- Advertisers speculated about how incoming Amazon CEO Andy Jassy could boost its growing ad business.
- They hope he’ll apply his computing background to bring more measurement and targeting to advertising.
- Helping lead ad sales is Google vet Alan Moss, who is expected to build up self-serve ad tools.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Amazon Web Services head Andy Jassy is set to succeed Jeff Bezos, who’s stepping down as CEO to be executive chair.
Under Jassy — one of Amazon’s most powerful and longtime execs — AWS has ballooned into a $40 billion business and helped push Amazon ahead in the competitive cloud computing industry.
Advertisers hope that Jassy will also supercharge Amazon’s advertising, which has been one of its fastest-growing areas in recent years.
Even as the advertising industry took a hit in the pandemic, Amazon’s advertising business has grown, to $21 billion in 2020 from $14 billion in 2019, making it the third-biggest digital advertising player behind Google and Amazon.
“Andy is a detailed person. I think having someone at the helm who has managed a similar growth business will keep advertising growing,” said Jon Reily, president of Dentsu Commerce and a former Amazon employee.
Advertisers want more tech to measure ads
Amazon makes most of its advertising revenue from performance advertising and search ads that promote products at the top of its website and app.
To get larger advertising budgets, Amazon has started building out ad products like streaming TV ads that aim to measure brand metrics like brand awareness and sentiment that big advertisers crave.
But some advertisers say that Amazon lags in proving that it can increase awareness for advertisers and hope that Jassy, with his roots in cloud computing can juice Amazon’s ad offerings, potentially bringing the now-separate AWS and advertising businesses closer together.
“Amazon was able to show the value of search advertising very clearly — with brand dollars, they need to prove that it works,” said Himanshu Jain, senior director of product at Amazon tech vendor CommerceIQ. “With Andy, they might start moving AWS and advertising together to provide more services to brands.”
Jain said that AWS’ cloud products could help track if ads lead people to buy products and its machine learning tools could help advertisers pinpoint ads to people.
Todd Bowman, VP of e-commerce at IPG’s Reprise Commerce, said under Jassy, advertisers might get more data from AWS.
“I hope that his role gives more of a push towards data and transparency,” he said. “Amazon knows their customer but there’s not a lot of transparency with the data, and we’re always asking for more.”
Amazon declined to comment on how Jassy will impact its advertising business.
Amazon has a new advertising lead from Google
Helping lead Amazon’s advertising business will be VP of global ad sales Alan Moss. Moss is a former Google exec who quietly joined Amazon in June, filling a top role previously held by Seth Dallaire.
The decision to fill the role with an outsider may have surprised some insiders who had expected the role to be filled by another Amazon ad exec.
Amazon’s ad sales team has historically been more frugal than Google, Facebook, and other ad sellers, and under Jassy and Moss, Amazon may spend more to court big advertisers, said Will Margaritis, SVP and head of e-commerce at Reprise Commerce.
At Google, Moss oversaw self-serve ad buying products, and CommerceIQ’s Jain said he expects Moss to roll out more such tools at Amazon.
“Google does more self-service; Amazon relies a lot on managed services,” he said. “The hypothesis is that he will move advertising much more towards self-service.”
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