Amazon Marketing Agencies: Why & How to Hire One
Perpetua Marketing Team, January 19, 2023
Amazon Advertising can be incredibly complex—and sometimes a specialized Amazon agency is just the right solution for you to get your performance to the next level. However, for some Amazon sellers, hiring an agency might feel like giving up control of their Amazon marketing activities. And it is. Which is why finding the right agency for your Amazon business is so important. In this article, we look at what kinds of Amazon agency are out there, the services they offer, and how you can identify the agency that will be the perfect fit to help you scale your Amazon marketing performance.
What Is an Amazon Agency?
Amazon agency is a catch-all term for any agency that provides services to sellers and/or vendors selling on Amazon. However, given the wide range of tasks that are associated with selling on Amazon, there are also different kinds of Amazon agency, with most falling into one of the following four categories, listed in order from the most general to the most specialized:
eCommerce agency: Almost all eCommerce agencies will include Amazon services in their offering, though they also provide support for other marketplaces. An all-round eCommerce agency is most suitable if you're selling on multiple marketplaces besides Amazon.
Full-service Amazon agency: Many agencies position themselves as full-service Amazon agencies. This means that they provide support with all aspects of your Amazon business, including not just marketing, but also inventory management, content creation, strategic consultancy, and more.
Amazon marketing agency: An Amazon marketing agency will usually offer a wide range of marketing-related services, including PPC management, content creation for product detail pages, and Amazon SEO.
Amazon advertising agency: Anyone positioning themselves as an Amazon advertising agency has a clear specialization in Amazon ads. Some Amazon ad agencies will be partnered with a software provider, and use this automation software for their clients, whereas others emphasize that they work manually on their clients' accounts.
Clearly, not all agencies within any one of these categories will have an identical service offering, but seeing how an agency describes itself will give you a first indicator as to whether they are likely to meet your needs. See below for more on how to find the right Amazon agency for your business.
Why Do You Need an Amazon Agency ?
Most sellers will start out on Amazon doing things independently, but most successful sellers will quickly realize that additional support is needed to properly scale their business, implement full-funnel marketing, and take advantage of all the possibilities Amazon offers. Quite simply, if other sellers are operating at a more sophisticated level than you—and many other sellers are—then you will need to up your game to keep pace with them.
There are two main ways of increasing the sophistication of your Amazon activities, whether this be focused on your Amazon marketing, your Amazon advertising or your overall Amazon business. The first is introducing automation with a software solution like Perpetua. The second is working with an Amazon agency.
Obviously, we at Perpetua would recommend our software solution, but here we'll focus on why working with an agency might be the right choice for you as a seller. There are three key reasons why sellers choose to work with an agency:
Scale: If you have a good idea of which Amazon advertising measures you want, but you are simply lacking the in-house resources to implement them, then an Amazon advertising agency could be exactly what you need.
Expertise: A good Amazon marketing agency won't just do what you tell them, but will use their experience to identify which measures will be most effective for your business. Some Amazon agencies will explicitly offer strategic consulting as a separate service, but any agency worth its salt should at least provide sellers with some guidance when fulfilling their service obligations.
Gap-filling: A seller might have a well-oiled advertising machine but be missing a critical piece of the Amazon puzzle. If it's not possible to cover this task with an in-house position, then a specialized Amazon agency can help to fill this gap and make sure that the seller doesn't miss out on any potential.
If you are convinced of the power of software, but are also tempted by the benefits of agencies, then we could also add a third option: combine the two. This means that you hire an advertising agency that is expert in using a tool like Perpetua, giving you the advantages of both alternatives.
Advantages of Working with an Amazon Agency
We've covered the main reasons for hiring an agency to support your Amazon business, so here we'll assume you need some kind of assistance, and we've summarized the advantages of working with an agency when compared with other solutions. Where applicable, we've used Amazon advertising as an example service the agency would be providing.
Alternative to an agency
Advantages of an Amazon agency
Covering all tasks in-house
As described above: Scale, expertise and gap-filling are three key advantages of working with an agency versus attempting to cover all advertising tasks in-house.
Using an automated software solution (e.g., to run Amazon ads)
If you don't have the in-house personnel to work with a tool, then outsourcing your complete Amazon advertising to an agency could be an option. Note, however, that most professionally operating ad agencies will work with software tools.
Working with freelancers
Agencies will usually have more capacity, particularly to cover peak periods, than individual freelancers. Furthermore, agencies will often have a more extensive range of capabilities. You would need several freelancers to cover the tasks provided by a full-service Amazon agency, which makes the agency option more efficient and convenient.
How to Find the Right Amazon Agency
Once you've decided that working with an agency is the right way to go for your Amazon business, you need to choose from the hundreds of agencies you can find on Google (other search engines are available, of course). If your number one criterion for picking an agency isn't their search engine optimization skills, then you might want to do more than just click on the first few search results. Here, we run down a few factors to consider to make sure you find—and hire—the Amazon agency that fits your needs best.
Requirements list—why do I need an agency?
Before you even enter amazon agency into your favorite search engine, you should sit down and think about why you want an agency in the first place. This is best done by drawing up a list of requirements. Are you looking for full-service support or primarily someone to manage your Amazon ads? Are you looking for an agency to run just your Amazon marketing campaigns or do you have ads on other marketplaces like Walmart?
Answering questions like these will help guide your search and ensure that you're only considering agencies who will meet your requirements. And when compiling your list, don't forget to think about the future. For example, you might want to focus on Sponsored Products ads to begin with, but hope to expand into upper-funnel marketing and the Amazon DSP twelve months down the line. If that's the case, you want an agency that will be able to accompany you on your Amazon journey and be a long-term partner in your evolving success.
Location and languages
A simple factor to consider when looking for any agency or service provider is where they are based and the languages they speak. If you want to build up a close working relationship with your agency, then shared working hours and being able to easily communicate in a common language are important must-haves.
Besides language and location, you also need to look at the Amazon regions they serve. If you are focused exclusively on amazon.ca (Canada), then you can automatically rule out any agency who only provides marketing services for amazon.com (US). Similarly, if you are already operating across multiple Amazon regions then you will want an agency who can manage your ads—or whichever marketing services you need—in all countries. Location, languages and Amazon regions are simple filters you can apply to make sure you're only considering agencies that you'll be able to work with effectively.
Seller and vendor services offered
With your requirements list in place, the next step is to match up the services you need to what the agency offers. One starting point is the four types of agency described above (eCommerce, full-service Amazon, Amazon marketing, Amazon advertising), and then whether they provide seller or vendor services, or both.
The table shows a range of the most common seller and vendor services offered by Amazon agencies, as well as general services useful for both sellers and vendors.
Seller Central Account Setup
Vendor Central Account Setup
Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)
Product Photo Shooting
Organic SEO for Improved Rankings
Customer Feedback Management
Amazon PPC Optimization
Content & SEO
Branding and Packaging
Buy Box Monitoring
Note that there will be some overlap between services required by sellers and vendors, meaning that the distinction drawn in the table will not always align exactly with your situation. Also, agencies will not always have this exact clustering, so please use this table as a guide but don't forget to refer to your specific requirements list.
Existing client portfolio
Any agency can put a long list of services on their website, and many will because they know that potential clients are coming equipped with requirements lists, so they want to ensure that they tick all the boxes. When researching, you should therefore take a closer look to establish whether you're really dealing with an all-round Amazon marketing agency or an Amazon advertising agency that has added three bullet-points mentioning content, SEO, and listing optimization to their website.
An excellent way of understanding the agency's work is to look at their existing client portfolio. Most will present case studies, success stories, and client logos on their website, so it shouldn't be hard to find examples of their work. If you can't find any examples, then this is a red flag and you should give the agency a wide berth unless you have an exceptional reason for considering them, such as a highly favorable word-of-mouth recommendation.
Reading or viewing case studies can tell you three important things about the prospective agency:
Types of client: You know your business best, so you know how big you are, which product categories are relevant for you, which marketplaces you operate in, and so on. Do the agency's clients look like you? Do you see similar sellers or vendors who have found success working with the agency? Or are you a multinational brand looking at an agency who works primarily with single-ASIN sellers? Try to find agencies that have clients of a similar size and scope to your own business, so you can be confident they are well-placed—and have sufficient resources—to provide you with the expertise and scale you are looking for.
Types of service: This is where you can see exactly how well the "what we offer" section of the agency's website matches the services they have successfully provided to their clients. If 90% of case studies are exclusively for Amazon advertising, then you're looking at an Amazon advertising agency, however they describe themselves. This can be a very good thing if a specialized Amazon advertising agency is what you need, but if you need a broader range of marketing services—or marketing for multiple marketplaces—then this could be an indicator that you should proceed with caution.
Real-life evidence: You don't have to take case studies at face value. You can't easily fact-check claims about an increase in sales or a decrease in ACOS, but many marketing success stories can be independently verified, at least in part. For example, if an Amazon marketing agency says they have done SEO for a certain client and improved their organic Amazon rankings, then it's not hard for you to go to Amazon, search for some relevant keywords, and check where the client's products rank. Similarly for advertising. You can search for product keywords, brand terms, or the client's ASINs—and this gives you a real-life picture of their advertising presence. This isn't just a way of verifying the veracity of an agency's claims. It also gives more details that could be useful for your own marketing plans. If you see that an agency client is running Sponsored Brands ads that link to a storefront, then you know the agency has experience in this specific kind of Amazon advertising.
Reviewing case studies in this way should give you a good idea of how well suited the agency is for your own Amazon marketing vision.
You hire an agency to use their expertise to manage tasks for you, but this doesn't mean you don't have your own ideas about how to approach Amazon marketing or advertising. And not every agency will do the things the way you imagine. That's why you should ensure that you choose an agency that shares your philosophy. But how do you know?
The best way to find out is to see if you and the agency give similar answers to questions like the following:
What is a good Amazon marketing mix, considering PPC and other marketing measures?
How should you leverage automated and manual ad campaigns?
Is keyword harvesting best automated or conducted manually?
How much scope is there for experimentation in Amazon advertising?
Should ACOS be prioritized above all other metrics?
How important is upper-funnel advertising on Amazon?
Is rule-based bid management preferable to the use of a machine learning engine?
If you're aligned on principles like these, then you have found an agency that shares many fundamentals of your marketing philosophy. You may go a step further and have a specific tool (like Perpetua) that you have successfully worked with and you insist that your agency use. They're unlikely to start working with a new software solution just for you, so if using a particular tool is a dealbreaker, then you should pick an agency that is already experienced in maximizing its potential.
Finally, besides all the practical, technical, and strategic requirements discussed so far, recommendations from partners you trust should also be a factor in your decision-making. This doesn't mean you just go with an unknown marketing agency that moves into the office next door—you should do your due diligence—but if an existing partner recommends an agency's services, then they will be doing so for good reason.
A common situation where this happens could be an Amazon marketing agency who you are already working with doesn't have experience with Walmart ads, but knows an agency who does. Or your advertising software provider can recommend a partner agency who is specialized in working with their tool. You should always ensure that the recommendation is applicable to your situation, your goals, and your aspirations, but a personal endorsement of this kind is rarely given lightly as it's someone putting their reputation at stake—so you shouldn't take it lightly either.
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