Case Studies in Leaders of Digital Advertising: Amazon, Facebook, and Google

Amazon: The E-Commerce Platform

Amazon is uniquely positioned ahead of the curve that dictates the recent shift from informational advertising on television to performance-driven digital advertising.1
At the same time that television viewership has shifted from broadcast and cable to streaming platforms, the CPM (cost per thousand) of primetime advertising has more than doubled since 2008. On the other hand, Amazon offers an advertising platform not only where customers are already predisposed to spend, but also where advertisers’ ROI (return on investment) is directly quantifiable. Tracking returns over time for digital advertising on Amazon is much easier to track than that of television advertising campaigns. Amazon holds such a massive share of online customers that the mere availability of an audience lends itself to a type of domino effect: if a “retailer’s target audience is active on Amazon,” that retailer benefits from firsthand data on customer purchase behavior and improved ROIs follow as a direct result.2

To learn more about voice-driven marketing results that are borne out of Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, check out How is Video Marketing Changing With New Technology?

Facebook: The Social Media Platform

With only just over ten percent of its users located in the U.S. or Canada, Facebook’s access to international ad markets is unrivaled among other social media platforms. Though only fifteen percent of social media shop on Facebook – trailing Pinterest, a platform built exclusively as an online marketplace – the prominence of Facebook on mobile devices is in a category of its own. Ninety-four percent of Facebook’s advertising revenue comes from mobile users, up from ninety-one percent in 2018. Alongside the fact that Facebook and Facebook Messenger hold the distinction as the fifth- and fourth-most downloaded free apps among iPhone users going into 2020, “mobile-first” video advertising finds its widest-reaching home on Facebook. 3
The platform is also focused on “engagement” as a primary step in targeted digital ads: once a post gathers “international and low-cost likes” from even those outside the target audience, the post can be repurposed as viable ad content. 4

Facebook also offers a broad reach through linking to Instagram posts, securing itself as a leader in digital advertising.

Google: Search Engine & Ad Platform

Before delving into how full-fledged advertising campaigns can owe their success to Google Ads, it is important to note that ninety-seven percent of Google’s total revenue comes from advertising. 5
Advertisers have a symbiotic relationship with Google, which is motivated to improve (and maintain in step with the tide of technology) the offerings of Google Ads for the purposes of its own self-preservation. These improvements were announced at “Google Marketing Live” 2019 and allow marketers to personalize their campaigns at increasingly focused levels to maximize every conversion (i.e., when a sale is completed, someone joins a mailing list, or a visitor fills out a form on a company website). 6
Google Ads is diversifying marketers’ ability to streamline the type of conversions their online campaigns are targeting based on a variety of factors. Moreover, these adjustments to its services are backed by more data about the online behaviors of Google’s site visitors than any of its competitors could possibly offer. 

  1. Lipsman, Andrew. “Why Amazon is About to Upend the $70 Billion TV Ad Market.” eMarketer. https://www.emarketer.com/content/why-amazon-is-about-to-upend-the-70-billion-tv-ad-market. Web.>
  2. Lipsman, Andrew. “Why Amazon is About to Upend the $70 Billion TV Ad Market.” eMarketer. https://www.emarketer.com/content/why-amazon-is-about-to-upend-the-70-billion-tv-ad-market. Web.>
  3. Newberry, Christina. “33 Facebook Stats that Matter to Marketers in 2020.” Hootsuite. https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-statistics/. Web.>
  4. Brill, Robert. “Why Facebook is Still the $22 Billion Leader of the Digital Ad Kingdoms.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeslacouncil/2018/02/08/why-facebook-is-still-the-22-billion-leader-of-the-digital-ad-kingdoms/#32c281f05d1a. Web.>
  5. Frost, Phil. “15 Stats That Prove Facebook Ads Are a Great Investment for Your Business.” Main Street ROI.https://www.mainstreetroi.com/15-stats-that-prove-google-adwords-is-a-great-investment-for-your-business/. Web.>
  6. Burgess, Megan. “Top 13 Digital Marketing Trends for 2020.” TheeDigital. https://www.theedigital.com/blog/digital-marketing-trends. Web.>