Google has dominated the search scene long enough that a generation of young people is left wondering how baby boomers managed “back in the day.”
Now, however, a new giant is entering the search arena. Amazon is starting to give the search giant a run for its ad revenue — something that astute marketers will have seen coming for some time. It has been reported that 55% of product searches in the US now emanate from Amazon, and advertising has been a key contributor to their strong growth — 60% year on year.
This has led to a trend of brands aiming to “Amazon-proof” themselves as they look for ways to leverage learnings from the retail Goliath whilst capitalizing on their own unique propositions. Yet rather than resisting the behemoth, perhaps they should consider jumping into Amazon’s slipstream.
Strengthening a brand’s social voice requires taking a strong holistic view that could shift Amazon from being ‘the enemy’ to an ally. This is something that would involve integrating Amazon conversion ads into a wider social marketing approach with a strategic plan, and it could be well worth it.
Whilst Amazon started life as an innovative retail model it can also be credited with putting social media into popular consciousness. What started with garnering buyer reviews rapidly turned into genuine consumer engagement with the platform, and, as a consequence its highly active customer reviews columns could be described as a consumer-driven social network in their own right.
Now that marketers have a new generation of AI capacity at their finger tips they have more compelling reasons to tap into Amazon’s social media ecosystem.
Thanks to these new developments in AI, data can be ethically refined to deliver more relevant and rewarding advertising. From the consumers’ perspective this means they will finally be served ads that are engaging and totally relevant to them, and this happens to dovetail perfectly with the way Amazon ranks its products using an algorithm that is influenced mainly by conversion rate (i.e., how often it sells).
Up until recently, all the hype around AI’s usage in advertising has been confined to very niche areas, from re-organizing data more efficiently to tagging and organizing inventory. As a consequence, AI’s massive potential has only slowly built momentum. However, we have finally reached a tipping point where AI is starting to come into its own. And it is about time — as you read this, an overwhelming 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are being collected every day, turning data from marketers’ gold dust to their nemesis.
Little wonder that “reach” lost its pole position as the ultimate metric and has been sidestepped by an urgent need for higher and more accurate engagement.
New-generation AI means marketers can shift away from assumptions as they can now rapidly unlock the once elusive customer decision-making processes in real-time.
What this means for consumers is an actual reduction in the amount of advertising they will be served, and this advertising will finally be much more impactful as it will be totally relevant.
Of course, within the next six months things may have evolved once again and a new shift will be required in marketers’ strategy, but for now we could do worse than re-think the value of Amazon within a social marketing campaign.