No Quality Score? No problem.
Amazon’s ad business eclipsed $1 billion in 2017 largely in part to increased investment in Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) & Seller Central Ads. With these increasing numbers, it’s easy to compare Amazon advertising to more mature platforms like Google AdWords, but the truth is there are some important differences between the two.
Within this contrast though lies opportunity, the first of which being Amazon’s lack of a true Quality Score.
Google defines Quality Score as "... an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions." Google's goal for this metric is for users to have a quality search experience and find what they're looking for faster. For brands, this means that if your ads, landing pages & content are not relevant as Google defines it, be prepared to pay an arm and a leg or not have your ads shown at all.
Quality Score is extremely beneficial for both brands and consumers. It stops the search engine results page (SERP) from irrelevant/spammy ads entering the auction, preventing them from driving up bid prices, and ultimately provides a better ad experience for the user. It also creates a whole new level of tactical depth around improving ads, landing pages & content to decrease cost and improve performance for specific terms.
That being said, Quality Score does impose limitations, namely in a strategy that's close to my heart: Competitor Conquesting.
Quick example: if you’re selling high-end wireless headphones, bid on keywords like Bowers & Wilkins, Sony, or Bose. This way, when consumers search for your competitors, your brand is entered into the conversation and even converts!
On Google, because of Quality Score and the “low relevancy” of your brand vs your competitors, this tactic is both costly and largely ineffective. If you want your brand to appear for a competitor's brand or product search on Google, prepare your pocketbook and put your P&L out to pasture.
In stark contrast to Google’s Quality Score, Amazon advertising follows one rule:
If it sells, it serves.
This difference between AdWords and Amazon is the Holy Grail of search advertising. Much like a store shelf, brands can insert their messaging and products right alongside their competitors' without worry of a major increase in cost or decrease in performance.
In fact, for brands we work with, Competitor Conquesting keywords' return on ad spend (ROAS) is more than 400% higher than Non-Branded keywords.
What does this mean for you?
1) Crush the competition by becoming an Amazon conquistador.
2) Bid on and protect your brand terms, because other sellers are coming after them!