Q&A: Amazon Ads MD Phil Christer on navigating the ‘complex’ modern customer purchase journey

Amazon Ads UK Managing Director, Phil Christer, speaks with Mobile Marketing Magazine about cross-channel integration, customer behaviours and investment in mobile marketing.

MMM: How has Amazon Ads evolved over the past year, and what new features or strategies have been implemented to enhance the advertising experience for mobile marketers?

PC: How brands effectively reach their audiences has continued to evolve. For mobile marketers, continuing to meet audiences at the right time in a privacy-first way has been a key challenge.

“To address this, model-based solutions that create an informed understanding of an audience have been key to achieving ongoing results. We expect investment to accelerate in this area as advertisers work to deliver positive experiences in a world without third-party cookies.

“For Amazon Ads, we’ve given advertisers access to new, more advanced machine learning models and optimised campaign control systems to improve things like bidding and pacing decisions, helping advertisers reach previously “unreachable” audiences through the Amazon DSP.

“The new machine learning models analyse a range of signals, from buying to browsing and streaming, to help advertisers predict and reach relevant audiences with optimal cost-efficiency.

“The other big trend is generative AI. The abbreviated AI was the word of 2023 and that’s just as true for the advertising industry. In our world, we’re starting to see signs of how it will redefine the creative development process in particular and help brands deliver better results at speed. This is particularly true in mobile marketing, where new AI capabilities can be used to support the generation of creative visuals for different types of screens. 

“Our focus has been on creating the tools that advertisers of all sizes can use to harness the power of AI, ensuring our customers experience a seamless transition towards this new frontier in creative development.”

MMM: With the vast amount of data at the platforms disposal, how does Amazon Ads enhance audience targeting capabilities for mobile advertisers, ensuring ads reach the right users at the right time?

PC: “Navigating the modern customer purchase journey has become more complex than ever. With individuals continuously transitioning between multiple devices during their shopping experience, advertisers face the challenge of maintaining a cohesive and engaging presence across various platforms. 

“To address this challenge, mobile advertisers can turn to clean rooms to bring together and analyse data from various sources, including their data and third parties, while still offering the flexibility to generate custom marketing insights.

“We’ll continue to support our customers as they shift to this new cookie-less existence, helping them to adopt and embed new solutions to take their advertising campaigns to the next level.”

MMM: What tools and metrics do Amazon Ads offer for mobile marketers to measure the performance of their campaigns?

PC: “Measuring the performance of campaigns is crucial for mobile advertisers to optimise reach and engage with new customers. Advertisers need the confidence to know that they are successfully reaching the right audiences.

“The range of Amazon Ads reporting and measurement solutions helps all advertisers accurately measure the impact of their advertising and makes it easy to plan, optimise and measure marketing strategies. 

“In 2023, to ensure customers can fully understand the performance of their campaigns we expanded our New-to-Brand metrics suite, which helps advertisers understand, reach, and optimise their campaigns towards new customers. With the addition of New-to-Brand Consideration metrics, advertisers can now see – by campaign – how many customers saw their ad and visited the brand’s product page or added one of its products to their cart for the first time in the last 12 months.

“This insight is really exciting for brands to be able to truly understand how their advertising is growing reach and engagement with new customers.”

MMM: How does the platform help optimise campaigns based on real-time data?

PC: “With consumers’ preferences and behaviours continually shifting, fine-tuning campaigns ensures that resources are efficiently allocated, targeting is precise, and ROI is maximised. That’s why we aim to make it as easy and as impactful as possible for advertisers to activate and optimise campaign performance.”

“Another way we help advertisers optimise their campaigns is through Amazon Marketing Stream, a push-based API solution that delivers hourly campaign metrics and includes Amazon DSP metrics alongside already-available Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display reporting feeds. Advertisers can combine these insights with Amazon Marketing Stream to optimise campaigns in near real-time.”

MMM: How does Amazon Ads facilitate cross-channel integration for advertisers looking to create cohesive campaigns across various platforms and devices?

PC: “Cross-channel integration is vital when it comes to connecting advertisers with their target audience comprehensively and effectively. To enable our customers to create full funnel media plans across audience touchpoints on Amazon and beyond, we created the Amazon Ads cross-channel planner.

“It’s a holistic media planning solution that works as an integrated, comprehensive tool that harmonises insights, audience segmentation, and budget optimisation, offering advertisers options for simulating effective media strategies.

“With the cross-channel planner, advertisers are equipped with audience insights and opportunities, and we’re able to guide them through the intricacies of the shopping journey.

“By harnessing real-time analytics and machine learning audience algorithms, advertisers can optimise their budget allocation and potential reach dynamically, meaning their campaigns can adapt in real time.”

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