unBoxing Amazon unBoxed (On Tour!) in London

Amazon took its NYC-based unBoxed event on tour for the first (and we hope not last!) time to London, with hands-on-keyboard sessions and keynotes giving us a glimpse at the exciting future ahead – no surprise, AI and automation are the talk of the town.

Written by
November 13, 2023
unBoxing Amazon unBoxed (On Tour!) in London

Table of contents

Key Takeaways

Agility is critical

The world of advertising is changing rapidly – the economy, regulations, sustainability, AI, and even consumer behaviours and attention spans all play a factor. As brands and agencies, we have to be ready to change our approaches without losing sight of our vision.

Our take: Understanding your goals and the levers you can use to achieve them will allow you to remain focused yet agile. We find the greatest success when a brand’s strategy and budgets remain flexible, but targets and standards stay the same. It is critical to use AMC to measure the impact of pivoting approaches and strategies to ensure you are constantly evolving in a dynamic ecosystem.

Automation & AI help us remain agile

Benedict Evans noted that currently, AI is a solution that “gives you infinite interns” – meaning about half of the output won’t be very good, but it’s useful for starting out, brainstorming and sparking creativity. 

Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist IAB, agreed, stating, “AI in advertising is fairly mundane in the short term” and will be focused on campaign improvements and decision support so advertisers can focus on strategy. 

Amazon itself is seeing automation pay off: Amazon Audiences uses machine learning to expand reach and is now reaching more than 70% of fully anonymous traffic in the UK. 

Our take: Automation is vital to scaling success, and we’re finding it’s paying off for our clients in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. We will continue to invest time and resources into discovering new ways to take automation and AI a step beyond “infinite interns”.

AMC is (still) our best friend

The ability to run queries in AMC used to require a deep understanding of SQL, but Amazon has made it easier than ever to pull a number of common queries without the need for this knowledge. 

During a hands-on-keyboard session, our very own Gloria Steiner showed everyone how to unleash the power of AMC – even as a beginner. Within AMC, you now see suggestions of which data to pull and which audiences to create, which means we can all create our own AMC audiences and pull AMC data ourselves from AMC reporting within the Amazon console. 

The ability to pull common reports and data is now easier than ever, but AMC remains complex, and we’re here to help you understand it at a deeper level! If you aren’t sure where to start, reach out to us today.

What to watch

As ever and similar to the list of US releases announced last month, Amazon has some new and exciting “toys” for us to play with! 

Prime Video ads are coming to the UK and Germany, with other EU countries to follow soon. 

Our take: Like in the US, Amazon’s approach to launch Prime Video with ads, and ask consumers to pay to opt out, means Prime Video will immediately become the largest premium ad-supported streaming service. With an estimated 15M+ monthly reach in the UK, 18M+ DE (and 9M+ in FR to follow later in 2024), this is a huge win for advertisers and Amazon. Additionally, our Flywheel Customer Long Term Value (CLTV) dashboard utilises AMC to measure streaming TV over a longer window, up to 12 months, helping advertisers further analyse impact. 

Contextual targeting and signal based marketing enables you to reach consumers based on real time consumption. 

Our take: Anyone running DSP should be using contextual targeting. It’s no surprise that putting advertising amongst relevant content increases engagement, and we are seeing a ton of success for our clients. There is a balance between highly targeted contextual advertising and scale. On the one hand, if  a consumer is browsing the right category onsite, or reading some 100% relevant content offsite, conversion rates will be high, but the activity is not so scaleable. Broaden the categories too much to achieve that scale and the power of relevance is lost. 

As Amazon broadens its publisher relationships, scale will improve further. Flywheel’s expertise lies in finding the balance to provide optimum performance. As cookies are deprecated in 2024, this form of targeting will become increasingly important, and we will be pushing all of our clients towards test and learn activity.

3 new Amazon ads surveys help you better understand your target audience: 

  • Creative testing to identify which creative resonates most 
  • Audience research provides awareness and consideration metrics based on audience segments 
  • Amazon brand lift is a quick and easy way to quantify impact of mid and upper funnel campaigns 

Our take: Surveys can help us get an idea of what will resonate – whether it’s creatives or audience understanding, surveys are a good way to gather insights before making spend decisions. We recommend running test and learn campaigns in parallel to support the gathering of initial insights when you explore this new capability.

Amazon Audience Project will allow you to measure Streaming TV (STV) incrementality (versus linear TV). 

Our take: Considering many people have “cut the cord” and switched off linear TV, it’s important to consider streaming TV as an effective tool to reach your target audience. The Amazon Audience Project is a great first step in ensuring that you are expanding your audience reach with Streaming TV and not spending budget on targeting already saturated consumers.

Final thoughts

The advertising industry has seen massive growth and change, and there’s no doubt that there are exciting times ahead. The latest event from Amazon was like “unBoxing” some shiny new toys ahead of the holiday, and we’re heading into 2024 feeling more than ready than ever to automate, ideate, and innovate to push the boundaries of success on Amazon in the EU!

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Your partner in digital commerce excellence
We at Flywheel are a global team of 2000+ experts spanning more than 20 countires. With a range of specialities covering all aspects of digital commerce, we aim to set a new standard for our industry worldwide.

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