Amazon has continued to develop its advertising capabilities over the years, in an effort to match both demand and the scope expected of a platform of this kind.
As the world’s foremost global marketplace, Amazon caters to everyone from smaller sellers to big worldwide brands – and more and more, they expect top-level online marketing to match their ambitions.
The platform’s recent acquisition of Sizmek marks a major step in the right direction for Amazon. Let’s take a look at why this is so important and the advantages which can be expected.
Reinventing Amazon DSP
A major benefit of this acquisition is the opportunity to reinvigorate Amazon’s demand side platform (Amazon DSP). While many marketers have complained that the platform is flagging behind, it has still gathered an enormous following due to the sheer wealth of customer data which Amazon has access to.
By acquiring the ad server of Sizmek, Amazon now has a chance to use this new data to boost the platform’s existing capabilities far beyond their current limitations.
There are a few key ways in which advertisers and brands alike stand to benefit. Primarily, this will positively impact Amazon’s capabilities in major areas such as attribution and measuring of performance – reassuring news for advertisers who have felt let down by Amazon’s existing options.
Why does this matter?
Amazon DSP was devised as a rival to Google’s digital advertising capabilities. The data which Google has access to made it a major player in the online advertising space, and Amazon’s own equivalent is the only DSP which provides access to Amazon customer data.
This in turn enables greater advertising targeting, as well as giving Amazon advertisers the chance to gain a competitive advantage over other brands. Amazon continued to capitalise on its large bank of customer information for many years, but the platform is currently experiencing a slower pace of adoption amongst online advertisers.
Gaining Sizmek ad server will enable Amazon to further boost its abilities. Ad servers store, maintain and provide ads to online browsers, giving advertisers more control (and greater efficiency) when it comes to the crucial task of managing their advertising space. In addition, ad servers can enable them to assess the performance of the advertising used on a particular website – giving an even greater competitive advantage.
The ad server is able to see where ads are run on the internet, whether they have been purchased on a programmatic basis or purchased from publishers. It’s the ideal reporting tool, used by savvy advertisers who expect to know exactly where their advertising spend is headed.
What does this mean for Amazon?
The ability to gather together and see this information will provide Amazon with a more comprehensive understanding of the digital marketing landscape. This is information which the platform would not under usual circumstances have access to. However, the chance to see direct buys from marketers provides great detail.
At this time, it is still unclear precisely how much information Amazon will truly be able to access after this acquisition. Prior Sizmek executives have suggested Amazon may only have the ability to see rates via the ad server after gaining the permission of the agency and advertiser it refers to.
Amazon has not yet outlined the full scope of their projects, but they have stated in a blog post that the Sizmek ad server will operate as a separate entity to Amazon’s advertising capabilities – at least for now.
The future for Amazon DSP and Sizmek
Many in the know expect that this current status quo will eventually change, with Amazon linking their new ad server to Amazon DSP. There are numerous benefits to doing so (as outlined above), so it seems likely that the platform will want to capitalise on these benefits as soon as possible.
Combining the Amazon DSP and the ad server will give Amazon the ability to gain greater control and accuracy in every element of management and targeting, with key capabilities including the ability to manage their conversions, as well as the reach and frequency of advertising actions.
In addition, this will allow Amazon to bolster its DSP in ways which are considered to be truly meaningful for users, giving them the deeper reporting that they expect. At present, many users have been disappointed with the robustness of the platform, and have high hopes that this acquisition will allow them to carry out more impactful activities in a streamlined way. It is also likely to make the platform more competitive, particularly when compared to its closest rival, Google.