By Patrick Coffee
WPP firmly believes that the future belongs to Amazon.
Less than two months after acquiring Amazon-only consultancy Marketplace Ignition, the holding group’s media agency, Mindshare, and its performance marketing agency, Possible, which is based near Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, have joined forces to offer clients a shared service combining media and ecommerce “across the entire Amazon ecosystem.”
The product will reportedly include media planning and buying, ecommerce optimization, analytics, “innovation services” tailored to specific products like Dash and Alexa, and a unit focused only on the 64 percent of U.S. households currently subscribed to Amazon Prime.
In short, WPP looks to become the go-to source for all sorts of marketers looking to make the most of the Bezos behemoth.
“A single-delivery organization was part of the rationale for acquiring Marketplace Ignition,” said Possible global svp of commerce Frank Kochenash, adding that the same thinking drove the new announcement.
“We want to provide an end-to-end solution from awareness to sale,” said Joe Migliozzi, who leads Mindshare’s Shop+ division in North America.
Kochenash said that the Marketplace Ignition team brought “several new capabilities to Possible” while enhancing its ability to scale existing services like search and content development (meaning the optimization of product detail pages, each of which contains hundreds of data fields).
“We knew Amazon as a platform, but it is many things [including] a retailer and a media outlet,” said Kochenash. “When it comes to media, clients are asking, ‘Where do I spend my first dollar?'”
As Migliozzi noted, ad placement on Amazon can include everything from standard digital displays to sponsorship opportunities, videos and even out of home creative to wrap around Amazon delivery trucks. Many marketing professionals consider Amazon the third party in the digital trifecta led by Facebook and Google, but WPP sees the growing Prime audience as an opportunity that’s too good to pass up.
“We call Amazon a lifestyle-management platform for 80 million households in the U.S.,” said Kochenash, noting that the company’s line of products and services is far broader than that of a streaming rival like Netflix or a retail giant like Walmart. The company’s recent $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods reinforces that narrative.
Beyond the retail expansion, Migliozzi cited new areas of growth like voice-activated Echo services and original scripted content, ultimately bringing the focus of WPP’s new offering back to Prime subscribers.
“Through this partnership, we want to study and have a better understanding of a Prime member,” he said. “There is definitely a difference in how you approach the Prime segment versus other perspectives [in respect to] brand advertising. If brands aren’t thinking about Amazon as a media platform, they run the risk of becoming obsolete.”
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