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Preparing Your AMC And Media Strategy For Prime Big Deal Days

preparing-your-amc-and-media-strategy-for-prime-big-deal-days
Preparing Your AMC And Media Strategy For Prime Big Deal Days

Following a successful Prime Early Access Sale last fall, Amazon is once again getting a headstart on the holidays with a new savings event—Prime Big Deal Days. With shoppers being given an opportunity to secure holiday deals a month before the Thanksgiving stuffing hits their plates, it’s key for advertisers to prepare for the event in a similar fashion to their Prime Day and holiday approach.

In this article, we’ll focus on preparing your audience targeting and media strategy for Prime Big Deal Days—also commonly referred to as Fall Prime Day.

How to Prepare for Prime Big Deal Days (and the Holidays)

Prime Big Deal Days banner

Source: https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/retail/amazon-prime-big-deals-day-october

While the official dates haven’t yet been released, Amazon has officially announced that Prime Big Deal Days will occur in October, well ahead of Black Friday, which falls on November 24 in 2023. This helps shoppers save money on holiday essentials and gifts, with sellers and vendors having the most obvious benefit from the increased sales.

But the increased visibility and conversions are not the only advantage for advertisers.

The successes (and issues) you experience during Prime Big Deal Days can help inform or tighten up your Black Friday and overall holiday strategy, serving as a practice run of sorts.

Tinuiti recently held a two-day virtual event featuring 6 information-packed sessions led by 15 digital advertising experts. Many of the recommendations in this post were informed by the Conquering Amazon in Q4: Winning Strategies for Maximizing Search, Display, and Sponsored Products session, available on-demand with the other 5 sessions of the day here: 2023 Playbook for Q4 and Holiday Success.

Leading this session were three Tinuiti Marketplaces experts: Joe O’Connor, Nicole Cooper, and Joseph Elmquist.

Conquering Amazon in Q4 Tinuiti session speakers headshots

Let your most important business goal drive the KPI you want to achieve

The session kicked off by reminding attendees that like all marketing campaigns, your plan for Prime Big Deal Days needs to start with pinpointing your primary goal. What is the most important outcome from the campaign? What would move the most important needles? What would need to happen for you to consider the campaign a success?

Once you’ve determined what is most important (eg. maintain a certain level of profitability, increase category share of voice, drive new-to-brand orders, etc.), you can build the campaign elements necessary to accomplish that goal.

Because some tactics are more compatible with different goals, it’s important to start there before you start planning your media campaign.

  • If you want to maximize your profitability, a media strategy focused heavily on bottom-funnel tactics could help you reach your goal
  • On the other hand, if growth is your primary goal, you’ll want to stay active in the consideration and browse segments that will reach shoppers in the mid-to-upper funnel

But it’s also important to consider that the funnel shrinks during events like Big Deal Days.

When a sales clock is ticking, shoppers tend to move much more quickly from awareness to consideration to conversion. While they might typically research certain big ticket purchases for weeks or months, given the opportunity to save hundreds of dollars, they add to cart more readily. With this shorter funnel in mind, a full-funnel Amazon advertising strategy that leverages tactics across Sponsored Ads and Amazon DSP will provide the most comprehensive coverage.

Use the right tools to inform what strategy you implement based on that primary goal

Diving further into which tools and reports they find most valuable in building their respective strategies, Elmquist pointed to the Audience Segmentation Report (within the UI) and AMC Path to Purchase Report as great places to start.

  • Audience Segmentation Report: Provides recommendations for new audiences to target based on historical campaign performance. Once you better understand who your audience is and where you can expand into different audiences, you can hone in on what’s most effective in your evergreen strategy that can be amplified for an event like Big Deal Days
  • AMC Path to Purchase Report: Provides insight into how different ad placements contribute to a user’s shopping journey on their path to purchase. Elmquist notes: “What I think is really important about this report is being able to see how the conversion rates change with multiple touch points across media. Did someone see a Display ad, then see an OLV ad, and then see a Sponsored Product ad, and have a higher propensity to purchase?”

“How do we know what combination of ads contribute to delivering the highest possible conversion rate? Using the AMC Path to Purchase data gives us a really good idea of how we can best curate the shopping journey, and what kind of targeting will be most effective, to deliver the best media performance during these key tentpole events.”

Joseph Elmquist, Strategist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

If you’re already leveraging Amazon Marketing Cloud, you have a valuable arsenal of audience data at your disposal. And if you aren’t using AMC, there’s no time like the present to get started!

In the meantime, learn more at the following links:

Set yourself up for success (and less stress) the day of the event

Speaking to the Sponsored ads side of the equation, Cooper notes that establishing a strong strategy preemptively, based on historical data is crucial. Due to the speed at which the market moves during these major tentpole events, Tinuiti’s account teams discourage “making random changes the day of.” One useful tool highlighted during the session was Amazon Marketing Stream.

“Amazon Marketing Stream reporting can be really helpful, especially if you are working with more limited budgets. The conversion by hour report can help assist with dayparting; you can really see when your customers are most likely to go through with a purchase. And, if you’re working with a smaller budget, you can make sure your campaigns are up during those peak hours so you aren’t wasting spend when customers might be clicking but not really going through with the purchase.”

Nicole Cooper, Sr. Specialist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

Remember that increased traffic means higher costs and competition

Cooper also notes that on the Search side specifically, they saw an average increase of 20-30% in CPCs for Prime Day 2023, so you’ll want to keep in mind that while there are more people shopping, your dollar doesn’t go as far thanks to the increased competition.

To establish a strong Sponsored Products strategy for Big Deal Days and Holiday 2023, Cooper’s recommendations include:

Invest more heavily in manual campaigns vs. auto campaigns

Don’t over-rely on Amazon to do the heavy lifting—even though it can be easier! Use your auto campaign to harvest data on which keywords are most impactful to your campaigns. Managing those strategic keywords within a manual campaign enables you to proactively increase bids against your best performing keywords rather than hope the auto campaigns can react in time during the deal days.

Make sure you’re not targeting branded terms with broad match

Hone in on phrase and exact match to conserve branded spend. The folks finding you through branded terms with broad match searches would likely find your brand organically anyway, no ad needed.

Use negative targeting

As a final cost-saving measure to help stretch your Big Deal Days budget as far as possible, add negative targeting for poor performing keywords to avoid a lot of wasted spend.

Speaking to the DSP side, Elmquist encourages a focus on pure demand generation for tentpole events, noting that things happen too quickly during these periods to be reactive. Success requires implementing your plan ahead of time, and planning for it weeks or months ahead of implementation.

“The big thing to focus on during event periods is demand generation vs. demand capture. When you’re on deal during these sale periods, you’re going to maximize your overall return on your consideration tactics in comparison to a lot of your evergreen [campaigns]. You want to make sure that you’re getting consumers who have never looked at your product before, and a lot of that can be done through specific audience targeting. You want to make sure you’re generating brand new demand [to] get as much from the deals for your business as possible. You don’t just want to capture all the demand you’ve been building, but all the traffic flooding in during these events.”

Joseph Elmquist, Strategist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

Plan Offsite Media Buys

It goes without saying that Amazon is a crowded marketplace, with millions of sellers and vendors vying for shoppers’ attention. It’s important to advertise on Amazon itself to capture as many of those relevant audiences as possible, but it shouldn’t be the only place you’re showing up. In addition to utilizing Amazon DSP to deliver off-site ads, Amazon offers a variety of other tools to measure the impact that off-site traffic driving can have on your Amazon sales.

As we cover in greater detail in our guide to Amazon Attribution, there are a few key reasons brands should drive external traffic to Amazon:

  • More potential customers: Nearly 50% of surveyed US adults say they start their shopping journey on search engines
  • Competitive advantage: Rather than competing for clicks with other products on the Amazon SERP, external ads can send traffic straight to your listing or Amazon Store
  • Get rewarded through the Brand Referral Bonus program: By driving off-platform traffic to their Amazon listings, Brand Registered advertisers who are enrolled in the BRB program can earn a credit averaging 10% of the qualifying sales measured with Amazon Attribution. This bonus/incentive is awarded as a credit toward platform referral fees for that sale, thus reducing the overall cost to sell on Amazon

Look beyond ROAS

O’Connor, Elmquist, and Cooper discussed which key metrics advertisers should use beyond ROAS to best understand how their campaigns are effectively moving customers down the purchase funnel.

Elmquist noted that on the Display side, three things to focus on include Detail Page View Rate (DPVR), Branded Search, and New-to-brand metrics. Cooper also cited new-to-brand, rounding out their top 3 with CTR (click through rate) and TACoS. Be sure to check out the on-demand recording to learn more about why these metrics help paint a fuller picture!

Make sure you’re including video to leverage the most opportunities

Video can be a cost-efficient way to bring in net new individuals to your product detail pages (PDPs), with DPVRs tending to be high. Look at video as an overall tactic within the media mix, especially with Amazon adding so many ways to target the people who have seen these videos.

“Amazon has Streaming TV retargeting, which allows us to then target individuals back on another device after they’ve seen something on the biggest screen in the household—and show them something clickable that allows them to come down the funnel even further. Now, Amazon has also released OLV retargeting, which allows us to now target people who have seen a video on their desktop with another ad type. So what I’ve been looking at is—How do we build this funnel to make sure we’re driving this consumer journey the best we can?”

Joseph Elmquist, Strategist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

Send shoppers to your Amazon Store through Sponsored ads

Cooper notes that in Q4 in particular, Search advertisers have the option to drive Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Brand video ads to either product detail pages, or to their brand’s Amazon Store. She encourages advertisers to consider the benefits of sending shoppers to a curated sales page on their Store, particularly during the holiday shopping season, and during events like Big Deal Days.

“Especially during Q4, driving that traffic to the brand Store is going to be incredibly beneficial just by helping you increase your average order value. It gives customers the potential to explore more than just that one PDP. Maybe you’re a hair care brand and you sell shampoo. Now you’re driving them to a page on your brand Store that has all your deals during Q4, and they might pick up your shampoo, your conditioner, and your hair gel instead. And they might not have been able to engage with those products if you’d just taken them to the PDP of that shampoo alone.”

Nicole Cooper, Sr. Specialist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

Conclusion

To further your preparation for Big Deal Days and Holiday 2023, be sure to watch all 6 of our 2023 Playbook for Q4 and Holiday Success sessions.

Two day schedule for Tinuiti’s 2023 Playbook for Q4 and Holiday Success

Also check out our Amazon Services page for more information about our full suite of services for sellers and vendors, including Amazon advertising, creative development and implementation, operations, and more. Here’s hoping Big Deal Days live up to their name in more ways than one, and are indeed a ‘big deal’ for your business.

This originally appeared on the Tinuiti Blog and is available here for further discovery.
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