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Amazon exec: Personalization, innovation and scale critical to company?s mobile, digital strategy

SAN FRANCISCO ? An Amazon executive who keynoted the ad:tech conference said personalization, innovation and scale help the company better target its customers and create relevant digital and mobile experiences.

During the ad:tech keynote presentation ?Amazon ? It?s Day 1 for Advertising? the executive discussed how far the company has come in the digital and mobile space. The executive also said that its advertising has changed and the company has been working with several big brands across all of its platforms to better engage and reach consumers.

?We are so beyond just retail ? who could have imagined that we would get in businesses like Prime or Kindle,? said Lisa Utzschneider, global vice president of digital advertising sales at Amazon, Seattle.

?Who would have thought we would get into the hardware business and start building hardware?? she said.

Customers first
According to Ms. Utzschneider, it was important for Amazon to start with the customer and work backwards.

When Amazon thinks about its customers, the company things about three things ? the product that it wants to develop, the ability to innovate on behalf of the company?s customers and how to anticipate their needs.

In the past years, Amazon has seen a lot of success with its Kindle devices.

In November 2007, Amazon launched its first Kindle device.

?As a seller of books among other things, Amazon looked at this opportunity ? we listened to our customers, we invented on their behalf and we delivered a truly personal experience,? said Neil Lindsay, vice president of marketing at Kindle.

?We hired a hardware team, we sourced materials and we obviously acquired digital content,? he said. ?Many of these things we have not done before and they all required attention.?

According to Mr. Lindsay, digital helps customers find the conversion.

Additionally, it is important to continually test and measure, as well as drive demand and build a brand.

?Listening, invention and personalization are essential to our approach,? Mr. Lindsay said.

Mobile advertising
Amazon launched its adverting program six years ago.

According to Ms. Utzschneider, there was a lot of internal debate about advertising, and Amazon viewed advertising as disruptive to its business.

The company wanted to ensure that it enhanced the customer?s online shopping experience when it built its advertising program.

Since its launch six years ago, Amazon has made progress with its advertising program, per Ms. Utzschneider.

For example, Amazon recently partnered with Universal to help the studio promote its new ?Lorax? film. 

The ad campaign was featured across Amazon?s various platforms, including on its IMDb iPhone application.

The campaign let consumers enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire and an Amazon.com gift card.  

The Lorax campaign exceeded Amazon and Universal?s sweeps, video streams and social activation benchmarks.

Additionally, there was a 25 percent increase in unaided awareness and a 50 percent increase in likelihood of parents wanting to take their children to see the film.

Amazon also partnered with Kimberly Clark to promote the company?s Huggies Slip-on products.

Kimberly Clark and Amazon saw that there was a 57 percent of total impressions and mobile sales of Huggies doubled during the campaign.

?When we think about advertising, it?s about personalization,? Ms. Utzschneider said. ?The personalization and recommendation engine is the backbone of our company. 

?Our customers trust and they expect that Amazon will deliver relevant content to them? she said. ?Again, in typical Amazon fashion, we measure and we test everything that we do.?

Final Take