Amazon DSP Targeting Capabilities

Amazon DSP Targeting Capabilities

With the diversity of Amazon DSP’s platform, advertisers help brands scale through the creation of custom audience segments that are later used for creating and optimizing campaigns.

Amazon DSP offers advertisers the ability to leverage Amazon shopper data from customer traffic and use them to target high-intent shoppers through the use of paid search ads. Doing this not only increases the chances of higher impressions but also contributes to scaling a brand as well.

Amazon DSP can help both small, curious brands and large brands with bigger advertising budgets with a large selection of properties, products, and targeting capabilities on and off Amazon.

In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into Amazon DSP’s targeting options and the best practices involved in its services.

Amazon DSP Targeting Capabilities

What is Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP is an automated advertising platform that allows brands and advertisers to buy display and video ads programmatically across multiple websites and target relevant and specific audiences on Amazon’s platforms and other third-party properties.

The best example of Amazon DSP ads that you may have encountered at some point is those ads that follow you through different websites and platforms.

The ability of Amazon DSP ads to play a part in any place in the sales funnel also makes it an ideal ad platform to take advantage of.

Combined with Amazon’s vast and unbeatable shopper data, it’s well worth the time and money to invest in Amazon DSP ads to broaden your reach and increase opportunities and sales in the process.

Unlike other Amazon ad types, Amazon DSP ads can be utilized by brands selling on and off (non-endemic brands) Amazon. People behind brands who can advertise with Amazon DSP include companies, sellers, and advertisers who are focusing on digital marketing whether or not their brands are present on Amazon.

To advertise on Amazon DSP, there are two options that small and large brands can take advantage of. For large companies who have their own advertising team or small businesses using Amazon DSP assets, it’s best to use the Enterprise Self-Service option.

But for brands that need to rely on the professional services of Amazon Ad Experts, the best option would be to hire an Amazon advertising agency that can help them reach their advertising goals with Amazon DSP.

READ MORE: Need more info? Here’s a closer look into Amazon DSP and how it fits in your business

Benefits of Using Amazon DSP 

Unlike other ad types in the Amazon Ad Console, Amazon DSP ads reach more audiences on platforms that are not retail-based. These platforms include:

  • FireTV, Apps
  • IMDb
  • Shopbop
  • Woot
  • Zappos
  • Goodreads
  • Twitch
  • Amazon devices (Kindle e-readers, FireTV, and Fire Tablet).

Another difference is that Amazon DSP ads are focused on cost-per-impression rather than cost-per-click (CPC) which Sponsored Ads are reliant on.

This difference implies how Sponsored Ads are focused on driving conversions while DSP creates more brand awareness.

The big consumer patterns and data that Amazon grants access to its DSP users are highly dependable given that Amazon owns the largest consumer database globally.

Having access to their large database allows Amazon DSP advertisers to see data from all the stages of the customer journey and marketing funnel which is continuously growing and evolving.

And that’s not all, Amazon DSP also offers several targeting options that make use of consumer data which can then be used for creating strategies, optimizing campaigns, building brand awareness, and driving conversions.

Ad Types Used with Amazon DSP

There are several ad types that can be used with DSP. While these ad types vary in elements, placement, requirements, and position in the marketing funnel, they’re all created to achieve the same goal: to drive sales and build brand awareness. 

  • Static Ads

This ad type doesn’t include any dynamic elements, but they do have calls-to-action (CTAs) which can capture shoppers’ attention, allowing them to boost brand awareness and create results for the middle and upper sections of the brand’s marketing funnel. Static ads commonly link to landing pages such as the brand’s Amazon Storefront, a custom landing page, or its product detail page.

  • Dynamic eCommerce Ads

While Static Ads have predetermined creatives, Dynamic eCommerce Ads depend on Amazon’s machine learning features to automatically optimize the creatives that will be shown on its ad-based on consumer data and the campaign goal.

An example of its automation features is when it serves ads with customer reviews for shoppers who mostly check out after having looked through reviews first before purchasing. For impulse buyers, the dynamic ad will automatically show an “Add to cart” button in the ad to entice them to check out.

While this ad runs automatically, other marketing details such as the addition of customer reviews or coupon codes can be done to help engage more shoppers seeing the ad. The only limit that dynamic ads have is that they can only link to a product detail page instead of Amazon Storefronts, custom landing pages, etc. 

  • Over-the-top video ads (OTT)

Also called “streaming ads”, OTT ads are those video ads that people typically encounter when streaming and binge-watching shows on platforms such as Twitch, FireTV, and other Amazon O&O (Owned and Operated) platforms.

Given the rise of cord-cutting (when households cancel cable and satellite TV subscriptions), Amazon has created an entertainment space not just for consumers who want to be entertained, but for advertisers who want to target audiences programmatically through streaming media as well.

Amazon OTT is also brand-safe, making sure that ads are purposely and intelligently placed with movie and licensed TV content.

OTT ads are quite effective given that the people who encounter them don’t have the ability to skip them. Its non-skippable feature forces audiences to focus and engage with the ads, gaining more impressions than any other Amazon ad type. 

  • Video ads through DSP

Another way to capture shoppers’ attention is through video ads. This ad type is one of the best ways to help bridge the emotional gap between the potential customer and the brand. Most consumers purchase with their emotions usually connects with a goal of satisfying their needs, making it the best thing to target when creating video ads.

Because of its power to touch hearts, move emotions, and play with the customers’ imagination, video ads are given the power to help customers relate to the brand and see themselves using the products and supporting the brand’s initiatives whatever they may be.

With the power of Amazon DSP in tow, video ads are able to tap into the big consumer data which can allow for better targeting options for campaigns. Video ads may also be linked to product details pages on Amazon or to third-party websites such as the brand’s own website.

READ MORE: Want to win on Amazon DSP this year? This is how you make that happen

Targeting Options in Amazon DSP

Among the many advantages that Amazon DSP has over other Amazon ad platforms is its ability to make use of custom audiences. For every type of target audience, Amazon has an astounding amount of options for targeting specific audiences.

This is all made possible by Amazon’s vast consumer data which contains intimate, highly-detailed knowledge of what consumers want, what they’re looking for, and what they purchase.

Brands and advertisers that take advantage of these targeting options are able to boost brand awareness, reach new customers on and off Amazon, and are able to remarket their brand successfully.

Below are the targeting options currently available to the Amazon DSP platform:

Amazon Audiences

  • Behavior

Behavioral Targeting is intended for use with customer activity and for targeting shoppers at the top of the marketing funnel through awareness. This option is mainly used to drive awareness by targeting customers based on their activity on the platform.

Targeted customers are served with personalized and relevant ads that contribute not only to the brand’s impressions but also to their overall user experience as well.

By continuously seeing the brand’s products, a higher potential for engagement is expected from interested customers.

Example: A shopper who has been browsing products around the activewear category in the last 30 days has been targeted by an activewear brand and is being served with ads that showcase their best-selling products.

  • Demographic

For customers belonging to a specific demographic, advertisers can create and launch targeted ads based on their age, gender, location, education, marital status, or household income.

Through the demographic targeting option, advertisers can create ads that target the specific demographic brackets that will be most interested in their brand and its products.

Example: A baby toy brand creates ad campaigns that target consumers who are married, new parents, aged between 24 to 35, and earn an annual household income of $70,000.

  • Lifestyle

For lifestyle ads, advertisers target people who have a habit of buying products from specific categories. This targeting option allows for existing customers to be targeted along with other shoppers who are searching around in other categories that are brand-relevant.

Similar to ads targeting consumer behavior, lifestyle ads are effective for driving brand awareness at the top of the funnel.

Example: A lipstick brand targets other shoppers who habitually purchase other makeup products.

  • Device

You can also target your ads based on end-user devices. From iPhones to Android phones and tablets, Amazon DSP has a vast range of devices on its list that you can target. Along with operating systems, you can also target niche devices such as the Amazon Fire tablet.

This targeting option makes it possible to tailor creatives that can match the end-user’s device, eliminating the worry that comes with screen size and mobile scaling. This way, the ads are more personalized and are legible when displayed to the target consumer.

Example: A customizable iPhone case company displays their newest line of waterproof iPhone cases which targets iPhone end-users. 

  • In-Market

Being a more refined version of the lifestyle targeting option, the in-market targeting option allows you to target people in the market for specific services and products. This option is relevant for driving sales and building awareness. It places itself in the middle of the marketing funnel where consumers are in the consideration stage.

Example: A budget furniture company that targets college students and new graduates who are in-market for cheap dorm and apartment furniture.

  • Audience Lookalike

With the Audience Lookalike targeting option, you can target customers based on hashed audiences who have similar purchasing behaviors to your brand’s existing customers.

Amazon’s unique, first-party consumer data combined with collaborative filtering can help you create consumer profiles of the highest detail to make sure your current and new targets match.

This targeting option is best suited for awareness campaigns that are on the top of the marketing funnel.

Example: A vegan skincare brand that wants to sell more of its gift packs targets customers who have already been interested in their brand as well as those who haven’t discovered their brand and are looking for vegan skincare brands and vegan skincare gift packs.

  • Contextual

Helping drive more consideration for your brand based on real-time events, contextual targeting automatically serves ads depending on the target customers’ activities. Through this option, you can display ads to audiences exclusively on pages and articles where specific topics and product types are mentioned.

Known to drive conversions quickly by encouraging impulse buyers, this targeting option is best for use in the consideration stage at the middle of the marketing funnel.

While shoppers who buy on impulse are easily converted through this option, this targeting option is commonly more effective for products that are known to have quick sales cycles.

Example: An air fryer brand has been featured on a page about cooking appliances to buy while on lockdown and is targeting people who are visiting the page and are actively searching for air fryers.

Custom Audiences

Amazon DSP offers several ways to create custom audiences. These audiences can be customized based on ASINs or groups of ASINs which will then be used to target people who have interacted with similar options or the products themselves. These interactions include clicks, purchases, and impressions.

  • Advertiser Audiences

Leveraging existing third-party customer data, Amazon DSP gives you the option of not relying on first-party data for targeting audiences. Unlike other programmatic platforms, Amazon DSP allows you to use CRM data, DMP audience transfers, and pixels in order to target ads by means of uploading existing customer data.

  • Retargeting / Remarketing 

Amazon DSP also has a targeting option for brands who wish to remarket to customers who were close to purchasing their product or a competitor’s product but were not able to finalize the purchase.

Targeting the bottom of the funnel, this targeting option is meant to drive sales and encourage customers who have either added specific products to their wishlist or who have abandoned their carts.

  • Remarketing targets vary in types which are Pixel-based Remarketing (for retargeting Amazon shoppers who visited your website)
  • Purchased ASIN Remarketing (for retargeting shoppers who have bought the brand’s products)
  • Similar Product Views (for retargeting customers who have viewed the same types of products as your brand)
  • ASIN Remarketing (for retargeting shoppers who have viewed your product, but did not purchase)
  • Brand Halo Remarketing (for targeting shoppers who have bought other products in the brand’s catalog.)

READ MORE: How to Use eCommerce Creatives As Part of Your Amazon DSP Strategy

Best Practices in Amazon DSP Targeting

With Amazon DSP’s vast selection of targeting options and ad types, the possibilities for reaching new customers are endless. You only need to plan accordingly with your marketing funnel strategies and take advantage of Amazon’s large consumer data to determine the best way to optimize your ads.

  • Make good use of DSP audiences

As mentioned in the “Targeting Options Used in DSP” section of this blog, There are two types of audiences on Amazon that you can use: the  Custom Audiences and Amazon Audiences.

With Amazon Audiences’s insights, you can understand your customer’s behavior by utilizing targeting options such as demographics (age, income, location, marital status, etc.), behaviors, interests, browsing activity, and customers who didn’t complete their purchase.

If you want to tap into Custom Audiences and you already have a large amount of data on your customers and prospects, you can narrow down your target by uploading your brand’s first-party data. Using this type of data can allow you to market to new and similar customers on Amazon who have already engaged with your brand.

  • Understand ad attribution and continuously track results 

To succeed in ad targeting, you need to be able to know how to track and interpret metrics through attribution. Attributing your Amazon Ads is vital for making sure you figure out which strategies are working and which ones are not. There are two ways to track sales metrics on Amazon DSP: total sale and product sales.

For DSP ads that send traffic off of Amazon, their conversions can be tracked through a 14-day last touch attribution. But while it tracks conversions, it can’t give you the dollar amount of sales from the conversions.

It may also be confusing if a customer clicks on a sponsored product ad which is then retarged by DSP before any conversion happens, DSP will record all the activity as its own.

Given this example, strategizing your Amazon DSP ad targets needs to be critical to make sure you can track your sales successfully.

  • Learn how to retarget 

If you want to spend less or if your brand has a limited budget, retargeting your Amazon DSP ads is always an option. This way, you can utilize the impressions from potential customers who didn’t initially convert or complete their purchase. 

  • Take advantage of the OTT space (for bigger brands with bigger budgets) 

If your brand has a larger budget and more campaigns needed to be launched, it’s recommended to utilize Amazon’s large consumer data by exploring its OTT offerings. Through non-skippable video OTT ads that appear in streaming services, your brand can achieve high engagement and impact from your ad’s audience.

As video streaming is becoming increasingly popular, many opportunities are opening up for advertisers, making it one of the best choice who need to penetrate a larger market.

  • Team up with Amazon DSP experts (data is key to making the right choices) 

At the end of the day, there’s nothing better than asking help from experts who know every little thing about the platform you wish to excel in.

When you work with AMZ Pathfinder, we won’t just manage your Amazon Ad account and send you reports, our team of Amazon Ad Experts make it a point to get to know you and your brand, understand your products, and study your market to make sure they’re helping you make the right decisions.

Are you an established Amazon brand? Schedule a FREE Consultation with us today!


Are you new to Amazon DSP?

Or perhaps you’re not too familiar with the Amazon DSP platform?

In this video, our team’s Amazon DSP Lead, Melody, breaks down 15 sections about how to build your Amazon DSP campaign from the ground up.

Here’s an Amazon DSP walkthrough you DON’T want to miss!


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Amazon DSP Targeting Capabilities

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