“I wish I (fill in the blank) months ago.” We’ve all heard this comment. “I wish I had bought that stock last week”. “I should have started the project months ago.” “Looking back now, I wish we had made that decision a year ago, we would have been better off.”
Heinsight is 20/20, so they say. The problem is, unless you learn from the past your vision for the future is still broken. This ‘should have, could have, would have’ mentality is one that we as marketers ought to avoid at all costs. What happens that leads us to reach this place of “should have’s”, is we become followers instead of leaders. We’re no longer leading ourselves, but following the waves of culture. In order to prevent regret, we should not worry about making mistakes, we should worry about indecision, fear and inaction.
“Fear makes a terrible master, but a wonderful servant.”
One of the biggest opportunities we see only a few active brands making is to begin placing advertising spend on Amazon. With the release of Amazon’s Marketing Services, brands have the unique opportunity to be trailblazers. The fear we have as marketers is that we don’t want to make a decision that others scoff at. Fear prevents us from stepping out and innovating when it’s easier to do what others are doing. The reality is that in order to be a leader, you always have to be the one to step out first.
We all love the story of a leader being rewarded for going where no one else thought to go.
An example is Kristin Rae who is the founder of Inspire Travel Luggage. Kristin, a third-party seller on the Amazon platform has been using headline search ads (part of AMS) as part of her marketing strategy. She shared how it has helped her absolutely “dominate keywords”, and in her words provide a return on her investment that, per dollar spent, “I… get a more targeted return (on Amazon’s Advertising Platform) than anywhere else.”
Another example of a more well-known brand is Nespresso who beat CPA goals by 70% and drove sales 3x higher on Amazon compared to its projected goals (intended for more traditional search platforms). Amazon Advertising
It’s the leaders who get the head start and create the path that the masses try to follow. It’s the leaders who see the largest return on their early investments. Yes, there is always a chance that you stumble while leading, navigating new paths that few others have traversed. But, there is far more likelihood of being trampled in the competition of the masses trying to compete.
The reality is, Amazon will become mainstream in the near future and competing will be as challenging as it is today on Google and Facebook. The opportunity will be offered then, but is far greater for the early adopters today. Amazon shared just a few weeks ago that in it’s 3rd quarter it’s “other” revenue grew 58% year over year to $1.12 billion. This “other” revenue consists primarily of ad sales.
One of the best ways brands can get started advertising on Amazon is with Headline search ads. This is easily the most effective Amazon advertising tool today with “sponsored product” being the runner-up. Headline search ads on Amazon appear directly above the search results whenever customers reach the results page after searching for a specific item, similar to Google Search.
“Headline search ads on Amazon are one of the best ways brands can stand out today when announcing or launching new products, or strategically defending key search terms,” shared one executive. The other alternative to Headline search and sponsored products are “product display ads”, previously known as e-commerce ads. Sponsored product ads are only available to vendors, meaning, those who have pages with products for sale directly on Amazon.
“The greatest opportunity is for brands to strategically acquire space where their competitors are not looking. Despite Amazon being years away from accomplishing what Google and Facebook have, their automated campaign reporting, leading first-party data, complex keyword attribution, and new ad slots are rapidly increasing Amazon’s efficiency as a channel,” said one top executive.
We’re excited about Amazon and the opportunity brands early to make a move will have over their competitors. All of our decisions as marketers are boiled down to investments in ideas, products or platforms with the goal of reaching our ideal customer at the right time, in the right place and for the right price. To end today’s thought we couldn’t think of a better person to hear from than a savant of investing; Warren Buffett, someone who is iconic for his investing principles, is famous for saying.
“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”. – Warren Buffett
This applies to marketing as well, seek opportunities where few are brave enough to pass through, and many are too fearful to step out, you will be rewarded. As always, reach out if you would like to have Rainforest involved in any project you’re working on. Let us know how you imagine cutting through the noise online and standing out.