With eMarketer estimating that Amazon's U.S. digital ad revenues grew 145% year-over-year in 2018, advertisers from all forms of B2B and B2C companies have had to quickly stand up and profitably scale new media programs in order to stay ahead of their competition. This increased focus on Amazon is pushing brands to explore new options to best support the program.
As Amazon continues to improve the platform with significant updates, many brands are finding it hard to build an in-house team that can keep up. Because of this, brands are looking to outsource support to agencies who have built Amazon Advertising capabilities. This guide is intended to help those who want to ensure they ask those partners the right set of RFP questions.
At Merkle, we have fielded a number of RFPs for Amazon services in recent years. They've provided tremendous insights into the minds of a wide variety of advertisers and have helped us create a sample list of questions for you to consider, whether you're putting out an Amazon Advertising RFI/RFP or simply want to ask informed questions as you're evaluating potential partners:
- What services do you provide for Amazon Advertising?
- Please tell us about your experience with Amazon.
- Does your company have a partnership with Amazon? If so, please tell us more.
- Do you have relevant case studies?
Organic Search/Product Content
- How do you optimize product detail pages (PDP)? Do you support A+ Content/Enhanced Brand Content optimization?
- Do you manage Amazon Stores and what best practices do you recommend?
- Do you provide support to build creative for A+ Content/Enhanced Brand Content and Amazon Stores?
- How do you handle seasonality and promotions?
- Monitoring our brand message on Amazon and counterfeit products is a challenge for us, how do you help brands with this issue?
- What is your approach to managing Amazon Search Ads?
- What Amazon experience do you have with brands in our industry? Give some examples of projects or analyses that your account managers regularly perform.
- What technology platform(s) do you use to manage bidding and campaign management?
- Can you provide hourly, day of week or time of day bidding?
- At what level of specificity can you submit bids? (e.g., campaign, ad group, keyword)
Amazon Display and Video Ads
- Please describe your approach to managing audiences and inventory within Amazon’s display & video platforms.
- How do you align media objectives to different display and video offerings?
- How do you stay informed about emerging opportunities within Amazon and what recommendations do you have for approaching alpha/beta testing?
- What is your philosophy on Managed Display vs Self-Service DSP?
- Can you support both options?
- Do you provide creative support for ads?
- Do you provide video creation support?
- Are you able to layer in other channel performance into your reporting, such as Amazon Display, Google, etc.?
- What level of detail do you provide in your reporting?
- How often do you provide reporting?
Partnering with Your Agency
- Who will own the accounts and data?
- What do you require from us to ensure a successful partnership?
- How will our account team be structured?
- What is your fee structure?
While this is not an exhaustive list, the questions above should help you to understand a potential partner's ability to ensure you can best the competition on Amazon.
Are there other questions you've used to help in your evaluation process that we may have missed? Leave a comment below and let us know! Also, be sure to check out Merkle’s Amazon and eRetail Advertising Solutions.