Many people don't even know Amazon has an advertising business. It sells ads across Amazon.com and Amazon-owned sites like IMDB.com. It also sells mobile ads across its Kindle e-book range and Kindle Fire tablet, and it has an ad platform which extends Amazon ads to other websites.
Speaking at The Financial Times' FT Digital Media conference in London on Tuesday, Amazon Media Group's vice president of global advertising sales Seth Dallaire revealed a novel way the company is using Kindle to sell ads for advertisers that don't sell their products and services on the Amazon e-commerce site.
Amazon recently partnered with Land Rover, for example, to create an e-book written by an established author. Amazon was one of the partners that distributed that content through the Kindle platform.
Dallaire said: "We saw very high engagement from customers in terms of reading it. It was not promoted as a pure advertisement, but rather content, and the author that created that content is what brought customers in to engage with it to begin with. It was a great learning for us."
Elsewhere, in Japan, Amazon worked with Nissan to create e-book brochures for new vehicles. Amazon is working with automakers to measure how many people visited a car dealership or drove away with a new vehicle as a result.
Dallaire said that the campaign worked so well in Japan — a country that has really taken to digital brochures — Amazon may look to extend that type of format to other markets.
"Most people don't associate Amazon with cars; we don't sell cars on the platform. But customers trust Amazon to provide objective opinions about a product or a brand ... we will work hard to show that there is some attribution to that level of investment that drives business results, even if it doesn't happen on Amazon," Dallaire said.