The Amazon Marketing Cloud Playbook


Playbook 2

You’re probably going to be hearing a lot about Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) this year. 

Amazon Marketing Cloud is a powerful platform that lets you connect your shopper signals in order to answer business questions and create new audience segments. But for the newly initiated, it can be daunting to know where to start—or if it’s worth it to start. 

Not sure if you’re ultimately going to invest in AMC? It doesn’t matter. As long as you spend on DSP, you should start thinking seriously about AMC. If there’s even a chance you’ll use AMC in the future, you want to have a plan in place.

Below, we outline our playbook for AMC, which covers the AMC curious all the way to the AMC aficionados. 

Step 1: The AMC curious

Let’s say you aren’t using AMC yet, and you’re not sure if you ever even want to invest resources into it. As long as you spend on DSP, you should still activate your instance for AMC now. 

Why? When you first start using AMC, you’ll only get a lookback window of 7 days of data. You also can’t automatically import all of your historical data into the platform, which means any data that’s more than a week old won’t be available. 

So if you want to run detailed year-over-year comparisons in AMC, you’re going to need to ensure your instance has been turned on for at least a year. 

Activating your instance as soon as you can just makes sense. Turn it on now, and let it build up historical data. It’s free to do. If you never pursue AMC further, you won’t have wasted any time or money. 

But if you do invest in AMC later, you’ll have better data to leverage and better comparisons to make. In the process, you’ll save yourself a lot of regrets. 

(For what it’s worth, if you want help creating your AMC instance, Intentwise can do it for you today.) 

Get AMC certified. The best way to explore AMC is to get trained on it. Intentwise has a Learning Hub that answers many of the FAQs that we hear most about AMC. But if you want to learn even more, you can also get AMC certified through Amazon. Here’s the link to do it

Curious how SQL works? We offer a free, self-serve SQL training module, too. 

Step 2: Frame and answer your business questions 

The next phase is to come up with a list of business questions that you want answered with AMC. Once you have that down, it isn’t hard to generate your answers.

But what business questions can you answer with AMC? Pretty much anything. The potential of AMC is vast. That’s extremely exciting for brands and agencies that want better insights—but it also makes starting out much more daunting. 

To get a sense of the possibilities, it might help to consider the shopper events that AMC lets you track. 

You can see ad-attributed events like: 

  • Conversions
  • Ad clicks
  • Detail page views
  • Customer reviews page visits
  • Subscribe and saves
  • Add-to-wish-list
  • Add-to-gift-list
  • Add-to-registry

With AMC, you can connect these events at the shopper level, so you can know, for instance, that the same shopper who viewed a Sponsored Products ad also later subscribed. 

Look at this list, and use it to formulate questions. Let’s say you want to know more about your Subscribe & Save customers. How many times does the typical shopper see your ads, or purchase from you, before they Subscribe & Save? You can answer that in AMC. 

Need some examples of business questions? 

Let’s start simple. Say you are a kitchenware brand. You sell a low-cost cooking spoon and then a saucepan as an upsell. With AMC, maybe you want to know how the two ASINs overlap. How many people who buy your cooking spoon later convert on an ad for the more expensive saucepan? 

You can easily make this comparison in AMC, especially if you’re using Intentwise Explore. How many of them buy the upsell? Are there any particular ads or sets of ads that seem to be the most effective in funneling that upsell? 

Now, let’s take a slightly more sophisticated example. The no-cost version of AMC shows you all of the events listed above for ad-exposed shoppers. As you become a more advanced user of AMC, however, you might want to compare the behavior of shoppers who saw your ads to those who didn’t. 

For that, you need to subscribe to AMC’s Paid Features. We explain all about these subscriptions on our blog, but basically, they unlock non-ad-exposed shopper events. If you want to see data on organic product sales or organic Subscribe & Saves, you’ll need to use Paid Features. 

Take that group of shoppers that bought your cooking spoon. You now know how many of them then bought your saucepan after viewing an ad. But how would those numbers differ if you examined the group that was not exposed to any of your ads? Would they have bought the upsell just as frequently on their own? Or did the ads make a meaningful difference? 

Then, take it a step further. If you discover the ads did make a difference, you’ll know that it’s worth running ads promoting the saucepan to shoppers who bought your spoon. Easily create that audience in AMC, push it to your DSP account, and start running those granularly targeted ads.

Step 3: Integrate AMC into your overall business

The final step—for experts—is to make sure AMC fits seamlessly into your overall business. 

AMC is most useful when it becomes part of your team’s standard operating procedure. Make sure that your teams are trained in AMC, that they understand the questions it can answer, and that they know how to use it (or how Intentwise Explore can do it for you). 

Once AMC is firmly integrated into your business, you can also tie it more deeply into the rest of your data strategy, too. 

For example, you can connect your first-party data from your DTC site to Amazon’s data in AMC. Your 1P data is kept private and anonymous, but connecting the two datasets together lets you see how your 1P audience overlaps with your Amazon audience. 

Are shoppers who buy from you on Amazon also buying from your DTC store? If so, what kinds of products do they tend to get from Amazon, and which do they go to your DTC site for? 

Until AMC, many of these questions were not possible to answer. Now, they are just a few clicks away.


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