Yesterday, Amazon announced the beta launch of a new self-service advertising tool called Sponsored Display, and I wanted to share a few initial thoughts on this offering.

For starters, here’s what Amazon told me in an email yesterday about this new service:

Today we launched an open beta for Sponsored Display which is a new self-service advertising solution that helps advertisers grow their business by reaching relevant audiences both on and off Amazon.

Why Sponsored Display?

  • Reach the right audiences— Audiences are automatically created based on Amazon shopping activities to help advertisers reach customers beyond those shopping on Amazon.
  • Maximize impact with minimal effort—In just a few clicks advertisers can promote their entire product catalog with creatives that are auto-generated and optimized for conversions.
  • Support business objectives—From product awareness to consideration and conversion, Sponsored Display helps measure and meet advertiser goals.

With this launch, advertisers are able to access Product Display Ads audience and product targeting features within Sponsored Display. Additionally, all Product Display Ads campaigns are now part of Sponsored Display. No action is required, and active campaign(s) will not be impacted.

Amazon Sponsored Display: Dave’s Early Take

After meeting with some Amazon AMG reps in a client meeting recently, I didn’t get a lot of clear detail about any specific differences between placements, targeting options and reporting on the new self-service option vs. working with AMG for your demand-side platform (DSP) ads.

AMG told me they can provide some additional data in their reports that the self-service tool doesn’t have access to, but it’s not clear at this point what those extra reports actually entail.

I noticed there are also some ad placements like In-Search Video Ads that are not yet available on the self-service platform and have to still be run through AMG.

It looks like there are also still some limitations on the targeting and placement options with self-service—for example, I don’t see a way to run the OTT ad placements on Amazon devices like the Kindle Fire and Fire TV.

At this point, the biggest thing we are excited about that we can now do with the self-service option is run retargeting ads off Amazon to drive people back to the product detail pages. This is something all brands should be considering as part of their core Amazon advertising strategy.

One of the upsides to working with AMG is you get assigned to reps at Amazon for support in managing your ads. The biggest downside, however, is the $35,000 minimum budget before AMG will assign your account to a rep.

Talk to Us About Your Amazon Ad Needs

Despite the lack of some features so far on Amazon’s Sponsored Display tool, the most exciting thing about this new development is that we can now run display and retargeting ads for all of our 3P clients without having to go through AMG.

And at Buy Box Experts, we can manage our clients’ DSP ads without them having to meet the minimum $35k budget. That’s because our agency account allows us to meet Amazon’s minimum requirements across all our clients combined.

If you’re looking for help with your DSP ads, let’s talk. And if you want to learn more about Sponsored Display, you can visit the Sponsored Display page.

Dave Karlsven is the VP of marketing at Buy Box Experts. He has managed successful marketing teams at two advertising agencies and is also a successful entrepreneur who has built several ecommerce businesses of his own.

Dave specializes in helping ecommerce businesses grow quickly and profitably with innovative marketing plans and strategies. His progressive approach to online marketing has helped hundreds of ecommerce companies, from startups to Fortune 500 brands, achieve millions of dollars in online sales growth.