Amazon Ad Strategies for the Discovery Phase of the Customer Buying Cycle

In today’s extremely competitive Amazon marketplace, every advertising dollar must be allocated as efficiently as possible to drive traffic to your products.

Top sellers in every category utilize proven budgeting tips to get the most out of their Amazon advertising. They also implement the correct Amazon ad strategies for each stage of the Customer Buying Cycle

The Stages of the Customer Buying Cycle…

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Successful Amazon brands understand the importance of allocating a portion of their overall advertising budgets to the different stages of the CBC

The goal is to consistently place their products in front of relevant online shoppers. 

This is done by creating Amazon advertising strategies to specifically target relevant audiences depending on where they are during each stage of the CBC


What Is The Discovery Phase?


The Discovery Phase is the stage of the Customer Buying Cycle in which the seller makes potential customers aware of the existence of a problem that they may or may not know pertains to them.

Ad dollars are used to target relevant audiences (sometimes wider), and then drive traffic to a solution. This solution consists of a product or line of products that solve the stated problem.


What to Expect During the Discovery Phase:


  1. Higher ACoS – ad spend is allocated to attract relevant audiences, while "casting a wide net". You are also using ad spend to test different types of audiences, ASINs and categories. You will ‘harvest’ this data to use in later campaigns.
  2. Lower Conversion Rate percentage – because you are testing different types of audiences rather than strictly focusing on the highly relevant ones.
  3. Lower CTR (click through rate) percentage – the number of people who click on your ad from an impression will be lower. 


Additional Considerations During the Discovery Phase…

Average Cost per Click: During the Discover Phase, it is important to avoid high cost-per-click keywords that quickly drain your ad budget. The emphasis should be on going after longtail keywords that are discovery-based, to figure out what works best.

Impressions and Reach: Track Your Cost per 1,000 Impressions. The maximum number of Impressions and reach will be generated by Rest of Search, Product Detail Pages and Retargeting Ads.

New to Brand Orders Percentage: Tracking NTB% will allow you to ascertain how many new orders are a result of your ad spend during the Discovery Phase.


Discovery Phase Budget

A proper budget is critical during the Discovery Phase.  Without one, you run the risk of having your total ad spend budget allocation used up during this phase.  


Allocate approximately 20% of your total ad spend budget for the Discovery Phase. 


Types of Ads Used During the Discovery Phase


Before delving into the types of campaigns you can use, it is important to note how Placement Multipliers play a role in advertising for the Discovery Phase:

  • Top of Search placement –  this type of placement can be useful, but only if you do not overspend going after expensive keywords. A good alternative is to go after relatively inexpensive longtail keywords to drive exposure during the Discovery Phase.
  • Rest of Search placement – this placement will help you to garner Impressions to drive awareness and reach. These keywords are typically less expensive than Top of Search.
  • Product Detail Page placement – this placement generates the largest portion of your Impression share.  


Sponsored Products in the Discovery Phase

Auto Campaigns (Focus on Loose Match and Complements Targeting Types)

  • Loose Match –  connects you to search terms and keywords that are ‘loosely’ related to the products you are selling. Although your goal is to get in front of relevant audiences to showcase your products, these campaigns give you leeway as to the degree of that relevance with the actual keyword.
  • Complements – showcases your products in front of relevant audiences on pages with complimentary products to “cast a wider net”. 


Manual Campaigns

When using them you should…

  • Lower Bid – start with a lower bid to conserve ad spend budget for the latter stages of the CBC.
  • Target Discovery Keywords – You can use a free tool, such as KINWORDS, to find keywords to place into your discovery-based campaigns. Try not to use too many keywords initially (start with between 20 to 30 keywords) for both match types.
  • Broad and Phrase Match –  use these because they allow Amazon to place your products before a larger range of potential customers (as opposed to Exact Match).


Product Targeting Campaigns

  • Use Category Targeting – target categories that are closely related to what you are selling, or somewhat loosely related to the general audience. By testing out these categories, you begin to learn more about your audience by digging through the Search Term report after you’ve gotten some sales.
  • Do Not Set up Refinements – you don’t want to tell Amazon which type of ASINs to go after in the various categories. Your goal is to raise awareness about your products by placing them in these relevant categories. 
  • Target Parent Category as well as Complementary Categories – discover which categories really connect with the products that you are selling. 

Sponsored Brands in the Discovery Phase

Massive Brand Exposure Campaign

These campaigns are used in the Discovery phase to highlight your products in a Top of Search Sponsored Brands campaign. This is ideal for online shoppers who may be searching for an item in a general category, rather than by using a specific search term. 

By clicking on your Sponsored Brands campaign, the online shopper is exposed to your entire storefront (all of your products). This gives you Massive Brand Exposure in the Discovery phase.

Sponsored Brands also now appear on Rest of Search and Product Detail Pages.   


How to set things up…

Sponsored Display in the Discovery Phase

For many sellers this is still in beta, but for those with access, Sponsored Display Ads can be used to for Product Targeting during the Discovery Phase.

Product Targeting gives you really good ad placement (right beneath the Buy Box). It can also be located below the bullet points and elsewhere on the products detail page.

With Product Targeting Sponsored Display Ads you will get the type of visibility, product exposure and brand awareness that you’re looking for doing the Discovery phase.

These ads are simple to set up. Follow the previous strategies used with Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands for category targeting to test and go after relevant audiences.


By applying these strategies during the first stage of the Customer Buying Cycle, you will have taken another important step in becoming more efficient with your Ad Spend.


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Does your Amazon advertising engage shoppers at every stage of the Customer Buying Cycle? If the answer is no (or perhaps you’re unsure), schedule an exploratory call with us to discuss having Entourage manage your Amazon advertising. 

Mike Zagare

Mike Zagare Founder, PPC Entourage Michael Zagare is a serial entrepreneur, a recovering physical therapist, and the founder of PPC Entourage. Mike has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in all things Amazon, and loves sharing that knowledge with other sellers to help them take steps towards personal and financial freedom.