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Amazon Advertising class: Nail these 7 essential growth hacks

As anyone buying things on the internet these days can tell you, Amazon matters quite a bit for ecommerce.

Let’s look at the numbers.

As part of a research report we released in October 2018, we surveyed a number of US-based consumers.

96% of them reported having visited Amazon within the last year.

In September 2018, Amazon hit $1 trillion in value. (Sidenote, Jeff Bezos became worth nearly as much as Bill Gates and Warren E. Buffett put together.)

By the end of 2018, Amazon claimed nearly half (49.1%) of the total $525.69 billion retail ecommerce sales — up from 38.3% in 2016.

And finally, a report by Jumpshot found that what used to be Google’s share of product searches just three years ago is now Amazon’s and vice versa.

The report said that in 2018, 54 percent of product searches began on Amazon compared to those that began on Google, at 46 percent.

What does that tell us about Amazon Advertising?

For many of us, paid search = Google Ads.

For people who actually work in PPC, we know that paid search also includes Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. And for CPG companies, it extends to platforms such as Wayfair, Best Buy, Target, Costco — anywhere your product is sold.

Interestingly, it seems that people over-emphasize Google and Bing, and under-emphasize everyone else.

Here’s a comparison from our study showing where consumers browse and purchase versus where advertisers market.

As you can see, there’s quite a big gap between consumers who search on Amazon, and brands who market there.

Looking at the numbers specifically on Amazon, we found that only 28% of responding brands had a defined strategy.

Another 38% were “working on it.”

Fortunately, this increased since 2017, when only 17% of brands had a defined Amazon strategy.

But still. Remember the 96% of consumers who visited Amazon last year?

44% of companies had no strategy at all to engage them.

Okay, so a lot companies do sell their products on Amazon — the problem is that only 42% of them participate in paid advertising for those products.

That number has been increasing: In October 2018, CNBC reported that some brands were reallocating half their Google Search ad budgets to Amazon.

So do you really need to invest in Amazon Advertising?

As Audrey Eytchison, a marketplace channel analyst at performance marketing agency CPC Strategy put it:

“To make money, you have to spend it. Going up against such a juggernaut, having full coverage is the way to solidify brand equity. You have to be everywhere: brick-and-mortar, online, and on Amazon.”

The short answer is yes, you do.

As John points out in this class, all those “fair organic listings” are not as viewable to consumers as they seem. Many are drowned out — especially on mobile — by new categories like “Top-rated from our brands,” which features private label brands from Amazon.

Check out this collection of Amazon results pages pulled together by Recode. The pink sections mark various types of sponsored products.

Amazon results pages stuffed with ads

As you can see, people who spend minimal money on advertising get rewarded minimal page visibility.

If this were on mobile, users would be probably two scrolls away from event seeing an organic result.

How can you get the most out of your marketing dollars on Amazon Advertising?

(This is where the class comes in.)

First, an example.

bai brands amazon advertising success


In the spring of 2015, general brand awareness of Bai was around 7%.

A year later, it had tripled to 24%.

At the beginning of 2018, it had passed 60%.

Quite rapid growth for a beverage brand, not typically famed for skyrocket successes.

So how did they do it?

That’s exactly what this class is about.

Bai’s VP of Ecommerce and Media, John Denny, breaks down their success into seven key strategies.

  1. Building the foundation for success on Amazon
  2. Amazon Search & DSP
  3. Organic brand impressions
  4. Pulsing strategy
  5. Continuity as key
  6. Auto-replenishment
  7. Leveraging emerging ad tech

Let’s take strategy #2, for example.

According to John, “Winning brands on Amazon know that organic brand impressions drive success.”

There’s a quite valuable, organically-won spot, “Customers who bought this item also bought X.”

This spot is a huge deal. Bai was able to appear organically in that position — even when consumers searched for their competitors.

How did they do this? By layering in display ads on top of search.

A study on earned brand impressions found that doing this increased organic brand impressions by 90%.

In strategy #3, John shares the secrets of “pulsing.” This involves investing heavily in a couple days throughout the year, in order to generate an overall increase in ROI.

For Bai, that revenue looked like this:

You can learn more details on these and the remaining growth hack in the class here.

Why Amazon Advertising?

Despite its popularity among consumers, Amazon Advertising is still in the early stages.

Many marketers say that running an advertising campaign on Amazon now feels similar to running Google Search campaigns in 2005.

But because the overall service is still young, Amazon Advertising campaigns can certainly pay off big time.

So consumers overwhelming search on Amazon, and the overall field is still perhaps less competitive than Google Ads. Thus, Amazon Advertising.

Who teaches the course?

This course is taught by aforementioned Amazon Advertising expert John Denny.

John currently leads the Ecommerce and Digital Marketing teams at CAVU Venture Partners. He coaches portfolio companies on how to build high-growth brands that disrupt the CPG marketplace.

Before that, John did some CPG disrupting himself. He was VP of Ecommerce & Media at Bai Brands. There, he was responsible for building the brand on Amazon over four years, from a tiny niche product to the number one beverage brand sold on the platform.

The company was founded in 2009 and honored as “Vendor of the Year” by Amazon in 2015.

In 2017, Bai was acquired by Dr Pepper Snapple Group in one of the largest CPG acquisitions of the year.

John has more than 25 years of experience.

How long does it take to complete?

The class involves 4-6 hours of video and can be completed at your own pace.

How much is it?

The class costs just $349 — and you’ll have unlimited access to the materials even after it’s over.

How can I sign up?

You can read more information and sign up here.

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