A Rundown of Amazon Self-Service DSP
At Marketplace Strategy (MPS), we support our clients with their Amazon Advertising strategies. In part, we recommend investing in the Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP) to programmatically buy display and video ads. Amazon DSP is an instrumental tool used to increase sales, brand awareness, and leverage Amazon’s expansive shopper data. Continue reading to learn about self-service DSP and how your brand can leverage it in your strategy.
The History of Self-Service DSP
Amazon DSP was, until 2018, only available through Amazon’s in-house campaign management team, known as Managed Services. But since then, self-service DSP has become available through agencies like MPS. This was a significant development for brands, primarily because of the cost-savings and lower line item minimums.
Why Brands Should Consider Self-Service DSP
Over the past few years, MPS has gained access to Amazon DSP and has managed programmatic campaigns for many clients. We have found self-service DSP ideal for both brands that want to expand their audience, as well as those that can’t necessarily sell on Amazon but want to reach Amazon customers.
Aside from lower line item minimums and required spend, there are many reasons why brands should consider self-service DSP. First, it allows brands to structure campaign budgets and bids at a far more granular level. Due to line item limitations on the managed side, multiple audiences and ad placements are often targeted with the same budget and bid. Managed service campaigns also often advertise more than one product in a line item. As a result, performance can suffer as relevancy decreases.
The flexible campaign configurations available through self-service allow our clients to advertise through more efficient and relevant paths. Not to mention, it's possible to bid according to supply and demand rather than using the same bid for all sources of ad inventory.
With this in mind, it's important to understand Amazon’s audience is comprised of ready-to-buy shoppers. Because of this, ad inventory on Amazon is often considered ‘better’ from a conversion perspective, and bidding on these placements is frequently more competitive and expensive. The ability to reach the same audience on other platforms through self-service DSP can reduce competition and expense. When advertising through managed service, brands don’t have the insight into where advertising is most efficient. With self-service, MPS strategists can determine when and where it’s necessary to scale back bidding to remain competitive and efficient.
The Transition from Managed Service to Self-Service DSP
At MPS, we’ve worked with countless brands transitioning to self-service DSP from managed services. When we get started with these clients, our focus is initially on supply and demand across the internet to understand where we can scale bids and budgets more efficiently. As brands begin the transition to self-service DSP, it’s important to remember, what may have required costly bids through managed service could be equally successful at a lower rate.
Final Thoughts and Strategic Recommendations
Although this blog post is focused on self-service DSP and its advantages over managed service, it’s important to consider both options. There are benefits to using Amazon’s managed services brands can’t take advantage of when using self-service DSP. For example, there are closed betas, sales studies, and more available on the managed side. In some cases, it may make sense to invest some money into managed service for this reason.
At MPS, to ensure our clients are making the best decision, we maintain a strong relationship with their Amazon Account Executive (AE). Between ourselves, the AE, and our client, we discuss where the brand’s budget is best invested. Should it be wise to spend on managed and self-services, we consult with our client and make that happen.
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