Amazon Cutting Out The Agencies?
Amazon is working hard to grow its ad sales business. First, they enhanced their suite of ad products with more on-platform search and retargeting offerings. Now they’re beefing up their Sales team and taking the sell directly to clients. Interestingly, it appears that Amazon is increasingly cutting out the agencies as they do more and more client-direct deals.
If you’ve spent any time in media sales you know going around an agency can be a harrowing experience. Don’t get me wrong – media vendors should ALWAYS have a client relationship, but that usually happens in concert with an agency partner and not without them. So how is Amazon able to get away with doing client-direct deals? Part of the reason is the extreme interest brands have in partnering with Amazon. Clients feel the need to be on the platform, so it’s pretty easy for Amazon to get their foot in the door. The other reason is Amazon’s specialty in lower-funnel marketing. Running behaviorally retargeted ads at the moment of purchase is much simpler than developing an overall brand strategy, so clients are more likely to do these deals themselves.
Of course it’s never wise to completly ignore a brand’s AOR. If the program a vendor develops directly with a brand contrasts the agency’s overall strategy it could result in a disjointed marketing plan. And that’s not good for anyone.