‘Amazon focuses on the things that stay the same, not figuring out what’s next’

Marketing Week caught up with Dan Wright, Amazon Media Group’s European director, at Advertising Week Europe. He discussed the importance of iterative innovation, transparency over consumer data, confusion around native advertising and why marketers should look at consideration metrics over engagement.  

Kindle Fire HD
Amazon Kindle Fire is a ‘great branding tool’, Dan Wright says.

“At Amazon we focus on the things that will stay the same rather than trying to figure out what’s going to be next…

…We want to focus and innovate on what our customers care about. They will always care about prices, convenience, selection, and we innovate to deliver that for our advertisers. We do look to invent, but on those dimensions.

It’s a very clarifying point. There are all these things happening and people asking “how do you make sense of it, should we be interrupting this and doing that?”, but if you just go back to the customer and focus on what’s important to them, the rest will follow.

Our ecommerce ads are a good example of that. Customers want to see ratings and reviews before making a purchase, so we have added value by putting those in the ad. Delivering advertising experience in that context is important for better discovery and to deliver value.

Amazon’s vision is to be the earth’s most customer centric company. If we’re good at that then advertisers and marketers win too.”

“We talk with marketers about consideration rather than engagement…

…a consideration for us is when a user has viewed a product detail page. There is an obvious correlation between an increase in consideration and a lift in sales, so we talk in terms of cost per consideration.

Marketers get it very quickly because that’s the conversation that needs to happen. It’s not something they’ve heard before [from other media owners], but when they look at that it gives them insights into the things they want to know.

Other advertisers’ objectives are different, like introducing consumers to a new concept, brand, idea or to raise awareness – and some advertise with us that don’t sell products on Amazon. Our audience is good for advertisers because they are educated and like to shop.

And we also have products that are very good for for branding. Kindle Fire Special Offers is a great branding product that delivers relevant, beautiful and stunning ads using the device, sight, sound and motion. IMDB is a great awareness product.

We’ve had auto companies using Kindle Fire ads and other advertisers with objectives like awareness or who have conducted brand studies with third parties or have used a test and control audience to prove this works. It’s not just about direct response and driving sales on Amazon. It depends on the advertiser goals.”

“We don’t think of native advertising in those terms…

…We have Ecommerce Ads that enable us to have an advertisement that includes functions like add to cart, add to wishlist. The results of the Ecommerce Ads we run are 20 to 30 per cent better than standard display in many instances. Is that native advertising? I’m not sure it matters.

Our goal is to integrate service and features into our advertising that improve the customer experience. If that’s native advertising, great.

I’m not a fan of [masking commercial content as editorial]. We are clear about what’s advertising and what’s not as customer trust is paramount. We want customers to trust the advertising we serve and set their own preferences.

We are not trying to do anything other than offer full transparency. Customer trust is everything for us.”

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