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Amazon continues to loosen the stronghold Facebook and Google have on advertising dollars. In a recent report [download page] from Marin Software, 60% of the 460 digital marketers surveyed say their Amazon advertising budget will increase this year.

More than half (55% share) of the respondents say they started using Amazon for their digital advertising because they saw it as a growth opportunity, while more than one-quarter (27%) say they started using the platform for advertising for bottom-of-the-funnel conversion. The remaining 18% of respondents used Amazon for top-of-the-funnel prospecting.

Of course, there are challenges to using any ad platform. About one-third (32%) of respondents say that one of their biggest challenges around Amazon advertising is leveraging audience data. Separately, almost one-quarter (23%) of respondents feel that Amazon has limited reporting.

These issues are not new. Indeed, research from last year found that one of the key challenges for advertisers using platforms such as Google, Facebook and Amazon is extracting audience data from walled gardens. More specific to Amazon, a survey by Three Door Media from late last year revealed that nearly half (46%) of marketers and advertisers surveyed said that inadequate reporting was their biggest challenge when advertising on Amazon.

Meanwhile three in 10 digital advertisers surveyed also struggle with Amazon advertising best practices. Another 29% find Amazon’s performance versus other forms of advertising a challenge. But other research conflicts with this view. A survey from Nanigans found that ad executives for larger retailers, at least, are pleased with Amazon ad performance, saying that Amazon was better than Google and Facebook for metrics such as ROAS, attribution and campaign management.

That being said, Marin Software’s survey also found that more than one-third (37%) of respondents were of the opinion that Amazon’s campaign management tools were in need of improvement.

Of the three available ad formats available from Amazon, 43% of respondents say they are using or plan to use Amazon’s DSP. Slightly fewer respondents (39%) report using Sponsored Brands, which is surprising considering data from Merkle that found its own clients experiencing strong sales growth from their use of Amazon’s Sponsored Brands.

The full Marin Software report can be found here.

About the Data: Report findings are based on a survey of 460 digital marketers (managers and above). Respondents span B2B (44%), B2C (44%) and B2C/B2B (12%) company types. More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents have an estimated annual expenditure in digital advertising of $1-$9 million with another 31% between $10-$49 million.

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