Is Your Amazon Advertising Built on a House of Cards? How to Get It Right in 2020 

Timothy P. Seward

Much like anything in life, if you don’t have a strong foundation, it is incredibly difficult to build anything of value. The same goes for your brand’s advertising strategy. Your revenue growth will include a bevvy of different marketing and sales components, but the foundation of your success will lie in the strength of your advertising strategy.

With more product searches starting on Amazon than Google (https://www.emarketer.com/content/more-product-searches-start-on-amazon), Amazon can be a great addition to your advertising arsenal. Amazon offers an additional channel to fortify your brand’s advertising, delivering wins throughout the entire marketing funnel. A strong Amazon advertising strategy will improve both brand awareness and conversions, ultimately leading to increased profitability and revenue.

Amazon has more than 310 million active customers (https://www.statista.com/statistics/476196/number-of-active-amazon-customer-accounts-quarter/) who are ready and willing to make a purchase if your presence on the platform is compelling enough. Is your brand properly prepared to reach them?

The average consumer may not realize that Amazon only makes about half of its sales as a first-party retailer (in other words, through brands that sell to Amazon). The other half is split among roughly two million third-party sellers (meaning brands that sell on Amazon). If you are currently reselling another brand’s products, you’re building their brand and their relationship with consumers – not your own. You’re also likely paying a premium when you consider the costs of Amazon sellers’ fees and ad clicks.

Amazon: First New York Gave it PR Fits for One Half of its HQ2 Home; Now It’s Virginia’s ChanceFrom my perspective, the key to your revenue growth stack on Amazon and getting a piece of each deck is accepting that consumers aren’t loyal to resellers. They’re loyal to brands.

Situations where you shouldn’t be manufacturing products under your own brand name are few and far between. If you think you realistically have a shot at becoming the next big distribution player (like Target or Staples) or if the products you sell are large, heavy, or highly customizable, this tip doesn’t apply to you. But if that’s not you, you should immediately consider branding your packaging with your own logos, brand colors, and web addresses.

This is just one drop in the pond of building your brand on Amazon. What steps can you take to invigorate your Amazon advertising and entice more customers to purchase from your brand in 2020? How can your brand leverage the platform for year-over-year increases in conversions and profitable revenue?

Firstly, you should only be doing things for which you have intense enthusiasm. Imagine that you’re a headlining band going on a massive U.S. tour. Whether it’s stop one or stop 47, you need to make each audience member feel like you came to play just for them and their friends, even though you’re essentially doing the same thing over and over.

That’s great, but how does it relate to Amazon? Let me ask you a few questions:

  • Are you doing or selling something for which you have (or can develop) intense enthusiasm?
  • Do you truly believe in and feel excited about the products you sell?
  • Put simply, is what you sell more than a “passion project”?

If you’re responsible in any way, shape, or form for your brand’s product, then this is an absolute must. Even if you’ve already created success, if you lose enthusiasm for your work, the success will soon leave you.

Aside from passion, if you want to succeed at advertising on Amazon in 2020 and beyond, you need to understand the minds of your customers. Jeff Bezos once said that the secret sauce of Amazon is customer obsession (https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-jeff-bezos-success-customer-obsession-2018-9). Amazon’s vision is to be the world’s most customer-centric company (https://www.amazon.jobs/en/working/working-amazon) and they’ve clearly found tremendous success through this mindset.

Any brand can be inspired by Amazon’s vision to boost success for themselves. It’s as simple as putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and identifying their wants, needs, and desires. Instead of depending on your gut feeling, I recommend conducting audience research. This way, you can make smart, data-driven decisions based on what your audience has specifically told you they want.

Lastly, you need to build and promote your own brand on Amazon. Even if you start off as a reseller, your ultimate goal should be to get to the point where you’re selling products under your own brand or label. Since every sale you make on Amazon improves the organic rate of your product listing, and given Amazon’s massive domination of ecommerce, there’s no denying that a strong advertising campaign on Amazon can catapult your brand’s growth.

Whether you’re just getting started or you already have a strong foundation with Amazon, advertising on Amazon can feel overwhelming. Trust me, we’ve all been there.


TimothyP.Seward About the Author:Timothy P.Seward is the author of Ultimate Guide to Amazon Advertising (Entrepreneur Press® 2019) and the founder of ROI Revolution, which drives growth for brands, retailers, and ecommerce merchants such as PUMA, Lenovo, SONY, and 7-Eleven with its results-driven digital marketing technology and services. With his extensive marketing and retail background, he is a thought leader who has spoken at 70+ industry ecommerce and Amazon events including IRCE, eTail, & The Prosper Show, is a frequent guest lecturer at North Carolina State University’s College of Management, and has contributed to key industry publications including Internet Retailer.

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