Five Mistakes Brands Make When Using Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)

Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) is an essential tool for brands to drive targeted traffic to product pages. But once an AMS campaign has been launched, it needs to be monitored and adjusted to get the best results possible.


From our experience, here are the most common mistakes brands make when using Amazon Marketing Services.

 1.  Amazon Marketing Services Campaigns: Setting It and Forgetting It

It’s easy to create a campaign with AMS, hit the launch button, and just assume extra conversions will start pouring in.

But in order to get the most out of your advertising dollars, you need to examine the data from your campaign to see what is and is not working and adjust accordingly.

Amazon Marketing Services offers detailed reporting metrics for each of your marketing campaigns. After a campaign has been up and running for a while, it’s important to adjust keyword bids, pausing low performing keywords and introducing more effective ones.

2.  Creating and then Ignoring Automatic Targeting Options for Sponsored Product Ads

For campaigns that use automatic targeting, you don’t have to worry about adding your own keywords. Amazon will target these ads to relevant customer searches based on product information, getting your products in front of qualified shoppers who are more likely to buy them.

Sponsored Product Ads - AMS

However, since this method relies heavily on Amazon’s algorithm, the Average Cost Per Click (ACPC) for ads served this way is typically higher than when you insert your own keywords.

A better solution is to think of automatic targeting as a tool you can use to learn which keywords customers are using to find your products, and then begin to insert those keywords manually.

We recommend using automatic targeting for a month or so, using it as a starting point for keyword bidding.

3.  Not Utilizing the Customer Search Term Report

The AMS Customer Search Term Report allows you to see what searchers are actually querying in order to get your keywords to trigger. This data offers insight into which search terms are stickiest with shoppers.

Though this will differ depending on each brand’s goals, common data points you’ll want to keep an eye on in the report include: impression volume, branded vs. unbranded searches, sales, CPC, and CTRs.

Monitoring these metrics can help ensure your ads are being served to the right people at the most cost effective CPC.

4.  Not Defining a Clear Campaign Naming Convention

With Amazon Marketing Services, brands can run several campaigns at once when advertising product pages. One of the biggest mistakes brands make when creating campaigns is not defining a descriptive campaign naming convention. Sometimes, we take a look at our client’s existing campaigns and see labels like “Brand 1,” which doesn’t tell the campaign manager anything about the ad campaign itself.

Instead, make sure your campaign names include information that describes the campaign. A few good examples of information to include in the campaign name are: brand names, dates, product descriptions, and AMS ad campaign types. That way, it’s easy to understand what products are being advertised without clicking in to the campaign.

5.  Only Running Ads for Part of the Year

Though it may seem wise to only pay to advertise certain products for the part of the year they are most relevant (such as the holidays), valuable knowledge can be gathered by running campaigns year round.

Nonstop campaigns allow advertisers to target shoppers with contextual ads, which can help gain insight into seasonal and keyword trends. Understanding what is working well from season to season and applying that knowledge to other products allows advertisers to leverage successful campaigns for unexpected promotions.

The Takeaway:

No advertising campaign is perfect right out of the gate. Use all of the tools at your disposal to learn from and adjust your campaigns to get the most out of Amazon Marketing Services.

Download The Definitive Guide to Amazon Marketing Services to start optimizing AMS campaigns and get the most out of your ad spend.

This blog post was originally posted on July 29, 2016 and updated on May 17, 2018.