Learning Hub: Amazon Marketing Cloud

So you’ve started using Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), Amazon’s powerful analytics platform, but you’re getting overwhelmed.

Maybe someone on your team knows the basics of SQL, but writing multiple different queries a day is stretching their bandwidth.
Maybe you are used to manually running queries, but you are sick of spending hours organizing and visualizing the results.

Whether you’re a veteran or a newcomer to AMC, you will inevitably run into pain points. Intentwise has been working with AMC since it launched. Scroll down to see what we’ve learned.

Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) FAQs

Who can use AMC?

Any advertiser account with spend on Amazon DSP is eligible to create an instance on AMC. It’s free to use.

What is an instance? 

An instance is your access to AMC. You need to activate AMC instances for your account before you can start using the tool. A single AMC account can have multiple instances.

When you first create an instance, AMC only populates your data going back seven days. That’s why we recommend creating one now, even if you’re still debating whether to use AMC. 

Certain use cases require having months or even years worth of data to be valuable.

How do I get an AMC Instance?

Reach out to your Amazon Ads representative, or fill out this form on Intentwise’s website. We’re happy to request an instance on your behalf, free of charge.

How does AMC work?

The central promise of AMC is to track shoppers across their entire journey. It unifies signals from DSP ads, sponsored ads, and Amazon events, like add to cart. 

AMC does this in an anonymous, privacy-safe way through a user_id, a unique number sequence that corresponds to a specific shopper. 

With user_ids, you can see that the same person who interacted with your DSP ad later clicked your Sponsored Products ad, and so on.

What kinds of events can AMC track?

AMC organizes all kinds of customer interactions, from ad views to product page views, into “events.” In AMC, you can track shoppers across events like:

  • Ad impressions
  • Ad clicks
  • Ad sales
  • Subscribe and save
  • Add-to-wish-list
  • Add-to-gift-list
  • Add-to-registry
  • Product detail page views

You can use these events to track a customer purchase journey, or create an audience (say, of someone who bought from you but didn’t subscribe and save).

Does AMC track organic sales data?

AMC does track all kinds of organic events, such as organic sales, product page views, adds to cart, and more. Organic sales data is vital for estimating Customer Life-Time Value. 

The caveat: You have to pay extra for it, through AMC Flexible Shopping insights, a paid subscription.

What are Paid Features?

AMC is free to use, but some of its key features are behind a paywall. Amazon has a category of datasets called Paid Features that integrate data with Foursquare Store Visits and Vehicle Purchase Insights.

Most importantly, Paid Features also includes Flexible Amazon Shopping Insights. This shopping insights subscription contains data about organic sales, Subscribe & Save conversions, and more. 

How much do Paid AMC Features cost?

The price of Paid Features is customized to each account. It depends on the size of your instance, and there is no easy way to guess the cost without consulting Amazon. 

If you have an AMC instance and want to know the price of Paid Features for your instance, reach out to Intentwise for help.

Can AMC measure my ad-exposed shoppers against a control group?

Yes! Paid Features includes a dataset called “conversion_non_ad_exposed,” which shows conversion events from users who haven’t been exposed to ads in the previous 28 days.

Why won’t my custom audience run?

For privacy reasons, AMC will only let you create a custom audience if it contains 2,000+ shoppers. 

To ensure your audience is big enough, just run a test query in AMC.

I ran a query. Why are some of my column results empty?

You may be encountering AMC’s aggregation thresholds. AMC has some built-in minimums for a query to return complete data. This is to ensure that AMC doesn’t identify shoppers. 

Aggregation thresholds apply only to certain columns, such as campaign name, postal code, user_id, and more.

What are the AMC aggregation thresholds?

AMC breaks up its aggregation thresholds into “Low,” “Medium,” “High,” and “Very High.” 

Per AMC, a “Low” threshold means that, as long as you have at least 2 unique users in the sample, the results will load.

A “High” threshold requires at least 100 unique users in the sample. 

If your query result doesn’t meet those thresholds, then some of those columns may be blank.

Why do I see null values?

If you get a user_id is “null” on AMC, it’s because Amazon has lost track of the identity of a shopper. They can’t figure out who, exactly, viewed your ad.  

Why does this happen? There two main ways:

  • The shopper was not logged in to Amazon.
  • You used non-audience targeting. If you run DSP ads that use geo-targeting or contextual targeting, or that buy from a private marketplace like Paramount+, then you can anticipate a larger number of null values.
How can I learn SQL?

You can’t use the AMC Console without SQL. Luckily, Intentwise offers a dedicated SQL training module that helps you learn for free.

How does Intentwise Explore make AMC easy?

Swipe the cards below to see some common problems faced by power users of AMC—and how Intentwise Explore can help. 

How do I run multiple queries across instances?
Power users of AMC have a lot of queries to run at once—often, across multiple instances. It’s a pain to toggle between each instance manually.
You don’t have to do it one at a time. With Intentwise Explore's Query Library, you can activate queries across multiple instances very quickly, without writing a line of SQL.
How do I schedule my queries in advance?
Results from AMC don’t always arrive quickly. Complex queries can take hours to return results.
Let’s say you want to run the same query every week or every month. In Intentwise, you can schedule a query to run every Monday at 1 a.m., so the results are always there when you need them.
How do I visualize my AMC outputs?
AMC datasets are massive, and it's not always intuitive to build reports that visualize the outputs.
To simplify the process, Intentwise Explore includes pre-built embedded dashboards, designed specifically for AMC.
You can access these best-in-class dashboards for AMC with a single click.
What if I want to customize my AMC visuals?
Our library of templates are designed with the most popular use cases of AMC in mind.
These templates are fully personalizable, and they help fast-track your custom dashboard building.
With a single click, you can export them to the visualization tool of your choice (Tableau, PowerBI, etc).
Can I pipeline my AMC outputs?
Running a query in AMC is only half the battle. Next, you have to download every query result as a .CSV file, then stitch it together by hand.
When you use Intentwise, you can choose to pipe the output into an industry-standard warehouse of your own.
Intentwise Explore is the most robust AMC data pipeline available.
What if I don’t have time to write my own queries?
Even if you have a team member who knows SQL, query writing at scale can be painstaking.
You have to spend hours envisioning, writing, and validating each new query.
Intentwise has taken the guesswork out of queries, with dozens available with only a single click.
What if I want to create a query from scratch?
Writing a new query is tricky. You need SQL knowledge, plus a deep knowledge of Amazon.
It's high stakes: A single error joining tables can throw your results off.
Luckily, it doesn't have to be so hard. Describe your use case, and our team will write and test a query for you, then add it to your personal query library.
How do I create audiences at scale?
Audience creation becomes cumbersome quickly. You have to pick a query, validate it, and push it to DSP—one at a time, for every account.
Intentwise can do this automatically. Pick an audience from our library, select a cadence, and watch as they appear in Amazon's DSP.
Multiple sub-brands in your AMC instance? No problem.
In a single AMC instance, you might have data for multiple sub-brands. What if you wanted to break down your results by sub-brands?
In Intentwise Explore, it's easy. We maintain a map of ad campaigns to your sub-brands, making it a breeze to aggregate results with custom dimensions for your data.

Stream our webinar series on AMC:

Ready to start training?

Intentwise SQL training module
Knowing SQL can sharpen your understanding of what’s possible in AMC. Wish there was an easier way to learn it? Our dedicated SQL training module gives you a running start. The best part: It’s entirely free. Sign up now.
Amazon AMC certification
Ready to test your AMC knowledge? If you’ve read through all of our resources, and you’re ready to begin your AMC journey, then you can get AMC certified through Amazon. Complete the test here.

Want to learn more about navigating AMC?

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