD Promotion on Twitch
Expanding Upon the Upper Funnel to Maximize Brand Awareness

According to Amazon's survey and analysis, consumers generally undergo a conversion cycle of at least 6-7 days after seeing an ad. Throughout the daily operational process, sellers tend to focus more on lower funnel strategies, looking at short-term impact and conversions. However, from the perspective of long-term development, adopting a full-funnel marketing approach and continuously introducing new traffic through the upper level of the marketing funnel is bound to increase overall sales and build a stronger brand.

Amazon Advertising recently added Sponsored Display (SD) promotion on Twitch livestreaming, helping brands reach 30 million daily active users on the Twitch platform and a wider target audience range on and off Amazon. Currently, this feature is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Video advertising has rapidly gained acceptance among consumers, with two-thirds more willing to learn about products through video in comparison to text. Among them, 83% of global video content is watched on mobile phones with 80% of viewers willing to watch ads in exchange for free content. As far as the Amazon ecosystem is concerned, advertisers can place video ads through Amazon live, brand store videos, sponsored brand videos and online video ads.

High Impact Media Planning and Maximizing the Holiday Season

There are four key points in effective media planning: First, know who your audience is. Start with audience mapping and define the number of audiences that can be reached; Secondly, uncover media opportunities from browsing, purchase and video content insights; Third, maximize Amazon DSP’s delivery report and AMC to analyze ad impact; Finally, in the advertising product configuration, coordinate on and off Amazon advertising.

Marketing strategies during the holiday season can be summarized into 3 points: First, expand coverage and effectively convey brand messages through video advertising on Amazon TV during prime time; second, make use of audio-based advertising to reach audiences listening to music; Third, interact with consumers in real time through Amazon Live and live broadcasts to increase consideration. By making use of smart audio and video ads, advertisers can achieve up to 32% sales growth from new to brand users.

Advertising Identity with Amazon Ads

Data privacy is an increasingly important issue that the industry as a whole is addressing. Amazon Advertising reaches consumers by creating safe and trusted connections through:

1. Shopping audience modeling: Combine shopping and other identifiable behaviors with machine learning and modeling to identify target audiences.

2. Content solutions: Based on contextual targeting, Amazon measures the relationship between consumer behavior-based insights, content topics and marketing outcomes to enable sellers to understand consumer psychology via users' online browsing content.

3. Strategic partnerships: The strategic partner network built by Amazon provides various advertising audience identification methods, including seller's own direct partners, media partnerships and third-party solutions.

4. Measurement of audience reach: Analysis and data insights through advertising attribution models, AMC, holistic measurement, industry forums, etc.

Connected Home and Ad Creatives

The connected home in advertising means how Amazon Advertising enables advertisers to reach audiences through various devices connected to the home. At present, 78% of households in the United States own connected TV sets. It is expected that by 2023, there will be more than 300 million households with at least one smart home device or service, posing an enormous advertising opportunity for brands.

SB Techniques for Increasing Brand Discovery

Sponsored Brand (SB) ads can generally achieve the desired goals of improving cross-selling, building brand awareness, promoting product discoverability and purchase rate.

1. Cross-selling complementary and related products. 
  • Highlight star products above four stars.
  • Add store pages in ad creatives or promote store page for the product line.

2. Building brand awareness and loyalty
  • If the landing page of the launch event is set to an Amazon store instead of a product page, ROAS can be increased by 28%.
  • Ensure messaging between ad creatives and the store landing page are consistent.
  • Use new-to-brand metrics to measure the effectiveness of the launch and campaign success.

3. Promoting product discoverability and purchase rate
  • Clarify the product’s unique selling points.
  • Through short but informative SBV formats, highlight unique product elements to interact with consumers more effectively.

It’s worth noting that prior to launching, SB goals and objectives must first be set. Working backwards to build campaigns help with reviewing the periodical effects of ads on target audiences and allow for timely optimization and adjustments.