January 5, 2023

Amazon Ads: What Was New in 2022?

2022 was a big and busy year for the rollout of Amazon Ads new features. According to Amazon, a whopping 102 new features, products, and updates were introduced. Sifting through these releases is a fun way to look back on the evolution of the past year.

We tried to make the lookback easier on you and reviewed all that was new in 2022. Come along as we take a walk down memory lane and roundup the BIG ONES.  

Amazon Marketing Stream

The announcement of Amazon Marketing Stream in June was likely the biggest game-changer of the year and was reason for a lot of buzz in the Amazon Ads community. This push-based messaging system provides near real-time data, giving us more timely insights into campaign performance and helping drive deeper optimizations.

Because a handful of agencies (including Ad Advance) were a part of the closed beta, we were able to create software that utilizes this data and optimizes bids continuously.

If you want to learn more about Stream and how we use it, check out this article.

A subsequent rollout for Amazon Marketing Stream this fall included expanding the service to all countries currently supported by the Amazon Ads API.


Amazon Marketing Cloud

As 2021’s notable newly launched product, Amazon Marketing Cloud and what it can do also made a lot of headlines in 2022.

One of the more noteworthy launches was AMC’s ability to now support custom attribution analysis, meaning advertisers can now customize the lookback window (up to 28 days) and attribution model (first-touch, last-touch, equal-weight, or position-based) when performing attribution analysis. This is an extremely helpful query for giving tangible value to upper-funnel strategies and better understanding of the customer journey.

AMC was initially rolled out for those with Amazon DSP and Sponsored Products, but has since expanded to include Sponsored Display and Streaming services like Prime Video in 2022.

Amazon made several big AMC announcements at their annual unBoxed conference in October, including introducing a new Paid Features option for AMC to enable brands to create more flexible insights and Sizmek Ad Suite’s integration with AMC.

Sizmek is another potential game-changer, enabling advertisers to combine information about their Amazon advertising with information from their broader advertising strategy. This leads to a holistic perspective of all your media buys, on- and off-Amazon.

The new product is currently in beta – looking forward to seeing more of its utility in 2023!


Sponsored Display

Moving on to an ad type that saw quite the makeover in 2022. Sponsored Display had arguably the biggest year for upgrades.

Let’s roll through the heftier ones:

  • Customization: Along with new access to creative assets, advertisers can now customize their Sponsored Display creatives by adding a headline, logo, and lifestyle image together or individually.
  • Video: Advertisers can now use video to enhance your Sponsored Display campaigns with on- and off-Amazon placements. Recently, this launch was bolstered a bit more with a new set of key view-based metrics.
  • Contextual Targeting: Sponsored Display’s product targeting evolved into contextual targeting mid-2022, allowing advertisers to reach audiences on- and off-Amazon when customers view content related to targeting strategies.
  • General Expansion of Capabilities:
    • Now available in Amazon Marketing Stream, the near real-time data from Sponsored Display campaigns can now be used to make optimizations.
    • A new deny list provides control to manage brand presence and where ads appear.
    • Sponsored Display campaigns can now be easily organized within Portfolios.
    • New bulksheets support Sponsored Display to create and optimize campaigns at scale.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list – Sponsored Display saw a dozen other updates, including extension to additional markets and addition of metrics. You can read through them all by filtering on Product/Ad Type here.


DSP

Suffice to say, 2022 upgrades to Sponsored Display certainly brought its capabilities to align a bit more with Amazon DSP. However, DSP continues to offer more pulls and levers and had a few updates this year, too.

A major update to the DSP console now provides a data visualization component to the campaign management data table, allowing users to track trends over a period of time and chart KPI/delivery metrics.

For those who utilize custom creative or like to customize their Responsive eCommerce ads, Amazon DSP launched their enhanced creative policy guardrails. As you likely know, Amazon has very specific specs and guidelines for creatives. This guardrails program was made in an effort to reduce creative moderation rejection by providing real-time ad policy feedback during creative setup.

Other updates to Amazon DSP included additional changes to the console, market expansion, and more – again, you can find a full list of releases, here.


Sponsored Products & Sponsored Brands

We can’t forget to highlight some of the updates made to Sponsored Products and Brands – many of which made it easier to optimize campaigns, create efficiencies, and cross-utilize targets and data.

  • Budget: The budget usage feature pulls the percentage of used budget in real-time for all Sponsored Ad types, allowing users to pull information for both campaigns and portfolios.
  • Creative:
    • The launch of creative services offers a directory of trusted providers that can assist with impactful creative assets.
    • The addition of Video Builder makes it easy to build videos with ready-to-use  customizable templates.
    • Creative editing is now allowed for Sponsored Brands video ad creatives.
  • Targeting:
    • Sponsored Brands can now utilize Ad Groups, simplifying campaign management and offering a way to organize and test different strategies.
    • Expanded product targeting for Sponsored Products enables advertisers to automatically target products similar to their individual product target.
    • Campaign copy is a new feature that allows users to use campaign settings from an existing Sponsored Products campaign and apply them to a new Sponsored Brands or Sponsored Display campaign.
  • Transparency:
    • An account transparency log provides a list of sensitive actions taken in an account through the ad console with the username associated with the changes.

Onward to 2023

Overall, 2022 was a year of big upgrades and introduction to new utility. What will 2023 bring? Well, Amazon has announced a few rollouts that we know are coming soon, such as being able to manage advertising across countries from a single sponsored ad account and a new Products page within the advertising console that displays all advertised products in one place.

If 2023 is anything like 2022, that will be just the very tip of a very large iceberg. We expect a heavier emphasis on AMC, more utilization of Sizmek, and a push for driving off-Amazon traffic. Whatever it is – we are ready for you 2023!

Want to join us in the New Year? Let’s chat!