It’s Prime Day 2023, and despite the dire state of the global economy, British consumers are expected to spend what little they have in order to bag a bargain.
But what should brand marketers be doing to ensure they can make the most of the summer Amazon spending spree?
Our top adtechs give their takes on the best strategies…
James Leaver, CEO, multilocal
“In this fast-evolving advertising landscape, brands and agencies have their work cut out when it comes to delivering differentiated, winning commerce strategies.
“But Prime Day is a great opportunity to stand out during midsummer and ahead of the fiercely competitive holiday season.
“With ongoing evolution in the way we buy and sell products and services online, driving meaningful engagement and seamless service is key. Very often, the only way to achieve this is through technology – whether automation through tech-enabled curation, or via programmatic strategies designed to drive promotional messages in the right context, via the right channel.
“This can generate value at scale for consumers and retailers alike in these challenging times, with streamlined processes enabling teams to outsmart, rather than outspend, competitors.
“Certainly the ability to respond at lightning speed to consumer behaviours online is critical. As such, it’s important to capitalise on the opportunities that events like Prime Day inevitably bring – and particularly when we consider the macro-economic backdrop of a cost-of-living-crisis and global inflation.”
Adam Jabłoński, Acct Mgt Strategy Team Manager, RTB House
“Prime Day is one of the biggest promotional events of the summer period, and has, in previous years, seen an estimated increase in sales of 170% and a growth in traffic of more than 23%.
“With the cost of living crisis affecting people across the UK, Prime Day provides a perfect opportunity for brands to capitalise on engagement to increase sales, but competition will be rife.
“In order to differentiate from the huge number of brands who will be advertising ahead of and during this event, brands need to invest in technology that can optimise its outcomes.
“There is no doubt that AI will play a part, however it should be Deep Learning that puts a brand above the rest.
“It provides hyper-targeted, yet specifically tailored ads in a way that goes far beyond the capabilities of any human.
“With the cost of advertising also rising, it is crucial that brands approach marketing in a way that maximises valuable traffic to deals,without overspending on their advertising budgets.”
Stephanie Mukherjee, Social and Performance Lead, Tactical
“In today’s crowded marketplace, audience attention is key. This Prime Day and beyond, brands should be using ad formats and inventory that drives attention rather than impressions.
“By investing in high impact creative and higher spends, brands can cut through the noise during peak moments when many advertisers will be spending more.
“The only way to do this is test, test and test some more! There is no better way than learning what creative works, and doesn’t, than during key moments such as Prime Day.
“Remember, every dollar you spend is dollar you can learn from.
“It’s important to plan ahead of time to allow audience ‘priming’. For example, prepping the audience well in advance of the event so they are primed to take action. This is especially important for Prime Day, which shifts year to year.
“Finally, brands need to advertise where shoppers are likely to shop and then make sure they are present in the right context.
“For example, choosing platforms like Amazon ads or Instagram where the audience is in a shopping frame of mind is important to encourage a purchase to take place.”
Piero Pavone, CEO, Preciso
“Savvy retailers – even those far smaller than Amazon – can look to lean into their own, unique competitive advantages to entice customers with relevant deals and offers in a cost of living crisis.
“As always, marketers must pivot and evolve to respond to changing consumer behaviour and demand.
“In order for them to execute the right strategies in order to outperform the competition, driving meaningful engagement via meaningful and relevant offers, innovation and creativity is needed.
“Brands will need to think outside the box to balance the bottom line – especially considering the intense competition for the shrinking disposable income of the average consumer.
“Fortunately, technology can help to drive efficiency and value – whether through automation, optimisation, or both.
“With programmatic approaches on the rise, companies large and small are battling to get their products in front of the right people at the right time.
“With data, insights, and judicious use of tech, brands can get ahead and appeal to consumers in a shopping mindset and hungry for deals.”
Nadia Gonzalez, CMO, Scibids
“Prime Day offers brands a great chance to seize digital success in what has been a deflated year for consumer spending.
“However, with everyone looking to win big this year, this will not be easy. The brands that will come out on top will be the ones who focus on the efficiency of their digital marketing strategy.
“Utilising powerful artificial intelligence (AI) is the perfect solution here.
“While 86.9% of marketers already see AI as an important part of their marketing this year, those focusing on custom bidding algorithms in particular would be putting themselves ahead of the pack.
“These can be used to build bespoke data sets without compromising on user privacy and have the ability to constantly evolve and reallocate ad budgets in real time.
“This is an investment not only for Prime Day, but for long term effective and interoperable marketing strategies.”
Philip Acton, Country Manager, UK, Adform
“Prime Day, like many popular sales events, is going to be a ‘prime’ opportunity for brands to take advantage of consumers willing to part with their cash.
“Competition is going to be fierce, not only for brands advertising with Amazon but for those that will take the opportunity to maximise on the ‘halo effect’ the sale period brings.
“While it’s easy to get carried away with elaborate campaigns to cut through the noise, it’s key that brands don’t lose sight of the bigger picture challenges facing the industry.
“They need to ensure they take a sustainable approach and spend their budget wisely.
“So, brands should be running campaigns with supply path optimisation in mind and work with partners that can help reduce emissions.
“It’s becoming increasingly important to ensure clearer and more direct pipes for any campaign, which doesn’t have to compromise on performance.
“In fact, it can even make budgets go further to maximise on ROI which is essential during the current economic challenges.”
Thomas Ives, Co-Founder and Director, RAAS LAB
“As UK shoppers shift their spending behaviours in the wake of sustained high inflation, discount retail events like Prime Day continue to gain prominence.
“Digital advertisers must not only adapt to this new landscape, but also be able to hijack the hype, with ads that can cut through and demonstrate value against that offered by the Amazon behemoth.
“Indeed, the short window of discount-driven shopping here, combined with the usual clutter of lacklustre ads, means that advertisers need to ensure their campaigns are working harder than ever to drive engagement.
“Advertisers need to be prioritising high-quality ads delivered in relevant contexts to communicate savings and ease of purchase.
“Brands should experiment with available technologies, like AI, which can not only design striking ads, but also determine which creative iteration will best resonate with specific consumer audiences and in which digital environments. Creative has always been our industry’s greatest strength.
“So, those brands that enhance their digital advertising in this way can expect success not only for this Prime Day, but in their long-term marketing strategies too.”
Lucia Mastromauro, MD UK, Acceleration a WPP Company
“Amazon Prime Day goes beyond being an Amazon-centric event; it has effectively expanded the retail calendar by introducing a well-timed “deal” date during a typically slow season for the industry.
“This event attracts bargain-hunting consumers and those eagerly awaiting discounts to make their long-awaited purchases.
“As a result, shoppers will be exploring various options and anticipating similar deals from other retailers.
“However, we are observing a missed opportunity in marketing strategies among these retailers. Many have failed to adequately plan and promote their sales offers for this July.
“Fortunately, programmatic advertising and search campaigns can be swiftly activated and prove to be effective channels for generating awareness.
“Retailers who demonstrate agility, embrace data-driven strategies, and foster a culture of experimentation are most likely to reap significant benefits during this period.
“By leveraging these tools and approaches, these forward-thinking retailers can successfully position themselves to attract the attention of bargain-hunting consumers, ultimately boosting their sales and market presence.”
Nick Morgan, CEO and Founder, Vudoo
“It’s the first Prime Day since Amazon Anywhere launched so it’ll be especially interesting to see how trends change from previous years.
“With the technological advancements that are happening today in retail, in interactive and shoppable video on publisher sites for instance, smaller businesses have the opportunity to stand toe to toe with the brand giants that will dominate Prime Day.
“It’s up to these smaller brands to test out these solutions and become early adopters. The industry is transitioning into a shoppable anywhere and everywhere experience – other players will soon want to be part of this.”
Hugh Stevens, UK MD, LiveRamp
“For the last eight years, Prime Day has provided an incredible opportunity to both customers and brands; for customers to be rewarded on visiting Amazon with discounts on selected products.
“In addition it can present brands with opportunities to connect with a whole new customer base.
“As with most sale periods, it will be challenging to cut through the noise, but those that have the potential to be most successful are the ones that are part of Amazon’s Retail Media Network (RMN).”
“For any RMN, the retailer-brand partnership can be lucrative. If executed correctly it benefits both the consumer, who gets more personalised recommendations, as well as the sellers looking to engage shoppers in the right mindset of experimenting with products which are ‘not the norm’.
“However, it must be set up for success with the right data at its core. In this case, brands can leverage Amazon’s data for better insights and measurement – leading to better business outcomes.
“This means sellers are able to find new, unique audiences and shopper attributes to target over time. It’s a treasure trove of transaction data that brands can capitalise on now and in the future.”
Dominic Tillson, Marketing Director, Azerion
“The first retail salvo of H2 is being fired as Amazon Prime Day approaches. It will be interesting to see the impact it lands with consumers given the current economic climate, as the notion of ‘value’ is now more important than ever.
“Our insights indicate that consumers are planning further ahead, as they cut back on day-to-day spending. Fixed date retail events such as Black Friday allow consumers to save well in advance, so whether there has been enough long promotion around Amazon’s big day, which changes every year, only time will tell.
“Brands should pay close attention to understanding this consumer behaviour. Whilst Black Friday will still be the unmissable opportunity – Brits spent nearly £9bn around the event last year – this Amazon Prime Day will be a valuable indicator to see how their appetite for a deal is building in these trying economic times.”
Paul Coggins, CEO, Adludio
“With persistently high inflation and deflated consumer spending in the UK putting the squeeze on brands, the pressure to make a big impact this Prime Day is perhaps larger than it has in previous years.
“This means the competition amongst digital marketers is going to be undoubtedly fierce.”
“To maximise the opportunity, marketers need to focus on optimising the attention that their campaigns receive. Those that understand the relationship between their digital creative, and the levels of consumer attention that this can sustain, will be the ones that come out on top this Prime Day.
“In particular, brands need to understand to a granular degree how, where and when consumers are engaging with their ads.
“Marketers that leverage technologies for this analysis and optimisation, especially AI-based solutions, will be on the best footing this Prime Day.
“It will also ensure long-term digital marketing success, as the creative intelligence gained from these iterations can be leveraged to determine optimal ad design for future campaigns.”
Tim Geenen, CEO and Co-founder, Rayn
“Prime Day comes at a time when many marketers are trying to encourage consumers to spend their hard earned cash against the backdrop of the ongoing cost of living crisis.
“Competition will be fierce and increasing conversion is going to be critical for outperformance this year.
“In the battle for consumer attention, the best strategy for marketers is leveraging AI powered personas to target consumers with their products’ USPs.
“Precise audience targeting with personas is incredibly effective for customer engagement and conversion.
“Now AI is at a level of sophistication where it can understand product descriptions and where it resonates with different personas for more nuanced levels of personalisation.
“Take the difference between buyer personas for Sonos and Sony speakers. While there is some overlap, AI is now powerful enough to ascertain a profile of the product’s typical customer and where Sonos and Sony Speaker buyers diverge.
“Sony’s buyer personas may include more audiophiles and home theatre enthusiasts. Sonos’ buyer personas may include more design-conscious consumers and families seeking versatile connected home solution enthusiasts.
“Incorporating these new attributes will give brands more precise means of targeting ads.
“It’s not just a good investment for a successful Prime Day but for long term digital strategies as well.”
Andy Powell, VP & MD EMEA, InMobi
“Retailers are going head to head this week to offer the biggest, the boldest and the best discounts.
“But in a challenging economic environment, brands must think carefully about which offers are likely to provide real value to individual consumers.
“This requires thinking outside the box and careful consideration of the shrinking disposable income of many consumers.
“A data-driven and omnichannel approach is key, incorporating mobile and in-app into the strategy, as teams double down on getting the right products in front of the right people in a challenging environment.
“Forward-thinking brands that execute the right strategies to outperform the competition will find Prime Day a useful barometer for the upcoming holiday season at this time of major change in shopping behaviours, both on- and offline.
“Certainly we find that Prime Day is ushering in a new shopping season; edging in on Black Friday. After all, when Amazon creates an initiative it has the potential to be market changing.
“InMobi Insights surveyed US consumers earlier this month and found that, while Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping intent continues to rise, it is not doing so at the same pace as Prime Day – which was up by another 3% over 2022.
“Our research also revealed that Amazon Prime Day is being used by consumers to ‘stock up’, with 57% searching for deals – with a marked generational divide in the ways people shop, with a 10-20 percent average increase in mobile app usage for those ages 18-34 over those who are 55+.
“Fortunately, today’s technology platforms provide marketers with the flexibility to optimise campaigns on the fly, which is vital because leveraging insights in real time is increasingly critical in today’s challenging environment, both for brands looking to protect their margins and for consumers who are deal-hungry and looking for genuine value.”