When thinking about digital ads while surfing the web, what two companies immediately become prominent? For years, the two tech giants, Facebook and Google, have shown complete dominance in the digital ad space. For years, no other site has been able to light a candle to Facebook’s and Google’s organic reach and impressions. Sure, other sites have offered attractive offerings to their platforms to try and combat the two, but most fall well short.
Reign of Terror
Facebook and Google’s dominance online seems like it’ll never end, especially with how smartphone devices heavily monitor a user’s activity and displays ads on Facebook. Should digital marketers consider placing ads on any other network because of this? Why should a digital marketer allocate dollars from a marketing budget to display ads elsewhere when the reach and impressions won’t be the same as Facebook and Google?
However, it appears all of that is about to change, at least in terms of the pure dominance that Facebook and Google have. There’s a new contender that is starting to show a lot of promise and even starting to gain a little momentum in terms of market share, and that contender is none other than Amazon.
The eCommerce Giant Wants In
It should come as no surprise that Amazon wants a piece of the digital advertising pie. Amazon has been getting into nearly every market imaginable and doing so with a high degree of success. No one thought that Amazon would be able to go head-to-head with the online streaming giant Netflix, who ironically uses Amazon Web Services, but now Amazon has on-demand video content and original programming that directly rivals Netflix, and you can even watch certain shows on Amazon that you can’t get on Netflix and/or Hulu.
To further emphasize this point, not many people thought that Amazon Web Services would succeed with the likes of Microsoft showing dominance for years, but in 2018 Amazon Web Services just hit $5.4 billion in revenue.
"Alexa, What Are You Listening To?"
Alexa is in more homes now than ever and this brings a huge digital advertising opportunity to businesses. Amazon’s Alexa will be able to collect data on what a person’s interests are based on just everyday listening, and then build an advertising profile based on that data, which will in turn allow hyper-targeted ads. If you own an Alexa device and then go browsing on Amazon, the possibility of seeing an ad based on something that you talked about is very likely.
Amazon has actually ventured into displaying targeted ads on devices before with their budget Amazon Fire smartphone line up. These series of phones allowed consumers to purchase high end smartphones at a low price, with the caveat however being that Amazon will display the user ads directly onto the lock screen of the device. This was a digital marketers dream, being able to target the end user directly to a device that they use the most, however recently Amazon discontinued this line up of phones and instead are only offering Amazon Fire phones without ads on them.
With that said, Amazon’s push into the digital ad space is already well underway. Amazon in the 1st quarter of 2018 has already pulled in $2.03 billion in sales and Amazon is currently developing a re-targeting ad tool that will follow users to other websites based on search and purchase histories.
A Shift In the Market?
While it may not be immediate, Amazon’s push into the digital ad space is going to prompt some changes to Facebook’s and Google’s platform for them to stay competitive. One thing is for certain though, is that the way digital marketers think about the conventional way of digital ad spending is about to change.
Now To Tie It All Together
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