Nothing on Amazon Operates Within a Vacuum: Merkle

Merkle has published the second edition of The Amazon Advertising Flywheel Strategy Guide to guide advertisers and agencies in succeeding with the fourth largest digital advertising platform.

“On Amazon, maybe more so than any other advertising platform, it’s critical for merchandising, marketing, advertising, supply chain, and brand advocacy teams to work together with one cohesive plan,” the report says. “Brands need to develop a holistic Amazon strategy that puts customers first by engaging with them at multiple touchpoints with meaningful, polished media.”

As ad fraud and inflated reach scandals torment Google and Facebook, the report notes that as the only platform with a focus on delivering measurable sales results while also raising awareness and consideration, Amazon stands out as the go-to marketplace for advertisers charged with delivering results.


“Simply put, you cannot efficiently scale your Amazon business through search and display advertising (paid media) if your product detail pages aren’t optimized to drive relevant traffic that leads to conversions (owned media), as this directly impacts your organic search ranking and reviews (earned media),” the report insists.

Merkle recommends advertisers build a strong brand presence using key assets such as product detail pages, a brand registry, and Amazon stores, promising that doing so will help advertisers stand out among the cluttered commodities on the platform. The report then recommends switching to the paid media strategy within the platform, to guide prospective buyers through the buyer decision journey, taking it further beyond purchasing into loyalty, advocacy, and experience.

“According to Amazon, the typical customer path to conversion isn’t linear, but rather a series of inter-connected touchpoints across the Amazon marketplace,” the report reminds. “To win on Amazon, you must show up at all touchpoints, meaning you must have a mix of search and media activation.”


Navigating prospects, the report wants advertisers to invest media towards display ads, video ads, and search ads on product detail pages and Amazon stores. Winning here means advertisers need a diverse media mix within the Amazon walled garden, relying on a range of ad types, placement options, and targeting – both manual and automatic.

“Your polished owned media generates some sales on its own, generating earned media,” the report concludes. “You layer on paid media to generate even more product detail views on your owned media, driving more sales and strengthening your earned media This boosts your products in organic results and makes your paid media even cheaper, allowing you to spread your marketing dollars more widely to capture even more customers.”

While the application of an owned, earned, and paid strategy is not new, the progression of the application from Merkle pertaining to the Amazon ecosystem hints at a partnership between the two, perhaps even a rebate intensive one, which only adds to the likelihood that the performance agency knows to win on the platform.


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