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January 02, 2020

How Amazon, Facebook, and Google Will Shape Performance Marketing in 2020

Written by Jess Beldon
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Amazon. Facebook. Google. The names are now synonymous with performance marketing, and for good reason: eMarketer predicts that by the end of 2020, nearly 70 percent of ad dollars in the United States will end up with one of these three companies. Right now, Google controls about 37 percent of all online ad revenue; Facebook captures about 22 percent; and Amazon has nearly 9 percent – a small but fast growing figure.  

In 2020, these three companies will continue to dominate performance marketing, acting as advertising bellwethers. What will be the keys to their growth in 2020? Let’s take a look. 

Amazon Advertising Becomes an Analytics Powerhouse 

One of the biggest stories in performance marketing in the last year has been the rise of Amazon Advertising, the service that offers ad products for businesses. Amazon Advertising has achieved explosive growth because Amazon has figured out how to monetize search. 

Amazon already dominates Google for product searches, making it an influential and sizable search platform that drives a significant portion of online revenue directly to AmazonIn fact, Amazon captures more than $4 out of every $10 spent online in the United States. In order to ensure it maintains its online dominance, Amazon continues to roll out products on the Amazon Advertising Console, like Sponsored Products Ads (SPAs) which allows sellers to promote products to shoppers actively searching relevant keywords or viewing similar products on Amazon. SPAs appear with, or alongside, a search result as inventory.  

As more sellers enter the Amazon marketplace, it’s not possible to cover all the bases on Bing, Facebook, and Google. In order to scale, sellers must add Amazon Advertising to its repertoire of advertising platforms.  

Here’s what you can expect in 2020: Amazon will create more products for businesses to advertise everywhere on digital, not just Amazon. We already know that Amazon capitalizes on its vast customer behavior data to offer businesses advertising services and analytics insights even if those businesses don’t sell products on Amazon. As this New York Times article reported 

When a chain of physical therapy centers wanted new patients, it aimed online ads at people near its offices who had bought knee braces recently on Amazon. 

When a financial services provider wanted to promote its retirement advisory business, it directed ads to people in their 40s and 50s who had recently ordered a personal finance book from Amazon. 

And when a major credit card company wanted new customers, it targeted people who used cards from other banks on the retail site. 

The advertisers found those people by using Amazon’s advertising services, which leverage what the company knows better than anyone: consumers’ online buying habits.  

Like other ad networks, Amazon uses cookies and other technical tools to track customers from its site onto other websites. They let the company know that a person who recently bought a diet book is now reading news on CNN and could be targeted on that site with an ad for a protein bar. Amazon does not tell the advertisers who that user is, but it does serve her ads on the brand’s behalf. 

Amazon Advertising will offer deeper analytics-based services above and beyond ads. Do you want to better understand consumer purchase intent in order to improve your performance marketing? Amazon has the tools to help you do just that based on its ability to use artificial intelligence to synthesize and analyze vast amounts of user behavior data. Its ace in the hole is Amazon Web Services, which provides the hosting environment for brands analyze data and act in agile fashion. Amazon has already capitalized on this consumer insight to provide ad products such as Sponsored Display. Currently in beta, Sponsored Display allows advertisers to quickly create display ads whether or not they’re on Amazon.  

Amazon is just getting warmed up harnessing the value of customer data. 

For more insight into how Amazon Advertising has evolved, read these Investis Digital blog posts: 

Facebook: Stories Will Become Omnipresent 

Stories will define Facebook’s performance marketing narrative in 2020. The Stories product is a massively popular feature on Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram, and Mark Zuckerberg has called out the feature as key to the success of the world’s largest social network. 

Facebook and Instagram Stories are a format to share content that appears temporarily in the platforms’ Stories sections, as opposed to the main feed. Stories are usually adorned with stickers, text, and other interactive elements to make them pop. Businesses are using Stories for a number of purposes, such as announcing new products.  

But if Facebook has taught us anything, it’s that it never misses an opportunity to monetize a featureand in 2020, Facebook will offer more ways to create branded experiences via Stories. All signs are pointing in that direction, most notably continued uptake of Stories among users. 

Facebook has already beefed up its ad offerings to improve Stories, such as a click-to-Messenger feature, which makes it possible for businesses to capture attention on Stories, then continue the conversation via Messenger. This is easily accomplished using customizable advertising templates for whereby advertisers can upload photos and videos, then choose different layouts, colors, and text options, leading to more engaging Stories.  

In 2020, look for Facebook to offer more ways to integrate Stories with its popular Messenger platform, specifically to encourage commerce. Stories has been utilized as an effective brand building tool, however, Facebook is nudging businesses toward connecting their ads to commerce as evidenced by  Instagram's evolution from product tags to an integrated checkout.  For businesses, Stories will become a more powerful way to share connected narratives to support commerce-related activities such as product launches and seasonal events. Naturally, brands will need to tread carefully to avoid overwhelming audiences with too much content. The key will be creating engagement coupled with a seamless purchase experience. 

For more insight into Facebook Stories, read these Investis Digital blog posts: 

Google: Integrating Digital Performance Marketing with Offline Commerce 

Google continues to wrench every bit of revenue it can from online advertising, and even though Amazon and Facebook have eaten into its market share, Google continues to grow. The most recent earnings report from Google’s parent Alphabet shows that Google’s ad revenue hit $33.92 billion for the third quarter, up from $28.95 billion for Q3 last year.  

How will Google grow in 2020? By integrating its online ad products with offline commerce via location-based services on Google Maps, whose user base easily dwarfs every other navigation app, Additionally, near me” searches for things to do, places to go, and things to buy continues to skyrocket, which gives Google a distinct advantage to capitalize on consumer intent. 

Google is gradually monetizing Google Maps as an advertising platform just as it monetized the Google search engine. For example, Google offers Promoted Pins, which are visual markers that make a business’s location pop on Google Maps. Earlier in 2019, Bloomberg discussed how Google is evolving Google Maps with more advertising tools. Colin Sebastian, senior research analyst at Baird Equity Research, predicts more aggressive rollout of ad-based experiences through which businesses can offer highly relevant content to consumers based on their location. As reported in MediaPost, “The important point to consider, Sebastian writes, is that an estimated 70 billion IoT devices worldwide will become available by 2025 -- all with location data to increase the use of the platform.” 

Monetizing a platform like Google Maps will create an especially strong opportunity for retailers and entertainment establishments to create measurable ads that convert online awareness to foot traffic in stories. It will be interesting to see which brands will go beyond strictly promotional based outreach (“Stop here for a 10% discount now!”) and create more intriguing branded experiences connected to offers.  

For more insight into Google Maps, read the following Investis Digital blog post: 

Contact Investis Digital 

It’s going to be another big year for businesses that understand how to adapt to the dynamic performance marketing landscape. Investis Digital can help you succeed. Our performance marketing solutions help you reach, influence, and convert the people who matter most to you. Contact Investis Digital to learn more.

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