Digiday+ Research: Amazon holds untapped marketing potential for brands, agencies

amazon vacuum

This research is based on unique data collected from our proprietary audience of publisher, agency, brand and tech insiders. It’s available to Digiday+ members. More from the series →

Amazon and other retail sites make up only a small portion of today’s marketing budgets for brands and agencies. But that could change, according to a survey of 90 brand and agency professionals conducted by Digiday+ Research.

Digiday’s survey revealed a huge difference between how brands and agencies are spending on Amazon and other retail marketing sites compared with how confident they are that those channels drive marketing success — which likely means there’s a lot of unrealized potential for marketing growth on retail sites.

When it comes to brands, only 7% of respondents to Digiday’s survey said they spend a large or very large portion of their marketing budget on Amazon and other retail sites including Walmart, Target and eBay. However, 24% of brand pros said they are confident or very confident that Amazon drives marketing success. Ten percent said they are confident that other retail sites drive marketing success.

Digiday’s survey found that there is also a discrepancy between agencies’ ad spend on Amazon and other retail sites and their confidence in the channels — but even more so. Even fewer (5%) of agency respondents said their clients spend a large or very large portion of their ad budgets on Amazon. That percentage drops to only 2% for other retail sites. But almost half of agency pros said they are confident or very confident that Amazon drives marketing success for their clients, and 26% said so of other retail sites.

The vast differences between the confidence brands, and especially agencies, have in Amazon to drive marketing success and the ad spend that’s actually happening on the channel are indicative of the potential Amazon has that isn’t being harnessed quite yet. And it’s likely that if brands and agencies are starting to catch onto Amazon’s marketing potential, other retail sites aren’t far behind.

Other than Amazon, Digiday’s survey specifically mentioned Walmart, Target, eBay, Best Buy and Kroger as additional retail channels that brands and agencies are investing in. Among the brands who said they dedicate some of their marketing budget to other retail ad platforms besides Amazon, here is how they ranked the other options:

  1. Walmart
  2. Target
  3. eBay
  4. Kroger
  5. Best Buy

And among the agencies who said their clients dedicate some of their marketing budget to non-Amazon retail ad platforms, here is how the other options shake out:

  1. Walmart
  2. Target
  3. eBay
  4. Best Buy and Kroger

While retail sites are not yet a major player in brands’ and agencies’ marketing spend, it’s clear that these groups’ confidence in retail ad platforms makes the channel a space to watch in the coming months – particularly as uncertainty grows.


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