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Amazon or your DNA: What knows you better?

By Mark Power - Podean Founder & CEO

· amazon,amazon advertising

As marketers, we spend a lot of time trying to understand the exact interest, movements, behavior and the many interesting data points relating to every possible customer who we would like to attract.

After all, if we know what they’ve bought in the past, it’s a good indication of what they’ll buy next – and not only similar products, but complementary products.

If we know what they’re interested in and their opinions, then we can predict the products and services that someone of similar interests would buy.

If we know their location at all times, then we likely know where they shop.

And if we know who they are, we can price appropriately, take into account local products, local skews and further infer their preferences based on deep demographic information.

It’s incredibly powerful information, and agencies and publishers alike (especially Google and Facebook) have spent fortunes on gathering this information and stitching it all together. Indeed, agency groups such as Dentsu and IPG have invested billions in data-driven marketing companies who specialize in layering all of this, down to a PII (personally identifiable information such as physical address, email, phone number) level.

Amazon has built an ecosystem that has all of that, but so much more. It truly has the most accurate and comprehensive profile on 51% of American households (according to Morgan Stanley / Alphawise), which are paying Prime members and likely using the included music, books, movies, amongst other services. What you choose to consume also says a lot about who you are and what you are interested in.

Of course Amazon has also confirmed that over 100 million Alexa devices have been sold globally, of which it is estimated that there is 30% penetration in the USA ( That’s a lot of unobtrusive microphones listening to us and gleaning a lot about our intentions and behavior beyond what we buy through an Echo (which is reportedly quite low). When and where I’m going out (e.g., Uber skill), when and where I’m travelling (e.g., Kayak), what I like to eat, what I drink, who I bank with and so much more.

And then there’s Amazon’s many other properties like Whole Foods, IMDb, DPReview, Kindle, and the list goes on.

All of this data is gold for marketers.

It’s beautifully created to be holistic and integrated. It’s not like asking Google to blend the data from Gmail with Maps, with Chrome and Google Home, which they won’t or simply cannot do.

While Amazon has only been in the digital advertising game for a small number of years compared to two decades like competitors such as Google, it’s easy to see how formidable it is in terms of data.

Admittedly, Amazon’s execution platforms are less sophisticated today than those of its competitors, but Amazon is catching up fast.

It will take experts to drive the competitive edges of Amazon and leverage the undeniable potential that it provides.

Whether the objective is sales on Amazon, or off Amazon, Podean is the agency to make the most of these advantages.

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