Agencies partner to unlock data and get smarter about Amazon
At a time when e-commerce data is particularly prized, intelligence platform Profitero is launching an “open ecosystem” for data to help brands buy media on sites like Amazon. The new initiative has attracted a number of top agencies and marketing technology players, including Dentsu Aegis Network, WPP, IPG, Publicis, VaynerMedia and Kenshoo.
On Wednesday, Profitero announced the plan to unlock brands’ data from Amazon and other e-commerce sites, and to make that information available to agencies and marketing tech platforms. Profitero works with thousands of brands, including Adidas, General Mills and L’Oréal. The open data initiative lets brands, which already work with Profitero, share data about their e-commerce operations with agency partners to help shape their marketing strategies on sites like Amazon.
“All consumer behavior is now happening on e-commerce, particularly as it relates to impulse purchases,” says Sarah Hofstetter, president of Profitero. “Brands don’t have the line of sight into data and analytics to make informed decisions, whether that’s getting to page one [in Amazon search results], or managing inventory, or basically anything. And we have all this data, and our clients would love for that data to be more portable and accessible.”
Hofstetter, a Madison Avenue veteran who joined Profitero in April, says the open data ecosystem for e-commerce is her first major initiative at the helm. She was able to lean on her years of relationships in the agency world to build the partnerships.
Profitero’s open data plan comes at an opportune moment, with brands looking warily at Amazon because they worry about its power. Brands often compete directly with Amazon’s private-label brands, and Amazon has the ultimate vantage point to see sales and advertising data on its own platform. Brands are turning to companies like Profitero to get their own market intelligence.
Just yesterday, Business Insider reported that Jeff Wilke, retail head and CEO of Amazon’s of consumer worldwide, had to reassure brands that Amazon did not access any proprietary data about their companies in order to build rival products or compete with them on advertising. Data leaking to Amazon had become an acute concern for brands after reports that its employees looked at sensitive data and used it to devise competing strategies.
Hofstetter says this open ecosystem will “position us as a source of truth.”
Profitero has been riding a surge in e-commerce activity, especially with the rise of Amazon and its advertising platform in the past two years. Amazon has become not just a place for brands to sell products, it’s also a place to buy search, display and video ads to boost the visibility of those products. Amazon generated more than $8 billion in revenue related to advertising in the first half of 2020, an increase of more than 40 percent from the first half of 2019.
E-commerce is on the rise, too, with Walmart, Target, CVS, Best Buy and other major retailers looking to mimic the success of Amazon. Brands rely on services like Profitero to provide intelligence about how to appear higher on search results, display their products and set pricing. Brands are also watching how products are reviewed by consumers on these sites.
The agencies in the data program can take the intelligence to shape their ad buying on behalf of brands like Kraft Heinz, Hofstetter says. The brands don’t share data with other brands, they just make it available to their agencies to handle the media strategies.
“Seamlessly integrating digital commerce data into the marketing strategy behind retail media spend is now a critical component for growing sales, increasing market share and improving profitability,” Profitero said in its announcement on Wednesday.