September 22, 2022

What’s the Buzz: Amazon Marketing Cloud

Need to understand a more detailed story from your advertising data? Have no fear, Amazon Marketing Cloud is here.

As an Amazon advertising agency, we’ve worked with all kinds of sellers, marketers, and brands, from all over the world. Different backgrounds, different scenarios, different languages – but there is one priority they all seem to share. Any guesses?

Data! More, better, customizable, and story-telling data that justifies strategies and indicates performance at an unquestionable level.

Particularly with Amazon’s DSP (if you need some background on DSP, get caught up here), probably the biggest gripe is that reporting and attribution is unclear.

Well, watch out nay-sayers – here comes Amazon Marketing Cloud!

What is Amazon Marketing Cloud

Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) is an analytics platform that converts personally identifiable data into anonymous, privacy-safe insights that eligible advertisers can access. Amazon’s first-party data is nearly unrivaled, but much of it wasn’t made available. AMC changes that. AMC offers next level analytics, allowing those with access to take all the data sets that exist in Amazon, map them together, and produce meaningful information that helps manage campaigns, brands, and drive strategies that move the needle.

AMC is a reporting tool  – adding quite a bit of sophistication to what is currently available through standard reporting, like in the DSP or advertising console.

And it’s a pretty complex reporting tool. It requires Structured Query Language (SQL) to generate reports from a variety of data sources. So, AMC isn’t just pulling a report, you have to write code and understand Amazon’s database schema to get data – providing a steep learning curve. HOWEVER, once you master the skill of SQL queries, the data is infinitely customizable. 

What it looks like

Currently, AMC is only available to those who advertise through Amazon’s DSP, but if you’re able to get access, you don’t necessarily have to speak SQL. Though, as mentioned above, it will be extremely helpful if you have someone on your team who does!

Amazon houses a “library” of queries which they’ve already built out. These instructional queries, for the most part, allow you to simply copy in your data points.

A visual of what the AMC console looks like may help you better understand this next-level analytics tool. So let’s hop inside and take a look around:

Within the console, you’ll find the Query Editor where you can type in the SQL code, and on the left-hand side is the Schema Explorer, which is essentially the different data points you can pull in.
The Schema is built around different themes of data sets. Each set is a drop-down offering dozens of different options.
If you’re needing some guidance for building out a query, you can review the “Instructional Queries.” Under this tab, you can narrow down the table of data you want to use, and explore from there.
The links then walk you through, step-by-step on how to implement the query. Here’s what an example query looks like. 

Once you run the query, a table of Submitted Queries can be found below the editor and you can download the report. The raw reports that you download from the console can be a bit messy, so creating visualizations to give shape to the data will be an important step to most any agency harnessing the power of AMC.

how we use it

Let’s walk through a scenario: a shopper is served a Streaming TV ad, then they are browsing the web and they see a DSP display ad, and finally they are actually searching for the product and click on a Sponsored Product ad and purchase. Traditionally, with the last-touch attribution model, the sale is reported under the Sponsored Product ad because that’s the last interaction they had with an Ad.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story. That Streaming TV ad introduced the shopper to the brand, which led them down an advertising journey, ultimately leading to a sale. Tying that sale to the Streaming TV ad through a first-touch attribution model is just one of the many ways AMC can paint a more complete journey picture, particularly when you are looking to justify higher funnel strategies and their impact.

It’s hard to explain all the ways we can harness AMC, but as one of the agencies with AMC access, here are a few query examples we have built out for our clients:

Examples of AMC Use Cases
New-To-Brand Audiences 
How effective are my campaigns in reaching new-to-brand customers?  
Lifetime Value 
What are typical repeat and cross purchase rates and their associated values? 
First-Touch vs Last-Touch Attribution 
What campaigns helped drive the initial click-throughs that led to conversions?
Unique/Incremental Reach 
How many people were reached by a particular campaign that were not reached by other campaigns?  
Ad-Attributed Branded Searches 
How many shoppers exposed to a non-branded campaign later searched for branded keywords? 
How does campaign cost and performance correlate to different geographic regions, time of day, days of the week, devices, etc.?  
Demographic Analysis 
What shopper attributes lead to the highest engagement and purchase rates? 
Frequency/Exposure Analysis 
How does the number of served impressions affect engagement and conversion?  
Time to Conversion 
How long does it usually take for my audiences to convert after last seeing our ad? 
Campaign, Media, & Supply Mix 
What combinations of campaigns (e.g. DSP, Sponsored Products), media (e.g. OTT, Display, SPA), and supply (e.g. onsite, offsite) are most effective in driving engagement and conversion? 

AMC is a game-changer for those wanting to make sense of their advertising data. Another recently rolled out game-changer? Amazon Marketing Stream. And don’t forget Amazon Attribution. All similar names, very different capabilities. Checkout a recent podcast for a breakdown of all three: Amazon Marketing Stream vs. Marketing Cloud vs. Attribution