How to Boost Q4 Profits with Amazon DSP

By Lisa Senensky on September 14th, 2020

Prime Day has been pushed to Q4 this year. Although specific dates haven't been released, we anticipate the event will fall in early October. With its proximity to the holiday season, as well as the growing percentage of ecommerce sales in 2020, this will undoubtedly be the biggest Q4 in the history of Amazon.

We're recommending that brands treat Prime Day this year as an inclusive part of their Q4 strategy, similar to Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the holiday season. The key difference is that this year, all of these events merged together will create several months of high-volume shopping activity on Amazon.

There will be no lag time between Prime Day and Q4 to give advertisers a chance to regroup and reassess strategy. Amazon DSP advertising presents a massive opportunity for brands to boost awareness and discoverability of their products and promotions.

If you're not leveraging Amazon DSP advertising in Q4, you may be missing out be missing out on the opportunity to engage a massive audience of motivated holiday customers, reach a new category of first-time online shoppers and strategically grow your retargeting audiences to maximize conversions and reduce wasted spend. Put simply, if you're not leveraging Amazon DSP in Q4, you're likely leaving money on the table.

Step 1: Focus on Awareness, but do so with precision.

The increase in volume and traffic that Q4 brings presents an opportunity for brands to take advantage of upper funnel advertising and build momentum.

Increase your product's reach and build awareness of your brand by acquiring new sets of eyes. It is important to not be short-sighted and view only ROAS as your key measure of success when evaluating upper funnel segments.

Instead, we're looking for a rise in new to brand purchasers from our lower funnel segments, as well as a lift in organic sales. Key metrics we encourage our customers to measure are:

  • % New-to-Brand Customers

  • Effective Cost Per Detail Page View (eCPDPV)

  • Branded search

  • Cumulative reach

Q4 & Video: Engage Audiences with Over-The-Top (OTT) Ads and 3rd Party Video Ads

IAB's brand study shows that streaming video viewership accounts for over 80% of all online traffic. Over-The-Top (OTT) video ads through the Amazon DSP are an awesome way to put your brand in front of the right audiences and grow awareness ahead of Q4. OTT ads are pre-roll videos that are placed on various Amazon platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime News, IMDBtv, and IMDB.

As the shopping journey shifts in Q4 for big events like Prime Day, Black Friday and even the December holidays, our goal is to make your brand stand out so that your products remain top of mind to our audiences. Q4 shoppers for big events are a different breed from your everyday Amazon shoppers. Compared to everyday Amazon shoppers who can be fickle, Q4 shoppers have their wallets out and are ready to buy so being top of mind to our relevant audiences is extremely important. Employing OTT ads is a great way to execute this.

While OTT ads perform well as a brand awareness tactic, they are also powerful drivers of full-funnel performance. With OTT and Perpetua, you can target precise audiences with relevant products for increased consumer engagement and interaction. Our customers leverage OTT with complementary strategies like growing incremental reach, competitor conquesting and re-engaging lapsed purchasers.

Launching an OTT campaign now will allow you to strengthen and boost your retargeting audiences progressively with time. This way, when Prime Day and Black Friday arrive, we can leverage lower funnel segments to drive a higher volume of sales at a more efficient ROAS.

Video on 3rd Party Inventory

If you don't have the budget for OTT, you should still be leveraging video. Our data is showing that CTRs for video are about 4x average display ad and CPMs are still very reasonable as it's a less competitive auction than display.

We measured this using data from videos that were created with Perpetua's Sponsored Brands video creator. A tool that allows advertisers to create and optimize scroll-stopping video ads for your entire product portfolio, in minutes.

Reaching audiences who are in the market for products like yours (aka "in the aisle").

Amazon's vast amount of first party consumer data allows us to have access to exclusive and coveted shopper segments called In-Market and Lifestyle audiences.

In-Market and Lifestyle Audiences are pre-built audience segments of shoppers that have recently considered products in a given category, also referred to as shoppers who are "in the aisle". For brand awareness efforts, this is a crucial piece of the puzzle as we have the ability to reach people who are in the market to buy your product just in time for Q4.

At this time of the year, shoppers are starting to browse for holiday gifts - this would be a good opportunity to leverage available In-Market segments like Gift Givers, Gift for Fathers, and many more to get new to brand impressions to help drive incremental growth for your brand.

Reaching Audiences that are New to Category (COVID-19 Effect).

There is also a new cohort of online shoppers that emerged from COVID-related lockdowns earlier this year. These new online shoppers are available in Amazon's In-Market segments as New to Category shoppers. The emergence of this segment presents a unique opportunity for brands, as shoppers in these segments still don't have a sense of brand loyalty in certain categorical spaces. Two examples of new to category segments available to brands are:

  • Grocery Product Purchasers - New to Category

  • Beauty Product Purchasers - New to Category

Step 2: Measure the Impact & Double Down on Retargeting

In Q4, the goal is to leverage brand awareness tactics to grow larger retargeting segments, and act on them fast to maximize sales.

The most strategic metric we measure at this time is Cumulative Reach (CR). We want to ensure that the CR of our customers' retargeting audiences are increasing at a exponential rate. If they are, we can conclude that our awareness campaigns are working to bring in a wider range of customers.

We also work with our customers to reduce wasted spend by excluding audiences who have recently purchased the advertised product and are unlikely to purchase again.

Step 3: Maintain Momentum After Prime Day and through the Holiday Shopping Season

The momentum that you've built for your brand doesn't just pay off on Prime Day. Consumers who might not have had a chance to purchase your products on Prime Day might still convert for other major Q4 dates as online shopping outpaces in-store retail.

After Prime Day, your pool of shoppers who are most likely to convert will be larger than usual. Since remarketing is based on shopper intent and interest, it's the most efficient tactic in programmatic marketing.

Instead of reallocating budget from your awareness campaigns after Prime Day, we encourage you to maintain momentum by continuing to invest in awareness while also ramping up investment in retargeting. You should see a larger retargeting pool, and we want to take advantage of that and continue to drive momentum through Black Friday / Cyber Monday and the remainder of the holiday shopping season.

Amazon's trove of shopper data allows you to run extremely efficient remarketing campaigns. For Prime day and beyond, we're encouraging our customers to leverage remarketing to:

  • Engage shoppers who have viewed but not yet purchased their products in the past 30-90 days (demonstrating high intent)

  • Re-engage customers with complimentary products or holiday-focused deals

Strategy: Leverage larger retargeting pools from Prime Day browsing or shopping traffic to cross-sell complementary items

If your product is a gift item, shoppers might be likely to purchase complementary products to add to their gift at this time. A good example is a business who sells espresso machines, might find success employing a cross-selling, retargeting strategy to encourage sales of coffee beans in the short window of time between Prime Day and holiday.

Follow these steps to maximize Q4 2020 results with Amazon DSP

Ensuring the maximum efficiency of our customers ad spend and budget allocation during this high-traffic shopping time is our top priority. Our advice for a successful 2020 Q4 with Amazon DSP advertising is:

  1. Start Now: If you haven't started plannning your Q4 Amazon DSP strategy, you're already behind.

  2. Two Weeks before Prime Day: Invest more aggressively on upper funnel audiences leading up to the event. Remember, while metrics like high ROAS is not a measure of success as this time, remain mindful of eCPDPV to give you an idication that you've selected accurate audiences and inventory.

  3. On Prime Day: Monitor budgets on Prime Day to ensure campaigns don't go dark with increased shopping traffic. If we manage your Amazon DSP campaigns, this will already be done for you. Perhaps consider allocate more budget to Amazon O&O inventory as there will be a higher volume of traffic here.

  4. After Prime Day: Ramp up on retargeting and leverage your new audience from the momentum you've built towards Prime Day. Continue to build reach and awareness for your brand and acquire more new-to-brand audiences for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

  5. On Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Like Prime Day, ensure that budgets don't go dark. Again, if we manage your campaigns on Perpetua, we will do this for you.

  6. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Capture low-hanging fruit by ramping up on retargeting through the December holiday season. Scale back spend on upper funnel segments.

For more information about Prime Day, and how we can help set you up for success, send an email to hello@perpetua.io.