What is Amazon DSP? How is it different than Sponsored Products/Brand Ads?
Kris Gramlich and Dustin Kane bring on Joe Shelerud from Ad Advance to talk about Amazon DSP and how sellers can use it for their advertising plans.
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What is Amazon DSP?
– Hello everyone. And welcome to episode 87 of Two Amazon Sellers and a Microphone brought to you by Sellozo. Today, Kris and I are very excited. We have an amazing, super knowledgeable guest on with us, Joe Shelerud from Ad Advance. You’re the co-founder and CEO of Ad Advance. And we are excited to have you, how are you doing Joe?
– I’m doing great. And thanks for having me on Dustin and Kris.
– Oh yeah,
– For sure. If anybody is on their own social, I mean surely they’ve seen Joe post and all over the place he’s really active on Facebook, in LinkedIn. He’s always posting some good topics. So if you’re not following Joe or Ad Advance, I definitely would do it.
– Yeah. And your content’s great. I mean, what you post on LinkedIn is fantastic. So,
– I appreciate it.
– Keep up the good work. It’s fun. You’re very into statistics and you publish them like great facts about experiments that you’ve run or all the numbers that you see coming in. So it’s very helpful to the community to the Amazon advertising community what you’re putting out there. So keep that up for sure. And also, we met you because we did a little Clubhouse thing together. That was a lot of fun.
– A lot of fun at the Clubhouse, and answering questions about advertising. So good, good times there, but all right. So for everyone listening, if they’re not on social media following you why don’t you just give a little background on how you got into the Amazon space, why you started Ad Advance and anything else you wanna add.
– Yeah, yeah, for sure. So I actually started out on Amazon in 2014 and I started as a seller. So it started out initially with retail arbitrage, getting in, just trying to figure out Amazon and then proceeded into doing my own private label. So I’m an engineer by background and that’s kind of where some of the stats and the analytics comes out, but I sell these organic chemistry, molecular model kits. So they’re used for organic chemistry courses in college. So if you take ochem, you had to go through and a lot of them you buy these little 3D models where you can model out like cyclohexane and different, different 3D models. It’s kind of like Lego for nerds. And so from there, I built up that business and I got to the point where I was looking to outsource my PPC. Just taking the engineering mentality, I’d built up some tools for myself. And what I found is that at the time, I was doing a lot more than a lot of the different options and that I was finding. So at that point, really started digging more into the advertising side and thinking, you know maybe I can help out some other sellers in the space. So at that point, I met up with Matt Wicklund who is our co-founder for Ad Advance. We put our heads together and really started focusing on our tools and our process from day one. And then since then have really built out Ad Advance. We’re a full service agency focusing both on sponsored ads and DSP. And so, that’s just general synopsis of my Amazon life as a whole.
– That’s well, it’s so funny because Kris and I also both started our Amazon journey in 2014 around the same time. And yeah, things are massively different from then, until now.
– Yeah. Are you still, do you still run your own Amazon business now?
– Yup. So it still lives on. I have somebody else who manages it for me. And in all honesty, it’s kind of a sandbox for us to test out different advertising methods. So we use that as a good trial place for, we’ve got a new idea, we wanna start on advertising let’s start in my seller account, prove that it works. And then from there we can roll it out.
– We know that game.
– Yeah. Well, let’s dive in cause with the topic today that we wanna really touch on is something that in all honesty, is something that Kris and I don’t dabble in a lot. You post a lot about it which is one thing that we were excited about having you on about is Amazon DSP. And, you know, I think it’s, you know a lot of people don’t really understand it what it is. It’s different. So we’re gonna talk about, we’d love to have you talk about what it is and how it’s different from all the other forms of advertising on Amazon.
– Yeah, for sure. So for anybody who’s not familiar with Amazon DSP, essentially, it’s a separate advertising platform that Amazon has alongside sponsored ads. And so really what DSP does is it builds on Amazon’s first party data that they get. I mean, Amazon, if you look at it they’ve got their e-commerce wing they’ve got their web services wing and then they have their advertising wing. And really, on the advertising side what they can use is the immense amount of data that they’ve built up on consumer shopping preferences just from their e-commerce side. And so, the big difference between like sponsored ads and DSP is just the level of control and the level of detail that you can really get into in the DSP side. So like there’s placements that are both off, on and off of Amazon where sponsored ads is typically cost per click. A DSP is all gonna be a cost per view. So it’s an impression based attribution model versus a click attribution model. There’s a lot of controls that you can use for the creatives for your ads. Another cool feature is that you don’t necessarily have to send them back to your product detail page. So you can use it, say I want to run an ad for somebody who has viewed X product. And then I wanna send them to my website in the ad. So you got a lot of controls there. And the other major item is the audiences that you can set up. So not only can you do like retargeting and say if somebody views my product detail page but they don’t purchase, I could retarget them with ads. But I could do that for say, I have some products that are very similar to other products and say, I’m selling, women’s running shirts and I also sell women’s running shorts. So if they buy some of my shirts, now I can target them. They purchased here and now I can target them with my shorts. Or even other options like I can put a pixel on my website, and if somebody views my website now I can display an ad showing my products on Amazon. Or the other final audience that you can do and really I’m skimming over a lot of them. But you can, if you have a mailing list, you can actually provide that as an hashed audience and then you can even get more specific. So you could do like, people who are within my mailing list that have viewed my website in the last 60 days and then have also viewed my product detail page. Like this is the level of detail that you can get on the audience creation. So there’s a ton of controls that you can do and implement where you can’t do that with sponsored ads. So just general overview on kind of what DSP looks like.
– And are these on Amazon or off Amazon ads?
– So they’re both. Yup. And you can actually set up different targets so I can specify if I want it to be on Amazon or off of Amazon. So if it’s off Amazon, it can show up on spots, like say if I’m going to weather.com and you know how you go to like weather.com or a different news website and you’ll see the banner ad off to the side. And sometimes it’s displaying that listing that you just looked at on Amazon. Those are, those are DSP ads, or sometimes they could be sponsored display, the views audience ads but for the most part they’re DSP ads. So off Amazon, there’s a bunch of different websites, a bunch of different publisher websites and they sell ad space on their website. And then Amazon DSP helps to determine, all right if I’m part of a specified audience that an advertiser wants to target and then whoever has the highest bid gets that ad space. And so that’s kind of how you see all these outside of an Amazon placements.
– And then on Amazon is it detailed page?
– On Amazon? Yeah. There’s multiple different placements that show up on Amazon, even things like the top banner on the homepage, you can see that now sponsored displays owning some of those spaces too. But for instance, if I see placements below like the buy box on the detailed page or below the bullet points. so that’s either gonna be a DSP ad. Primarily, these used to all be DSP ads or else they could be a sponsored display product targeting ad too. So you’re starting to see this overlap between sponsored display ads and DSP. They tend to share some of the same placements on Amazon and sometimes off of Amazon. But in general those are some of the placements but there’s a lot more of that show up on Amazon too.
– So Dustin and I both have access to sponsored display. What is the difference between a sponsored display and DSP? Cause we can do off Amazon targeting with sponsored display as well.
– What are we, what do you benefit from, with the DSP, I’m sure it’s more about audiences and getting more customer information, but what what’s the big thing you get with DSP?
– Sure. Yeah. So if I look at sponsored display, I can kind of split sponsored display into two parts. So one is product targeting, which I kind of view as an extension of sponsored products, product targeting ads.
– So these are, you just provide an ACN or a category and then your ads can show up on whatever ACN or categories that you target just like for sponsored products. You can customize it a bit. So it’s a little bit different but kind of like an extension of sponsored products ads. Then with sponsored display, I have audience targeting. And it’s been fun because we’ve got to talk to the product teams for sponsored display and DSP. And essentially, what sponsored display audiences, sponsored displays trying to be like the self-service DSP. So as a seller coming in, what are some ads that I can set up to use some of the key features of DSP or I guess, I’ll say most commonly used features for DSP. And so sponsored display is kind of like a simplified version of DSP. DSP is so complex that you really need agency or Amazon Support to help run those ads. Whereas sponsored display, I can set up some basic retargeting ads. Or if you’ve seen like searches and purchases popping up for some clients they haven’t rolled that out fully, it’s kinda like some other targeting audience, targeting options you can have for DSP. Key benefit with DSPs, we just get so much more control. So I’ve got a set look back window in sponsored display remarketing. And so right now, default is 30 days. I anticipate they’re gonna open that up or you can change that. But for DSP, I can set up different ads. So say, if they’ve viewed within the last three days maybe I want to show my ad more frequently cause it’s more likely to convert then. And then maybe I wanna look at the last 60 days but they haven’t purchased in the last year. So I can set up an audience for that to maybe I should slow my frequency a bit but I still wanna remind them that they visited my product. So that’s kind of the difference between the two. Sponsored display is a great way to get going on retargeting, but it it’s kinda like the self-service version and then DSP really opens up the gates on everything else that you can deal.
– Go ahead. Cause I got a lot of questions.
– Yeah. So do I. This is, this is fascinating to me because of that level of complexity and you’re right. I mean, I mean let’s face it, sponsored product and sponsored brand and all that, they’re not like they’re not complex.
– For sure.
– And they’re very simple compared to what we’re talking about here with DSP, but they’re still, I mean you have to have a real high level of knowledge to be able to manage those and-
– You do.
– And do ’em right. And now DSP is sort of a whole nother level. Just overall though, done well, what kind of effectiveness are you seeing from these campaigns? How do they relate? How do they compare in terms of like if you do a sponsored product ad really well versus a DSP.
– How do they convert?
– Yeah, so that’s one thing that we’re always looking at. We’re always trying to find those unique opportunities where we can find the better performance overall. And so like previously, just going through a couple of new rollouts like we had sponsored products, placement adjustments where you could target like top of search and product page. We were seeing some really good results for a top of search because a lot of people weren’t utilizing it from the start. So we were pushing that for quite a while. And now we’ve start to see those bids go up as people are seeing that good performance and more people adopt it. We were seeing the same thing for sponsored brands video. And sponsored display product targeting, and that was another one that right when they rolled it out we were pushing it out to all of our clients. Great results. And now it’s kind of, reset itself back to about, you know middle of the line performance as more people are utilizing it. Right now for, especially for bottom of the funnel strategies, meaning like retargeting, repurchases, even some like cross purchases, we’re seeing really good results. You know, I’m just looking at the stat right now. So our retargeting campaigns over the last couple months are averaging in 11% a cost, or an 8.8 ROAS.
– So super good compared to our sponsored ads. One thing to note is as you work your way up the funnel, so say, I wanna get more broad with my targeting and maybe I wanna do some conquesting and target my competitors. I wanna do more or category targeting to broaden out my base. ROAS isn’t gonna be as good for those strategies. But for these bottom of the funnel strategies, it seems like right now, there is not as much competition leading to lower bids for the performance that we’re seeing. So we’re, we’re really excited about it. And then once you build that base with DSP, now you can really broaden it out. And there’s just infinite possibilities as you work your way up the funnel to find these different audience categories
– And, and how do you get access to DSP?
– Sure. Yeah. And so this is one of the reasons why there isn’t as much competition for DSPs, there are some major hurdles to get through. So the traditional way would be to go directly through Amazon. And what you’d have to do as the seller is commit like 30 to $50,000 in spend, which is a huge hurdle. I mean, as a seller, I would never commit to that. Not knowing what performance I’m gonna get. And the other thing that’s happened historically too is Amazon has managed these campaigns, you know they’re incentivized for ad spend. And so they would typically recommend these very broad strategies, they’d look at it and be like, “Yep, there’s there’s 20 million people who have showed some interest in the sporting good category. So let’s target all those people.” And so you would get all these sellers who were getting burned by just starting way too broad and not having the bottom of the funnel built out. And they wouldn’t see it in terms of overall sales eventually. They’d get a ton of traffic from just this random audience that was built out but it won’t result in any underlying results. So what I would recommend is finding an agency that manages DSP. So we do that. There’s a lot of other great agencies out there that do that too. And you can typically get in with a lot less of a spend commitment. Since we have a DSP entity access, we can bundle all of our accounts together to meet those, I mean thresholds that Amazon establishes to have DSP access. So personally, we don’t have any spend minimums for our clients to get going. And the key reason is that we wanna show those initial results. And as we do that then we see as people really start expanding their spend. Just like for sponsored display, you wanna try it out, see what results you’re gonna to get. And then if you see good results now let’s invest more into it. We’re seeing the same thing for DSP. So we like to set that up without the hurdle because committing tens of thousands of dollars, it can be a big hurdle for some sellers for some big brands, definitely not a big issue but for a lot of other sellers, it’s a big commitment. So we wanna show the performance first.
– Now you mentioned earlier that you can drive this traffic wherever you want to your website, to your Amazon listing. Do you have to be an Amazon seller to, in order to use DSP? Or could you just be a brand that’s looking to drive traffic to their website?
– Yeah. And this is where it’s exciting too, cause you do not have to be an Amazon seller to utilize it. And so, if I’m an Amazon seller but I have competitors who are I can actually use their ACNs as target for my advertising. So if they went to my competitor’s ACNs but did not purchase that’s probably a good indication that they’re interested in my category of products. And so what I can do is I can use that information to now target them with ads, to say send them back to my landing page. And so it’s very, it’s extremely valuable information. And probably one other thing to hit is that recently, there’s been some major privacy updates in the marketing space. So with iOS 14 update for iPhones, Apple’s really clamping down on what apps can do to track across different apps. And so you’re seeing companies like Facebook really come out against it because it’s gonna impact the data that they can provide to advertisers quite a bit. Even on the Google side, they’re making different cookie changes for how would they track different people as they go around the web. And so with the two major players on Google and Facebook side, you’re seeing less data, but on the Amazon side, since a lot of the really important first party data comes directly within the app, all these privacy changes don’t really impact that. And so, you’re getting all this great consumer shopping information. And with Amazon, so many people shop there that you’re getting it closest to the purchase too. And so you combine those two together along with all the different creative targeting options. There’s just infinite ways that you can use this information to, one, find a very relevant audience and then two, drive them to whatever source you want to it doesn’t necessarily have to be an Amazon listing.
– Joe, this seems so complex. Like I know sponsored products like sponsored brand. Like those are two of the main focus that Dustin and I run with because that’s like the easiest ones to get some sales going and and roll with. And, and then we’ve got sponsored display. We dabbled in that, but this seems like a whole new world.
– Yeah. Yeah. And I’m not gonna lie. Like setting up everything, it’s extremely complex getting into it. If you distill it down to the strategies though, then then it gets alot simpler. It’s just all these different options that you have. And the reporting is different. And even the vocabulary is different, instead of the campaigns, it’s orders instead of ad groups, it’s line items. So there’s all these little nuances with the system, but if you distill it down to the overall goals on what you’re trying to achieve, that’s what makes it a lot simpler. You know? So am I just trying to retarget people who have previously visited my projects or am I trying to drive across purchase for somebody who bought my, one of my other products, and now I want them to buy this product? Or am I going a little bit more up the funnel, and I’m trying to target somebody who viewed my competitor but didn’t purchase from my competitor, so I can have an audience for that. And you can just slowly work your way up the funnel with these general strategies, how we implement them is more complex and just the options that you have make it a lot more complex. But in general, if you can tie it back to the specific advertising strategies that you’re using, then you can find those correlations between what we do on the sponsored ad side and the DSP ad side.
– In all those strategies, I’m assuming those are all separate campaigns per se. Like you’re doing a campaign for retargeting competitor but didn’t purchase, target competitor, but did purchase like there are so many, there seems like there’s so many options.
– That you would just want to separate those out in all different campaigns.
– So we separate those out into different campaigns and really what changes is the audience that we’re targeting. And so the audience is just, you can specify did they visit ACN X and then did they purchase ACN X or you can do and, or, to kind of really built up or exclude different people. You can pick if you’re targeting just say, like the mobile app versus browser and so. Well, what’s really cool from our side and where we get really pumped up about this too is that, there’s so many different split tests you can do that just aren’t as easy to do on the sponsored ad side. And so for those who can really dig into it and find these insights, I feel like there’s so many hidden areas where you can get solid advertising returns. It’s really just goes into the testing and finding out what works and then building on that.
– And you mentioned cost per impression is what DSP is is on base, for like cost per click on advertising, on sponsored product.
– What do you see in there? I mean, that seems like that could get out of hand quick.
– Yeah. Yeah. So it’s cost per thousand impressions.
– Okay. So you’ll, you’ll see CPM as the as the abbreviation for it. And really what we do is we optimize… DSP has different controls where they will actually help control the bids too. And so you can set different bidding strategies. So say I wanna maximize my conversions, more of a ROAS type strategy. I can specify that within the DSP console too. So unlike sponsored ads, Amazon has more control of the bids, but they seem to do a really good job on maximizing the conversions. If we’re sending them back to Amazon pages. You can also do that for say, if I’m sending them to the website, but I have to set up like what my, what counts as a conversion of the website. So in terms of like cost and everything, it’s not really equivalent to the cost per click that we see on the Amazon side but at the same time in terms of like returns. So if we just look at sales or yeah, if we look at sales over spend equals ROAS, you know, we can determine that we’re getting a solid return right now. And so you do have to be careful, like we can take a look at and see wherever ads are shown. So we get a list of all the different domains that they’re showing, weather.com. And then we get some random ones where they show but never convert. We can start excluding those too. So again, there’s a lot more control. And then we also see, we can view all the on Amazon placements too. So yeah, lots of data, lots of analysis. It’s definitely not built for the average seller to come in and utilize it, like sponsored ads. Like you can do a sponsored ads even though it is getting much more complicated and complex as we go. But yeah, if you’re working with the right people who can dig into it that’s really where the opportunity is with DSP.
– But I wanna, I wanna touch on that. What you brought up right there in a second about you know, when, at what point in the seller’s life cycle do they adopt DSP as a part of their strategy.
– But before we do that, I wanna touch on one of the, you mentioned that you have different creative options even more options for creatives. What, what are, what do those look like? I mean, can you run videos and big banners? What all can you do like-
– Sure Yeah. Yeah. And so I’ll preface it that we’re still really expanding our testing on creatives just because there are so many different options. So the main one that we’re using is a responsive ad which will resize itself based off of the placement on different websites. But you can actually set up creatives where, okay I just want these X dimension and Y dimension. These are the two that are going to convert best. But right now, the responsive ones seem to do pretty well. And these are the ones that look like a traditional Amazon ad as we would recognize them. So when you’re on weather.com and you see the, you know the ad pop-up of to the side, you’ll look at it, you know, that it’s an Amazon advertisement. But you can add in your own images, you can add in your own videos. So you can actually, with DSP, you can do OTT advertising which would actually show up as an advertisement, say if I’m watching like Prime Video. So you can, you can actually build audiences based off of like Twitch, and if they watch a certain genre of shows on Prime Video. So tons of different options on the creative side. Up to this point, we’ve really seen a lot more success in what people associate with Amazon. Cause for the most part, we are doing this for Amazon sellers and sending them back to the Amazon site. But as we continue to expand our testing, there’s there’s limitless options there too.
– Those things that are on like on streaming services those are like commercials basically that you can put.
– I’ve seen this I’ve watched a lot of live TV on Hulu.
– And for some reason, these ads are targeted to what exactly what I’ve been looking at.
– So that’s, that right there is a whole another fascinating avenue.
– Yeah. So you two could create a Sellozo commercial. And then, and yep, you could put it up as an OTT ad using Amazon DSP
– Too much.
– It’s wild these days.
– Well, let’s go back to my question. I was gonna bring up now is at what point… so you’re, you start selling on Amazon, you know you’re going through your traditional products launch where you’re using sponsored products, sponsored brand, sponsored brand video, sponsored display. You’re doing well. At what point does it make sense to jump into DSP?
– Yeah. Yeah. So as you’re getting going, I would say first focus on sponsored products, sponsored brands and then start dabbling with sponsored display too. So really get sponsored ads nailed. So you don’t wanna get into the complexity as a DSP until you’ve got sponsored ads nailed. And at that point, you’re gonna really build a great understanding on how those advertisements work. And there’s a bunch of correlations as you move into DSP. So definitely use like great tools like you guys have, or go through an agency that helps you get them set up. But I would focus on that first before ever considering DSP. Once you really feel like you have a solid sponsored ads strategy set then at that point, Amazon DSP is a great next source. The other instance where I would say that DSP, you might want to move that up a bit in the process is say if you have really good sources of like outside traffic. So for instance, we have one client, she wrote a really good selling book, and then they have a product that’s tied to the book. And so what we can do is, we can use DSP to find people who purchased that book, and now show them ads with the product that they’re gonna recognize, because it was located in the book. Or if you have great sources for like say outside webinars and you’ve built up a good list, you need 20,000 entries or more to create a hash audience. But if you have that, like this can be great ways to utilize the outside traffic or outside sources that you’ve generated previously to drive people to your Amazon listing. Or again, you can use DSP for outside of Amazon selling too.
– It’s just the options are limitless. And one thing that really, it popped in my head early on when you were talking about this about driving traffic off Amazon essentially like to your website, you know. As sellers there’s, when you’re starting, there’s all this you know, you’re so worried about like putting… if you’re breaking any sort of terms of service with your, putting your website, you know, or any of that in inserts and that’s Amazon’s customer, not yours. So when you do DSP and you’re driving traffic to your website, I mean, sounds like Amazon’s okay with it. And in that regard with DSP… is make, what’s on your website, you can convert them to your customer.
– Get all their information, which is what everyone would love to do.
– Yeah, exactly. So if somebody purchased from me, I could retarget them with a different ad, directing them to my website. Like Amazon itself has never gonna give me the specific customer information. But as long as my audience is big enough, now I can target that audience and then send them to my website. If they convert their, now I’ve got their full information and, you know it can kind of build them into my client list where I can reach out with other, other relevant offers.
– Yeah. That’s something people are always trying to do. So that can be very, very valuable. I said, okay, DSP, that was, it’s really fun to talk about that. I mean, Kris, do you have more, do you want to dive into on that-
– I mean, it just, just seems like a whole new thing that you’re… if you’re not ready to conquer, if you haven’t conquered, like Joe mentioned if you have a conquered sponsored products sponsored brand, DSP probably should just be a way on the back burner until you copy, you know to conquer these other two first cause it just seems like there’s a lot of moving parts. And if you, I mean sellers get shiny object syndrome, like, “Ooh, I want to cut, I want to try out this.” You’re gonna take your eye off that. So, I mean, just, it seems like a whole new world to me. I kind of want to test it out really. See how it goes.
– But Joe, you talked about like, you’re talking about funnels, and like top of funnel, bottom of funnel, if I’m selling a consumable item, what’s just a generic setup that you would do in DSP? Like something just like in sponsored product it’s a catch all campaign where you just throw all your products in a catch all campaign and low bid, it gets you a lot of sales really, really quick. What’s something that in DSP that you can do that’s the simple setup that you always do with the client whenever they come to you.
– Sure. Yeah. So for like consumables, that’s where DSP is really fun too. So what you can do, is like first I can set up a base retargeting campaign. So if they visit, say my supplement site or my supplement product listing page but they don’t convert. Okay. I’m gonna want to display an ad to get them to add to cart where we can actually see how many people add to cart and then eventually purchase. And by the way, it is amazing how many people add to cart but do not purchase. Like personally for me, if I add something to cart like I immediately go to purchase, we’re seeing like 200 add to cards with 40 orders.
– Which kind of blew me away. But then we were talking to the team today and asking and a lot of people actually use it kind of as like a wishlist or just kind of a bookmark. And so you can actually track it, that difference too within DSP, but circling back so retargeting for sure. And then with consumables, the next great step is repurchases. And so, say I know that the average person is gonna use up this bottle of supplements in 60 days. Now, starting at day 60, I can start retargeting them with other ads to repurchase again. And so I can go to drive that purchase to make them remember, okay. Yep. I’m about to run out. I should probably order another bottle of supplement. So really it’s retargeting and repurchases. And then as you work your way up the funnel so now we wanna expand sales and say we wanna grow our market share. Now what I can do is I can look at people who viewed my competitor, which is pretty similar but I know I have a better product and say they’ve viewed their listing but didn’t complete the purchase. Now I can retarget them with that, with ads because I know that they were looking at my competitor. They’re very interested in the product but they didn’t complete their purchase. Now maybe I can grow my market share that way. Kinda like a product targeting ad does too. So those are, those are the basic strategies. And then you can just keep broadening it out as you go.
– Yeah. As you launch a new product I can target people that bought this product and target them with this new product.
– It seems like you can do all that kind of stuff.
– Yeah. And Kris, you had a great point too and in one item that I just wanted to hit on a little bit more is, like building the base with sponsor products and sponsored brands is huge. And the reason why is that you need enough traffic to your product detail pages to actually create an audience. So say I only have 10 people view my product detail page, Amazon’s not gonna let me create an audience there cause it’s just too small. I can really like zone in on just a few people. And so really what we need is thousands of detailed page views over the last 30 days to create an audience or we have to start bundling products together. So you really wanna build that base with your sponsored ads first. And then once you’ve got that base built, now you can use DSP to try to recapture some people who went to the listing and based off, say your sponsored products ads or your sponsored brands ads, but didn’t convert now I can use that. And then once they convert, now I can use DSP to make sure that I still have loyal customers that keep coming back and repurchasing from me.
– You don’t have to give me exact, but what do you think is a dollar amount, a seller needs to be doing on a monthly basis before DSP is even an option?
– Sure. Yeah. I would say, you know in terms of like ad spend and everything, I would say once you’re at the 10 to 20k a month mark on the sponsored ad side, at that point you’re probably got enough traffic where DSP makes a lot of sense to add in. And so, and we can start small. We have multiple clients that are starting to spend in a couple of thousand dollars a month on DSP. What we are seeing is that once they’re seeing that initial performance and we typically start more lower funnel strategies now they want to reinvest into it. And so we’re seeing a lot of accounts growing there. But I would say anywhere like the 10 to 20k a month mark, especially, if you just have a limited number of products, but that 10 grand that you’re spending we’re typically gonna have enough volume where we can do some fun stuff on the DSP side.
– All right. I wanna… just shift gears a little bit because I wanna talk about… A while ago, you posted something on LinkedIn that really resonated. Of course it resonated with us because Sellozo is a PPC automation tool.
– That sellers used and you posted, which I, 100% agree with, I’m paraphrasing. But essentially the combination of automation and then somebody who can monitor and implement the strategy is the sweet spot. Because you have a lot of people in the Amazon space, you know, they don’t want any sort of automation, so in their worries or tail off on adjustments. And then some people that, you know rely entirely on automation. And there’s obviously limitations to that. So I bring that up because it was it’s such a great point and you can touch on more about just how you, the combination of automation with your strategic implementations is the best benefit.
– Sure. And so it’s a great topic and you get the very varying aspects or viewpoints on it. And so what I typically see is you get a camp that is very against automation in the advertising market. And typically what’s happened is they’ve tried to go to a provider who would market themselves as providing all this AI to get you 5% of your costs and quadruple your sales. And it’s just not how it works. And then there’s other instances where your product may not convert well enough. Where even if you have the best advertising strategy in the world, you may still not see great results on the advertising side. And so I see a lot of people get pretty jaded with automation on the advertising side, just because they haven’t had good results in the past. But really the key thing is that just knowing the strengths of each. So with automation, there’s key things that work really well. And there’s key things that you should never automate. So bid optimization is great. Placement adjustments are great, but if I’m looking at overall setting my goals I should never just rely on software to do that. Like that’s, you know, it ties into my overarching business. And a set of software, is never really going to get all the nuances on what I’m looking at. Is my key goal’s to grow sales? Is it really margin focused? Cause I have a tight margin. Things like keyword research, algorithms are constantly getting better at finding new options but you have to use your intuition too. Cause you know your products better than anybody else on what really makes sense. And so, you know, you guys have some great software at Sellozo. We’ve internally developed our software to support our agency. We use all of our proprietary software and we’ve really tried to be aware and make those distinctions for what should our team be doing and what should the software be doing. And never let there be a gray area in between. One is always going to be better for the different options. And I think like you guys do too, it’s really just focusing on where are those best pieces where our software can come in to help? And then what are those items where it’s really more dependent on the seller’s perspective or the expert’s perspective on how we optimize these campaigns. Guys, what’s your thoughts on that?
– Yeah. Well, that’s a great way to summarize it because the automation automates is especially like in terms of Sellozo, it’s designed to automate and optimize your strategy. The problem is, what if somebody, if they have a concept in their mind, whether they’re a new seller or not if their goal is a 2% a cost, it’s not achievable. What they’re going to do is, they’re the if they try to automate that it’s going to try to automate to get it a low a cost and their ads don’t show and there’s no sales. So those kinds of things like we were talking about like if you’ve got competing goals, like, “Hey I want to have the most sales I’ve ever had and also spend the least amount of advertising dollars.” You know, you can’t you can’t optimize that, that’s, that doesn’t work. But if your goal is to re, you know I want to increase my sales and that’s and you brought up a good point also about just the conversion issue. If it’s, if there’s a product problem or a listing problem your ad strategy could be perfect but it’s not gonna convert. And so that’s something that Kris and I do all the time. I mean, the first thing we talk about is let’s take a look at your product and your images and your listings. I mean, if it’s not something that ads would work it’s the first thing we tell them, “Hey we don’t even want to turn on ads yet until we fix these, these issues.” So I, I agree a 100% I’m, as a seller myself now being involved with Sellozo, just the amount… I mean, I did it manually for years, PPC. And I know that I probably failed in a couple of areas just because I didn’t put in enough time to make all of the adjustments, you’d get you’d do some of them but not all of them and not enough, you know. And then you also have biases sometimes where your thoughts go over what the hard data is telling you and you make poor decisions because of that. So there’s a great, there’s a great blend. And when you blend them, I do feel like you get the absolute best that you can get.
– For sure.
– Yeah. One thing I like is, in… sorry to cut you off there, Joe. One thing I like there is, is the bid, the bid adjustments. Like that is something I’ve never did when I was mainly doing campaigns. And if I did it, it was like once a month, select all increased bids by 30% and be done with it. That was, that was it. So the automation of bid adjustments, I do like that. I also like the transfer of keywords. I like that. And then the placements. Now that we have the placement options you can automate that as well. That’s something that we’re going to be doing as well. I like that too cause those are all still like manual things, you’ve got to kind of tweak. So there’s, there is a fine line, I’m with you on that. But I do think a lot of people that are against it, they’ve been burned before and they’ve been burned and they got a bad sour taste in their mouth. And whenever they hear the word automation they immediately shut down. So you gotta kinda like revive them. Like “Hey look, it’s, you’re still controlling it. We’re just automating the basic things. Like not, not the, we’re not telling you to start a whole new campaigns and do all this. It’s we’re just gonna just do basic automation. You can still control that there’s still control.” So I think it, I think it’s a fine line.
– Yeah. When we look at our software, it’s really, you know we’re leading those goals, so we’re steering the ship. And then our software helps to control all those minute details to make sure that you’re getting to whatever those goals are set. And Dustin, I think you had a great point too, you know just circling back to the conversion issue too. I mean, there’s many clients who want to hire us on and we’ll do a review and you know, what we’re not seeing as an issue with their advertising, even though their advertising metrics do not look good. A lot of the times, it relates back to that their product for whatever reason is just not converting as well.
– And so we have to turn down a number of clients just because of that, but we do that initial screening just so we make sure that, you know, for sponsored ads management or DSP, we wanna make sure that we’re setting you up for success. And the last thing we wanna do is have you pay us money and not be happy for it. And so we have to focus on the things that we can control on the advertising side while then providing good recommendations and I can potentially fix those product issues. And then, once those are done, now let’s really focus on the ads.
– Sounds like we’re on the same page.
– 100% agree. And we do a similar thing at Sellozo where we talk to people before they start even using our software. We talk to them, talk about their goals make sure that they… We’re, we’re setting it up in the right direction to meet their goals. And, and just let them know if they’re doing something that may not be achievable because I think that’s very, very important. All right. So I know we’re, I know we’re running up against a time here, but for everyone who’s watching this and they want to get in touch with you. How, let them know, how can they get in touch with you and Ad Advance?
– Sure. Probably the best spot is on LinkedIn. If you find me Joe Shelerud or go to the website at, adadvance.com, those are great spots. So we’ve been doing some of our Clubhouses. So you can find the links and probably going through LinkedIn and everything is that the best spot but we’re on Facebook too. So lots of good content that we’re trying to put together and just share what we’re learning overall. As we continue to progress, and learn more in the DSP space, we’ll be sharing that. But we also focus on a lot of the new features that the sponsored side is rolling out. And like, you guys know, I mean the sponsor ad side, it just itself is becoming so complicated and big. And just keeping up with all the features there is just, it’s an effort in itself. So there’s lots of great content and feel like, you know if you can stay on top of Amazon advertising along with a lot of other things, it just that next edge that you can really get as a seller to make sure that you’re building your business for the longterm.
– That’s great stuff. Well, I encourage everyone who’s listening to go follow you on LinkedIn. I love the content you put out. I also love the fact that, look, this is the the Amazon PPC space has a lot of great people in it. We want everyone to succeed. I mean, we want our clients to succeed and we want, what we learn from each other… You know, we, and what I love when we were talking on Clubhouse the other day, that was a that was a blast. Learned a lot from from you and what you’re doing. So I encourage everyone, follow Joe on LinkedIn. His content is absolutely fantastic. And we’ll have to get you back on again, because this obviously the landscape changes all the time. There’s always stuff to talk about. We touched on one tiny little piece with DSP but we’ll get you back on again real soon, for sure.
– Yeah. That sounds great. I, if you can’t tell, I love talking about this.
– I know.
– We liked having you on this was good. This was really good.
– Yep. Yeah. So we will do it again. Everyone who’s out there listening right now. If you’d like content like this I encourage you to subscribe to the podcast. If you’re watching this live stream right now whether you’re on Sellozo’s Facebook page or our YouTube channel, make sure you subscribe to those as well. Turn on notifications. So you get notified when we go live with awesome people like Joe and this great content. So I encourage you to do that. We do it almost every single day. So please make sure you like and subscribe this. All right Joe, thanks so much, everyone. We’ll be back at this again tomorrow. Have a great day.
– Thanks guys.