TMW #024 | Amazon’s marketing cloud, marketing incrementality and the growth of CDPs in APAC.

Jan 15, 2021

Welcome to The Martech Weekly, where every week I review some of the most interesting ideas, research, and latest news. I try to look to where the industry is going and make sense of it all.

👋 A Quick Note

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🏡 Housekeeping

Greetings and welcome to the first TMW newsletter of 2021!

Over the holiday break I've had some time for reflection, planning (and some dreaming). After collecting some feedback and doing a bit of ideation there’s a couple important updates to the newsletter including:

Refresh of the newsletter. I’ve updated the design and the layout including segments for things like “latest developments” and “ideas” and “weird & wonderful” so it’s a bit easier to get into the content. I’ve also replaced the “Top #3” to “commentary” to go deeper into the most important stories of the week. Let me know what you think of the new design by replying to this email!

Switch to Sundays. I’m also planning to start posting the newsletter on Sunday instead of Friday in February. After talking to many of you it’s become clear that Friday gets a bit too busy to sit down and read the newsletter. Sundays are for reflection and planning, so I’m giving it a go!

I’ll have a few other things to announce in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Let’s get to it: Here’s everything you might have missed in marketing and tech this week 👇

✍ Commentary

🏪 Amazon’s marketing cloud. Announced back in 2019, Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) has launched a beta version of the product stack to select agencies and brands this week. AMC is standing as a direct competitor to Facebook and Google’s advertising suits as the company’s ad business continues to ramp up. The core ad business for Amazon is up 52% from 2019 to 2020 which represents about 8% ($5.4 billion) of the advertising industry, making it the fastest growing advertising solution in the market. So, it makes sense that Amazon doubles down on a proper programmatic platform solution. This is as brands continue to see the value of its advertising, not only on Amazon.com but also acquired sites like Twitch which has just opened up advertising inventory and integrated into the Amazon advertising ecosystem. The pandemic has accelerated this side of Amazon’s business and is becoming increasingly important for the FMCG and technology sectors as physical retail continues to decline. It’s not only because of the opportunities to advertise on Amazon.com (which last time I checked gets more global product searches than Google) but also Amazon’s sprawling empire of partner sites and acquired companies that makes it more of a controlled environment for advertisers with less reliance on news publishers, and unknown third party sites. There are few unique callouts in Amazon’s strategy here;

  • Part of AMC will be what they call a “data cleanroom” which allows advertisers to bring in first party data to join it with anonymised web browsing, engagement and conversion data. This is a direct response to demand for privacy sensitive advertising solutions
  • Custom attribution models is going to be a big part of the value proposition of AMC, which includes things like page view trends, comparison behaviour and ad testing, but because of the first party aspect other things could be measured like incrementality, life time value and repeat purchase cohorts

Amazon is seizing the day on a fractured and increasingly distrustful advertising ecosystem with solutions that make sense on privacy and trust. It will be interesting to see how Facebook and Google respond 🍿 Analysis, Press Release

I also do some commentary on Google's take on marketing incrementality, one of marketing analytics largest problems. This one is in the subscriber version of TMW. Sign up here to get a link to the full version.

📈Chart Of The Week

APAC growth of CDP technology and the people who run it. Sign up here to get a link to the full version and the chart. You won't be disappointed.


📰 Latest Developments

Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn Hack. Over 200 million accounts have been hacked and exposed through a Chinese holding database. Includes personal information such as full names, country, contact information and place of work to name a few. Link

Cognizant acquires Servian. The US based IT service provider is planning to acquire to Servian, and Australian cloud and data company to increase APAC presence but also as a play to double down on the firm’s cloud capabilities. Link ($)

WhatsApp’s migration of data to Facebook. You may have seen this one if you use WhatsApp. Facebook are making good on their 2019 promise to integrate all of their acquired platforms into a single data hub. If users of the app don’t comply with having their data shared with the platform then they will lose access. Kind of feels like a hostage situation for your data. Link

📚 Reading

Intuit’s data journey. An interesting read on how Intuit, one of the world’s largest Fintech companies has put data at the centre of the global growth strategy. In 2017 they had to completely re-architect their data infrastructure for scale and speed. No easy undertaking. Link

Roblox and the internet “metaverse”. As gaming, and universe creating platforms like Minecraft and Roblox have increased in popularity, there’s a third space emerging where people genuinely love to spend their time away from the prying eyes of advertisers. This article calls it the “Metaverse.” Link

Adobe’s advice on CX best practices in 2021. After conducting a bunch of research from leaders in the field, Adobe looks towards this year and what brands have learned about customer experience. Their advice - make CX management your new obsession. Link


🔢 Data & Insights

Reuters technology trends. A great report on the trends that will be carried into 2021, including the digitisation of businesses, the focus on digital subscription services (more than 60% of people said this will be their brand’s focus) and some research on the state of journalism and media in tech. Link

The analytics of an Amazon Seller. An in depth analysis of how Amazon sellers perform on their platform compared with other retail destinations like Walmart and eBay. Link

Apple App Store yearly report. Apple has had a great year in the app store. They reached a milestone in 2020 - $200 billion in earnings since the launch in 2008. Link


💡 Ideas

One of the internet’s founders shifts to privacy. A great read on how the key person behind the World Wide Web infrastructure, Mr. Berners-Lee, is now focusing his attention on wrestling back the collection of personal data away from big tech. Link

New ways to think about customer journey mapping. Using a Wardley map, which highlights the areas of ignorance, seeks to help those building journeys pinpoint areas where they have low “situational awareness” in the customer’s actual experience and touchpoints. Link

Amazon and Walmart tell customers to keep their returns. After some extensive analysis into the actual costs of shipping return items, both companies are trialling a solution for customers who want a refund or exchange - just keep it, we’ll refund or replace for free. Link ($)


✨ Weird and Wonderful

2 password guesses for a $236 million dollar fortune. As Bitcoin has boomed, many early investors have forgotten their passwords to crypto wallets they purchased years ago. How’s your password manager going?  Link

DALL-E the AI that generates images from text. Very interesting form of GAN ML that takes the words you type and creates an entire image at Unsplash levels of quality. Creative departments beware. Link


Stay Curious,

Make sense of marketing technology.

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Want to share something interesting or be featured in The Martech Weekly? Drop me a line at juan@themartechweekly.com.

Juan Mendoza

Marketing technology strategist at The Lumery, I analyse marketing, data, and technology trends for some of the most well-known Australian and global brands.

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