Amplio Blog

4 min read

Ask These Questions Before Working with an Amazon Marketing Agency

April 2019

As an ecommerce business owner, you may find yourself in one of two situations. Either business is so good that scaling production to meet demand and maintaining sales requires some extra hands. Or, you just can’t seem to meet those revenue goals, no matter which strategy you pursue.

In either of these instances, outsourcing your growth efforts to an Amazon marketing agency can mitigate your frustrations, as well as time and money spent chasing success. Finding the right team to work with, however, can prove to be a job in and of itself.

As you begin the vetting process in searching for an agency partner, avoid wasting time. Here are some questions you should ask before working with an Amazon marketing agency.

1.   What’s Your Pricing Model?

More often than not, most Amazon marketing agencies you come across operate under one of three pricing models. They’ll charge a monthly fee, a percentage of success, or a combination of both. Monthly fees vary based on the scope of work and the type of agency. The percentage of success is usually calculated as a percentage of total sales and/or percentage of advertising spend. Sometimes agencies will charge a percentage of gross sales - also referred to as net sales - which means sales minus fees and expenses. Combinations of both might be a minimum fee plus a percentage of success, or whichever is greater of the two.

Amplio adopts a hybrid strategy. Our client contracts typically start at $3,000/month OR 10% of sales, whichever is greater. Monthly fees go up based on the scope of work. For clients with existing sales on Amazon, the percentage of success is negotiable. For advertising engagements, our percentage of success is more commonly a percentage of advertising spend.

Our main objective with pricing is to ensure that we are mutually aligned with our clients so that when they succeed we succeed too. We’re willing to be flexible if it means we can get our engagement more aligned. Depending on your business goals and scope of work, we can think outside of the box and discuss custom quotes.

2.   What’s Your Plan for Growing My Sales?

The answer to this question will depend on where your business is at in your Amazon marketing efforts. As you might imagine, the growth plan for a startup is bound to vary in strategy from that of an enterprise client — something we know all too well in working with companies of all sizes. Amplio is not a one-size-fits-all Amazon marketing agency. We work with first-party brands that sell to Amazon retail, and third-party brands that sell to the marketplace on Seller Central. Success strategies for each vary greatly based on the type of company we’re working with.

As data-driven marketers, we’ll work to answer this question by asking you our own set of questions. We’ll want to know what you’ve tried, what’s worked, what hasn’t, and then conduct an analysis of your efforts to date. With knowledge gained from working with hundreds of clients across dozens of Amazon categories, we’ll be able to create a personalized growth plan around your specific business goals.

Contact the team for individual case studies to get examples of strategies we’ve executed in the past (and how we delivered results).

3.   What Kind of Sales Lift Can We Expect?

Right off the bat, sales lift will correlate with the number of easy wins we’re able to take advantage of and create. For example, clients not yet using Fulfillment by Amazon services, not listing all of their products in the marketplace, and/or not advertising have been known to experience triple-digit growth in their first six months on board.

If you’re a business that already has these boxes checked, we’ll need to pursue other tactics for increasing growth. It’s natural that the results in return will differ between beginner and mature sellers. But for those looking to set expectations prior to committing to a long-term contract, we’ll start with either a paid in-depth audit or a complementary analysis (depending on the situation), with recommendations around both paid and non-paid growth opportunities.

4.   How Quickly Can You Ramp Up?

To start, the selling process typically takes anywhere between two and four weeks, depending on a client’s timeline and responsiveness. We’re not in the business of simply sending out proposals for the sake of a sale. In order to ensure that both parties are successful, we aim to partner with the right clients — ones that we know we can help and that can also help us build upon our developed skill sets.

Once an agreement is signed, sealed, and delivered, however, the work begins. With most clients, onboarding begins within a week of the contract being received.

Ramping up from this point takes our team about a month to do with regards to getting up to speed on an account, the setup, and products. Work is produced within the first 30 days of a contract, with many clients reporting results within the first three to six months.

5.   What is Your Account Management Model?

When working with Amplio, you’ll be assigned a single account manager responsible for day-to-day communications. These individuals will, in turn, be supported by a multi-person team that includes:

  • Account coordinators

  • Client success managers

  • Channel level subject matter experts

  • Senior escalation paths

From managing strategy across client projects to execution, every member has a part to play in optimizing overall client experience and success. A benefit of working with a boutique company like Amplio is that you have access to senior leadership along the way, as well.

6.   How Much Should We Spend on Advertising Based on Our Growth Goals?

Taking into account industry standard survey data, the typical brand should expect to spend 10% of its gross merchandise volume (GMV) on Amazon advertising. Growth that results from this spend averages somewhere between 20 and 40% year over year, depending on the category.

Naturally, if you want to grow faster than what these numbers suggest, you’ll need to spend more than 10% of your sales on advertising. For example, some of our clients are spending 40-50% of their GMV on advertising and are seeing 400% YOY in return.

Final Thoughts: Questions You Should Ask Before Working with an Amazon Marketing Agency

When presented with a variety of Amazon marketing agency choices, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. More choices, after all, doesn’t always equate with better choices to be made.

To ensure that you’re making the right decision, approach this process with the right questions. In doing so, you’ll be more likely to find yourself not just a service, but a partner that’s invested in both relationships and the long-term success of your company.

Get familiar with what Amplio has to offer your business. Contact us for a free consultation!

Topics: Amazon

Kevin Weiss
Written by Kevin Weiss

Kevin is the VP of Growth & Strategy for Amplio Digital and has been with the company since 2014. Kevin drives growth for Amplio and Amazon strategy for its clients. His team manages over $250MM in annual GMV on Amazon for brand manufacturers across North America and EMEA.

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