Amazon

emily-sullivan-headshot


By Emily Sullivan

Amazon Advertising kicked off 2021 by announcing the beta release of Amazon Marketing Cloud, a measurement and analytics solution designed to help marketers measure performance across different media channels. As an Amazon Ads Advanced Partner, Tinuiti teams were eligible to take part in the AMC alpha program, and over the past 3 years have experienced its many impressive and game-changing capabilities firsthand.

In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about the Amazon Marketing Cloud.  

What is the Amazon Marketing Cloud?

The Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) is a secure, privacy-friendly, dedicated cloud-based measurement and analytics solution that was released in 2021.

Built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), AMC’s flexible environment supplies advertisers with customizable reporting on event-level data, across multiple data sets. Those data sets can include both advertiser data and Amazon Advertising data, offering advertisers a more holistic view of campaign performance. 

“AMC is a clean room solution* that advertisers can access, and essentially structure custom queries to explore specific questions that help address top business priorities and measurement challenges. Allowing brands to access incredibly detailed data that is specific to their audiences’ journey. AMC gives us the ability to understand what is working and what is the connectedness between “events” – going beyond what traditional reports provide.”

Nancy McLaughlin Senior Director, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

In other words, AMC gives advertisers the transparent, cross-channel data they need to make more informed decisions about their marketing. 

And today’s marketers need that transparent, actionable data more than ever before. 

As browsers begin blocking third-party cookies, and as the industry continues to change, it’s getting more complex and challenging to measure attribution and campaign performance across channels.

AMC aims to help advertisers overcome that challenge by offering analytics beyond what traditional reports can provide. Advertisers can generate aggregated reports based on both their own data sets and their Amazon Advertising campaign events.

*A data clean room is a secure space for multiple companies to share and analyze their data while keeping it private.

How Does Amazon Marketing Cloud Work?

Amazon Marketing Cloud is designed to maintain end-customer privacy, so it only returns aggregate analytics. No individual user data is ever returned from the Amazon Marketing Cloud.

To protect customer privacy, all aggregations must contain a minimum of one hundred users. Advertisers cannot access Amazon Advertising event-level data directly. Aggregating over a minimum number of users gives advertisers significant, actionable reporting while maintaining end-customer privacy.

“Each Amazon Marketing Cloud account is scoped per advertiser, and uses AWS for storage. All results from AMC are aggregates that need to exceed minimum thresholds that typically require over 100 unique users. Advertisers cannot access Amazon’s Advertising event-level data, so aggregating over this minimum number really allows us to understand the paths while still protecting that customer data.”

Nancy McLaughlin Senior Director, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

Amazon Marketing Cloud also lets marketers join advertiser data to Amazon events data, creating an even more robust opportunity for cross-channel analytics, as well as the option to enable custom attribution. Like user data, advertiser data is protected, meaning neither the advertiser nor Amazon can access each other’s event-level data.  

Speaking of data, here’s a breakdown of the campaign data available in AMC by default:

  • Sponsored Ad Console and Amazon DSP Campaign Data: All campaign metrics from Sponsored Ads and Amazon’s Demand Side Platform (DSP) campaigns are automatically ingested into your AMC account. This includes campaign impressions, clicks, video views, orders and sales. This data can be viewed by keyword, ad group, order, line item, by day, by ad type and more.  
  • Audience Segment Data: For Amazon DSP data, you can also pull reports by audience segment to understand performance by audience.  

These data points come together to enable several key insights within AMC:

  • Media Overlap Analysis: Understand what combination of ad types delivers the highest conversion rates. 
  • Path to Purchase Analysis: Track the path customers take from initial product discovery to purchase, allowing you to identify touchpoints and optimize the customer journey.
  • Gateway ASIN Analysis:  Learn which ASINs are most effective at driving new-to-brand customers when featured in your ad creative.
  • Geographic Analysis: See where, geographically, your campaign delivers the highest conversion rates and scale.  
  • Audience Analysis: Gain insights into your existing customer base and identify potential new audiences with similar characteristics.

Top Features of Amazon Marketing Cloud

AMC offers a suite of features for advertisers, unlocking deeper customer insights, campaign optimization, and ultimately, better results. Let’s dive into a few of AMC’s top features. 

Comprehensive Reporting Capabilities With SQL

With AMC you can create custom analytics based on advertisers’ campaign objectives, tactics, and channels.

Some examples of what this data and reporting can help illuminate include:

  • Total reach and performance across channels
  • Path-to-conversion analysis, including multiple attribution models and cross-campaign data aggregation
  • Custom reporting beyond what’s currently available in Amazon DSP
  • Custom attribution analysis to measure how different media channels impact audience discovery, research, and purchase behavior
  • Enhanced audience insights to inform decisions about how, when, and where to best engage potential customers

“With AMC, we’re able to unlock efficiencies through click pathing, attribution transparency, and full-funnel attribution. We can also understand the ideal media mix and how to best reach an audience. There are transparency challenges within the advertising world, and AMC is a great tool that can be leveraged to help break down these barriers.”

Madalyn Barton Director, Commerce, Softlines at Tinuiti

All in all, Amazon Marketing Cloud offers reporting and analytics unique to each advertiser’s goals, channels, audience, and messaging. With AMC, advertisers can measure advertising performance impact across channels both on and off Amazon, creating a truly holistic reporting environment.  

Amazon Audiences

In 2023, Amazon launched Audiences for AMC. This feature allows advertisers to create custom audiences using SQL queries, which can then be activated for Amazon DSP campaigns. AMC Audiences enables advertisers to utilize various signals within their AMC instance, including Sponsored Ads, Amazon DSP ads, and Amazon Shopping Insights, to build more relevant audiences. 

Advertisers can set the frequency of audience refresh to keep them up-to-date. This feature also allows advertisers to move beyond audience insights to directly creating custom audiences tailored to their advertising goals, enhancing campaign performance and audience relevance. These custom audiences adhere to Amazon’s policies and size restrictions and are seamlessly integrated into Amazon DSP for campaign targeting. Advertisers can monitor performance and conduct custom analytics to optimize campaigns effectively. Examples of custom audiences include those for awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty campaigns.

“As brands continue to scale their full funnel strategy on Amazon, they are building their ecosystem in the same channel where they’re driving the conversions. With the full funnel strategy representing the pipeline, AMC audiences are the plumbers. AMC audiences are critical to fixing the leaks and protecting overall media investment. ”

Jonathan Cole Enterprise Commerce Media Sr. Manager + Solutions Lead at Tinuiti

CDP Integration

Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) unlocks a new level of customer insights by integrating with Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). This allows you to anonymously connect your rich customer data from the CDP with AMC’s anonymized shopper information. As of October 2023, AMC supports integrations with ActionIQ, Adobe, Amperity, Hightouch, Lytics, Relay42, Salesforce, Tealium and Treasure Data.

By combining these insights, you gain a more comprehensive understanding of your target audience, enabling you to personalize ad campaigns, optimize targeting, and ultimately achieve better results. It’s like having a detailed customer profile overlaid with anonymized Amazon shopping behavior, giving you the power to create laser-focused campaigns that resonate and convert. 

Another win for AMC is that it also allows you to integrate your own first-party data, further enriching your customer insights. This data can come from your website, CRM, or other sources. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  1. Prepare your data: Ensure your data adheres to AMC’s upload format requirements.
  2. Set up an S3 bucket: An S3 bucket is a storage service within Amazon Web Services (AWS) where you’ll upload your data file.
  3. Upload your data: AMC offers a data upload tool or integrates with third-party solutions to securely facilitate data transfer from your S3 bucket to AMC.

Note that AMC’s upload tools will encrypt your data prior to uploading into AMC.  So, Amazon will never be directly exposed to your raw customer data.    

By leveraging both AMC’s anonymized data and your own first-party data, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of your customer base and create highly targeted advertising campaigns for better results.

Sandboxing

In October 2023, Amazon launched the Amazon Marketing Cloud Sandbox which is a practice space for you to test AMC features without affecting live campaigns. It uses made-up data that mimics real info, so you can experiment freely. Advertisers and partners can leverage the AMC sandbox for hands-on learning, signal exploration, query refinement, and software development trials with AMC.

AMC Premium: Additional Paid Features for Amazon Marketing Cloud

Amazon also offers subscription-based data feeds to supplement the campaign data in Amazon Marketing Cloud. These subscription or paid features (although currently in beta) allows brands and advertisers to access their retail data within Amazon, providing insights into how shoppers are interacting with their products in relation to their advertising efforts.

“Flexible Shopping Insights provides really important context for brands. Tinuiti’s accounts team are finding new audiences to target based on the organic sales data, as well as being able to more clearly illustrate than any time before the incremental impact that advertising can have on a customer’s propensity to purchase.”

Joe O’Connor Sr. Director, Strategic Marketplace Services at Tinuiti 

It’s important to note that the advertising data that has historically been available within Amazon Marketing Cloud is still accessible for free; AMC’s subscription-based feature is not replacing AMC. The difference is that AMC’s subscription-based feature also offers organic, product-level retail data in addition to that freely available advertising data. This makes for more robust reports detailing brand engagement, shopping trends, shopping engagement, and more.

AMC’s subscription-based feature leverages data presently available via the Amazon Selling Partner API. It provides reporting stats that highlight how shoppers interact with your products, including data on:

  • Total browse
  • Add-to-cart
  • New Subscribe and Save (SNS)
  • Added to gift list, wish list, or watch list
  • Added to baby registry or wedding registry
  • Customer review page visits
  • Product detail page views
  • Amazon Store visits (brand store engagement)
  • Non-ad attributed purchase metrics for products (including product purchased and product purchased using one-click)

If you’d like to try out Flexible Shopping Insights, Amazon is currently offering a 30-day free trial. Signing up for this free trial can help you determine if the additional insights are worth the additional cost.

Once the free trial has expired, brands will pay a monthly subscription fee to continue accessing AMC’s subscription-based data and features. This monthly fee is determined and set by Amazon, and paid directly to Amazon. This varies from business to business, and depends on how much data exists in the brand’s retail database. Your subscription to AMC’s premium offering can be canceled at any time.

The Benefits of Amazon Marketing Cloud

Graphic titled “Why is AMC Important?” explaining “Understanding advertising efforts,” “Increase testing,” “cross-team collaboration and data trends,” “meaningful strategy sessions and narratives,” “wealth of knowledge from customized queries.”

Simply put, Amazon Marketing Cloud helps provide the whole story—tangents, footnotes, and all. Historically, brands and advertisers have had to take the information they were given and ‘fill in the gaps,’ relying on their expertise and understanding of the brand to build the connective tissue between A, B, and C. 

AMC offers reliable answers to important questions that were previously difficult to answer—and may become otherwise impossible to answer with the same reliability and durability AMC offers—in the increasingly privacy-focused future

As an added bonus, the learnings you receive from Amazon Marketing Cloud can also be applied outside of just Amazon. Providing directional data, AMC gives insights smaller Retail Media Entities (RMEs) lack with their in-house platforms.

The queries themselves are limitless, and our teams have mastered custom query creation in the past 12+ months. If there is a question you’re trying to answer, and the data is available to produce that answer, our team will get to work determining the ‘best way to ask’ AMC to get you the answers you need.

The broader categories for which AMC can provide actionable insights include:

  • Performance deep dives
  • Audience insights
  • Consumer journey analysis
  • Media mix analysis
  • Purchase pattern analysis
  • Omnichannel impact analysis

Some common questions brands and advertisers turn to AMC to answer within those categories include:

  • Who are my most engaged audiences?
  • In what geographies is my brand or product most viewed and purchased?
  • What devices are most shoppers purchasing my products using?
  • What media mix will be most impactful in reaching my goals?
  • How are my upper-funnel advertising tactics driving brand loyalty and repeat purchases?
  • How do my Amazon ad campaigns impact my conversions outside of Amazon? 

Amazon Marketing Cloud is poised to help answer the limitless advertising versions of the age-old question: “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” It just looks more like: “Which came first in this conversion journey, the streaming ad or the display ad?”  

How to Register for Amazon Marketing Cloud

Before diving into the registration process for Amazon Marketing Cloud, it’s essential to ensure eligibility and meet the minimum requirements. Let’s break down the prerequisites and steps to get started with AMC.

1. Ensure You Meet Eligibility Requirements

Graphic titled “Who is the right fit?” outlining “Amazon Ads Investment of $50k+ per month,” “Media mix maturity,” “Specific business needs,” and “Ready to take action based on results

Interested eligible advertisers can reach out to their Amazon Ads account executive to learn more about getting AMC set-up via web-based UI and API. Your account leader will help you weigh the associated costs and benefits of AMC to determine if it is the right fit for your needs.

Amazon outlines AMC requirements as such:

“Advertisers need to have an executed Amazon DSP Master Service Agreement (MSA), planned campaigns or campaigns live in the last 28 days at Amazon DSP and a technical resource familiar with SQL. For AMC API users, advertisers should also have an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account.”

AMC is available in select countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, India, Japan, and Singapore.

 2. Fill Out the Request Form

Once you’ve met eligibility requirements, you can either follow the steps below to register for AMC or work with an agency for Amazon (like Tinuiti) where we create AMC entities on your behalf… 

  • Prepare Required Information: Gather necessary details such as your Amazon seller account information and any relevant business information.
  • Access AMC Portal: Log in to your Amazon Advertising account and navigate to the AMC portal.
  • Begin Registration: Follow the prompts to initiate the registration process. You may need to verify your identity and provide additional information.
  • Fill out Registration Form: Provide your country, whether you sell on Amazon, your industry, and select “Amazon Marketing Cloud” as the product you’re interested in.
  • Provide Contact/Business Info: Fill out basic contact/business info with your name, business name, business website, email, phone, and a brief description of your business needs.
  • Submit Registration: Complete the registration form and submit your information.
  • Wait for AMC Team Contact: A representative from the AMC team will reach out within a few business days to assist you further and get you set up.

By following these steps and ensuring you meet the eligibility criteria and minimum requirements, you can register for Amazon Marketing Cloud and unlock its powerful data analytics capabilities to optimize your advertising strategies on Amazon.

How to Use Amazon Marketing Cloud

Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) offers a wealth of data analytics capabilities to optimize your advertising strategies on Amazon. To leverage AMC effectively, start by establishing a clear business goal aligned with your objectives. Let’s break down how to do this and how to use AMC in practice… 

To maximize the benefits of Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), start by defining a clear business goal aligned with your objectives, such as increasing sales of a specific product category by 20% within six months. Utilize available data on past customer demographics, buying behavior, search data, and advertising performance metrics to inform and refine this goal. Establish your business objective using the SMART goal framework.

Key Factors of a Good Goal (SMART Goals):

  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve (increase sales of a specific product category).
  • Measurable: Set quantifiable metrics to track progress (20% increase in sales).
  • Achievable: Ensure the goal is realistic and attainable within your resources.
  • Relevant: Align the goal with your overall business objectives and Amazon advertising strategy.
  • Time-bound: Set a specific timeframe for achieving the goal (within the next six months).

Upon signing up for AMC, you’ll gain access to a single instance of the platform containing your data, where you can implement one or multiple advertiser IDs (this is helpful for managing data from multiple brands separately). For new AMC instances, Amazon will automatically backfill AMC data to reflect your campaign history dating back to July 1, 2023 or the past 12.5 months, whichever is shorter. On an ongoing basis, AMC will retain up to the past 12.5 months of campaign data. .

Proficiency in SQL is ideal for pulling specific data, but Amazon also offers “Instructional Queries” for users less familiar with SQL, covering common use cases and providing basic guidance. Leveraging resources like ChatGPT or instructional materials can further assist in query formulation and data interpretation. 

By following these steps and leveraging AMC’s data and functionalities, you can gain valuable insights to optimize your advertising campaigns and achieve your marketing goals.

Amazon Marketing Cloud Examples

Amazon Marketing Cloud is instrumental in understanding how all your advertising efforts align with your goals, and ultimately impact your business. The wealth of privacy-compliant data enables us to ramp up our test-and-learn optimizations with the necessary confidence that we’ll be able to realize concrete findings from those investments.

Let’s look at a few ways our teams have used AMC to find the specific data they needed to make the most informed and effective decisions for Amazon campaigns…

 Example 1: Re-Engaging Cart Abandoners with Amazon Marketing Cloud Audiences

Scenario: In the summer of 2023, the Tinuiti team identified a crucial gap in The Honest Company’s sales funnel on Amazon. From April to July of 2023, nearly 25% of customers who added an Honest Company product to their Amazon shopping cart did not complete their purchase. This represented $1.5 million in potential revenue – a huge opportunity for re-engagement. However, The Honest Company had no way to specifically target these individual customers to encourage them to complete their purchases. So Tinuiti stepped in to help.

Solution: Tinuiti’s media team collaborated with The Honest Company, utilizing Amazon Marketing Cloud’s (AMC) custom audience-building features. They focused on targeting cart abandoners in the past 30 days, organizing AMC audiences by product categories such as Diapers, Wipes, and Personal Care to ensure relevance. Customized Display ads were then crafted for each category, emphasizing Subscribe-and-Save options to enhance lifetime customer value. This strategic approach aimed to boost conversion rates effectively.

Outcome: 

Example 2: Create Gateway ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) Query

Scenario: One of our clients in the CPG space wanted to identify which of their products was most commonly the “gateway ASIN”—the ASIN that drove consumers to purchase from the brand for the first time. They also wanted to know which new-to-brand ASIN drove the highest repeat purchases. We did not have a query to support this question, and it wasn’t available in the UI.

Solution: We built a custom query to identify gateway products that drive new-to-brand purchases.

Outcome:

“Once we were able to determine the ASIN with high repeat purchases, we were able to push additional media behind it to see how it impacted new-to-brand orders. By launching media to expand targeting into adjacent categories, we saw over a 100% increase in new-to-brand orders when media dollars were running for that particular product. We also saw this strategy impact total business with an 11% increase in total orders.”

Madalyn Barton Director, Commerce, Softlines at Tinuiti

Example 3: Conversion Rate Analysis by Ad Exposure Mix

Scenario: An automotive accessories brand client wanted to measure the impact different campaigns had on their purchase rate. The advertiser was running a full-funnel strategy across Sponsored Products, Display, and OTT/Streaming TV.

Solution: Use AMC data to see how conversion rates are impacted by which ads, and combination of ads, shoppers are shown.

Outcome:

“We were able to use AMC data to understand the impact, and ensure our strategy was driving meaningful results. We found that audiences exposed to Sponsored Products and Display campaigns had a purchase rate that was 3-4 times higher than just Sponsored Products or Display alone. Additionally, our continued investment in OTT over the year showed a growing increase in purchase rate when exposed to an OTT, Display, and Sponsored Product ad. Ultimately, we saw that not only was our purchase rate higher, but we were also able to see an even higher new-to-brand purchase rate, which was 2.5x higher when a shopper was exposed to all 3 campaign types.”

Karen Hopkins Strategist, Marketplaces at Tinuiti

AMC Reporting: Tinuiti’s Custom Amazon Marketing Cloud Reports

Thanks to Tinuiti’s status as an Amazon Ads Advanced Partner, our teams’ eligibility to take part in the AMC alpha program gave them a head start on mastering the foundation of the platform’s capabilities so they could move into strategic experimentation with custom query creation and more.

With custom, individual SQL queries Tinuiti’s teams created based on common questions we experience as advertisers, we are able to offer our clients several unique, insight-packed reports that help in better understanding campaign performance and recommended next steps.

Some of our most popular reports include:

1. Media Mix Analysis Report: This report evaluates user behavior in a weekly or monthly snapshot, grouping users by the ad types they were exposed to during that time frame. This view allows our clients to understand how exposure to different ad combinations impacts key metrics, including: Customer reach, engagement, acquisition, and purchase behavior.

2. New-to-Brand Report (NTB): The NTB report illustrates what type of customer—new or returning—is purchasing a tracked ASIN(s) over a one-month period. These metrics are aggregated by two customer groups: new-to-brand and repeat customers.

3. Tentpole Event Analysis: This report is used to analyze the impact of advertising during Prime Day, and the halo effect. Metrics including customer reach, engagement, acquisition, and purchase behavior are aggregated by the following three time periods: before Prime Day, during Prime Day, and after Prime Day.

4. Pathing Analysis: This model is used to analyze the typical path a client’s customer takes to convert. It illustrates what paths have the best results when trying to reach new-to-brand customers. The report can also be used to demonstrate how the first or last touch point in the path can affect metrics as well. Customer reach, engagement, acquisition, and purchase behavior can all be analyzed in this model.

5. Dayparting Analysis: This model helps clients understand how their campaigns are performing at different hours of the day. The model includes high-level metrics at the hour and day breakdown. Additionally, clients can see their advertising cost compared to different metrics by hour or by day.

6. Impression Frequency Analysis: This model helps clients understand how heavily they need to target customers before a conversion takes place. The report is broken out by impression frequency bucket, showcasing the optimal amount of targeting to drive conversion metrics. The report also demonstrates how often new vs. repeat customers need to be targeted, and how those customers’ yield changes as they are continually targeted.

Is Amazon Marketing Cloud Worth It?

The short answer: Yes.

AMC is a worthwhile tool for advertisers looking for more in-depth, actionable reporting across channels, especially as policies continue to be enforced on third-party cookies and other potential privacy concerns. One of AMC’s biggest benefits is that it is privacy-first by design and will provide insights across various ad platforms. Ultimately, this is going to be more user-friendly in the long-term.

If you are currently working with Tinuiti for your Amazon advertising efforts, be sure to schedule some time with your AM to discuss AMC and AMC’s paid option. Our team of Commerce experts can help you launch a full-funnel Amazon strategy with AMC and guide you through the reports and recommended next steps that come from these richer insights.

Categorized in: