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Marketers cut ad spending in the pandemic, but e-commerce advertising has boomed as people shop more from home — with Amazon leading the pack.
EMarketer said Amazon claimed 10.3% of the US digital ad market in 2020, up from 7.8% in 2019 — competing with Google and Facebook for ad budgets. That growth has attracted Walmart, Instacart, Walgreens and other retailers that have joined Amazon in vying for a slice of the pie.
Here’s the latest on what we know about Amazon’s moves to grow its advertising business.
Amazon’s ad business is big and growing
Amazon took in about $21.5 billion from advertising in 2020, up from roughly $9.3 billion in the year-ago period.
While that amount is a tiny sliver of Amazon’s revenue from retail sales and Amazon Web Services, its cloud business, advertising is one of its fastest-growing areas. The tech giant continues to cut into advertisers’ search budgets that mostly go to Google. It’s also ramping up its audio and video sales pitch.
- Read more: Amazon is making its biggest pitch yet for TV ad dollars — ad buyers break down where it’s winning and what it needs to get their budgets
- Leaked pitch deck slides from Amazon’s Twitch reveal new data about the live-streaming site’s audience
- 7 charts show why Amazon’s ad business could balloon to $17 billion this year and is a growing threat to Google
- Inside Amazon’s charm offensive to win over big brand budgets from Madison Avenue
- Amazon is ramping up its pitch for audio ads after long promising Alexa would be ad-free
- ‘It’s in this weird middle ground:’ Amazon has a new plan to win over big brands with video ads, but agencies aren’t buying it
- A Wall Street firm says Amazon is stepping up its efforts to win small advertisers with cheaper prices and help from sales reps
- Amazon’s ad business is set to more than quadruple by 2023 — and Google should be worried
Who runs Amazon’s ad business?
As its advertising ambitions have grown, Amazon has cultivated a team of execs who pitch advertisers on its ad business.
They include longtime Amazon employees like Colleen Aubrey, who is part of Amazon’s executive suite; and big names from ad agencies and brands who work directly with advertisers.
- Read more: Alan Moss is spearheading Amazon’s push to steal ad dollars from Facebook and Google. Insiders lay out his playbook for getting a slice of the $70 billion TV ad market.
- Andy Jassy will be Amazon’s next CEO. Here’s how advertisers think his AWS experience could boost its ad business.
- Advertising is Amazon’s fastest-growing business and is expected to surpass $17 billion this year. Here are the 19 top insiders leading the charge.
- Meet the 18 power players who are leading Amazon’s ambitions to take on heavyweights like Netflix and Hulu in media
- Amazon just made a big hire from ad agency Dentsu to help it take a share of the $70 billion TV-advertising business
Amazon faces growing competition for ad dollars
Amazon’s advertising has soared as people do more of their shopping online — but other big retailers and delivery companies like Walmart, CVS, and Instacart are nipping at its heels by building their own ad businesses.
- Read more: Retailers like Walmart, CVS, and Instacart are starting to chip away at Amazon’s advertising dominance
- Walmart unleashes a crucial new weapon to grab advertising budget from Amazon, but it’s still lagging behind
- Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart are vying for advertising dollars — here’s exactly how much they charge for ads
- Experts lay out how Instacart, Walmart, and other retail ad sellers can take on Amazon in digital advertising
- Here’s a look inside Instacart’s playbook to take on Google and Facebook as it tries to build a $1 billion ads business
- Instacart just hired Facebook’s Carolyn Everson. Here are 43 other big hires that show how it and other companies are warring for advertising dollars
Amazon’s ad business is tough to navigate
Marketers have complained that Amazon is tough to navigate. Amazon said its complex approach is by design, but at the same time, it’s been rolling out tools to make it easier for marketers to buy and measure ads. Nonetheless, its complicated structure has rise to a cottage industry of firms that specialize in helping marketers navigate the site.
- Read more: Meet 18 firms solving companies’ giant problems selling and advertising on Amazon
- Amazon is breeding a new crop of marketing startups, and investors are buying in
- Marketers say Amazon’s advertising business is difficult to navigate. Here’s why the company thinks the ‘chaotic’ structure actually makes sense.
- The complete guide to hiring an Amazon agency
- Amazon started showing a favored metric for advertisers this month, making it easier for large brands to compare ad efficiency against Google and Facebook
- Amazon is rolling out a tool that shows just how much Google and Facebook ads drive people to do their shopping on the e-commerce site
How to get a job at Amazon
Amazon is consistently looking for advertising talent, but its tough interviewing process and particular culture can make it hard for outsiders to break into the company.
We talked to insiders about how to ace the interview process.
- Read more: Amazon is known for its ruthless interviewing process. We talked to insiders about how to get a job there.
- Amazon insiders explain the company’s unique ‘loop’ interview system and how it’s the ultimate test of whether someone will be a cultural fit
- Amazon is coming for Madison Avenue’s talent, and it could be another blow to embattled agencies and ad-tech companies
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