Bobby Figueroa, former head of global operations for Amazon Advertising and founder of Gradient.io, an intelligent insights platform for Amazon, spearheaded the build of a platform that lets marketers measure their overall performance against competitors, product positioning, and customer responses on Amazon.
The Gradient Score, which Figueroa refers to as a Fico credit score for brands selling on Amazon, lets marketers analyze keep track of performance. A healthy score is a strong predictor for growth, he said.
Marketers using Gradient Score receive an aggregate score based on three factors.
Positioning measures how the brand's products are merchandised at the point of sale. Presence measures how effectively it captures the attention of interested shoppers. Response measures how customers respond to the brand’s products.
Figueroa began his professional career at Procter & Gamble, which taught him how to manage the physical products in stores. Now he’s taking that concept online.
He started his career at P&G, but spent four years at Amazon, six years at Microsoft as director of product management, three years at Google as head of product marketing, and a year at Yahoo as VP of product management.
“In the U.S. there are more than 600 million products,” he said. “Your product -- how do you know where it sits on the shelf and when does the shopper see it?”
Brands really need to have an independent third party to guide them through the ecosystem, he said, adding that it has become too difficult for the major platforms to share data.
It all happens through bringing machine learning to ecommerce and tracking what consumers see. On a physical shelf you can see the brands that compete, but it’s not as visual online without data.
A lot of data is required -- mostly the type of data that big ecommerce companies have. These companies have a lot of products and can spend between a few hundred to millions.
The company can pull a Gradient Score on any brand sold on Amazon. Gradient tested the platform by pulling data on Mentos, although the brand doesn’t work with Gradient.io, which can pull data on any brand selling on the Amazon platform.
Recently, Gradient.io hired Jay Sampson as chief revenue officer to help take the platform to brands. Until now the platform has been in development.
Figueroa sees Amazon spurring innovation -- doing something similar to what Microsoft and Google did early on. They found a way to create cottage industries that feed into its technology, spurring growth.
“Before Amazon did it for advertising they did it for their AWS business,” he said. "As soon as they did that it created a catalyst for a whole new generation for companies.”