TPP001 – Amazon DSP with George Meressa

Welcome to our very first inaugural Professor’s Podcast. This is the podcast of none other than the man, the myth, the legend, the professor, Howard Thai himself. In this podcast, we have our first special guest, George Meressa, a specialist on Amazon DSP. He will talk about how to target the right audiences through DSP and what other opportunities are there for Amazon Sellers. We also get a glimpse of what to expect on Howard’s first-ever online mastermind, the first ever inaugural Professors' Pandemic Event or the PPE event. Let's tune in.

Topics Covered In this Episode

  • Welcome to the podcast

    We have our very first inaugural podcast episode

  • First ever Inagural Professors' Pandemic Event

    This event is mainly focused on what we see out there right now on the pandemic, how do we prepare ourselves for the next one?

  • Introduce George Meressa

    Who is George Meressa and what does he do?

  • Amazon DSP: Demand Side Platform

    Why would Amazon themselves come to you and ask you how are you using their platform?

  • Facebook Ads as a DSP

    To target audiences, ages, and interests. Find the right audience.

  • Problems Amazon sellers have right now in 2020

    Like what problems do you see as a result of the pandemic?

  • what opportunities do you see for the Amazon sellers?

    What opportunity do you see as a result of this current pandemic?

The Professor's Pandemic Event

Are You an Elite Seller Ready To $CALE from 7 or 8 to 9 Figures?
Learn More About the PPE Event

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Podcast Transcription

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Professor’s Podcast where we discuss the best strategies to massively improve the reach and bottom line of your business in the current virtual and economic landscape.  Your host, Howard Thai, generates over $5 billion for his clients annually using innovative tactics, both on and off Amazon.

[00:00:21] Everyone, welcome to the first-ever Professor’s Podcast.  And today, we've got our very first guests ever, so he's going to be in the hall of fame one day and he's here to talk about something extremely exciting. But before we get him on, let me kind of, let me kind of explain what's going to happen here and who I am.

[00:00:41] My name is Hurricane Liz and I have the absolute pleasure of always hanging out with this guy that I'm about to introduce. This is his podcast, but I am the emcee and I typically emcee his actual $12,000 per person mastermind events that happen around four times a year.  And, as always, I lead that intro with saying, this is none other than the man, the myth, the legend, the professor,

[00:01:07] Howard Thai himself, who's been featured in the Wall Street Journal and all sorts of other publications. Just focusing on the fact that not only did he had the 43rd highest selling story in all of Amazon, but he absolutely crushes it and delivers the most impactful, tactful, and strategic information in all of Amazon.

[00:01:27] So Howie, how do you feel about that introduction and how do you feel about this exciting podcast thing that you're going to get started here. Well, actually, I'm really excited. This is like my first podcast that I'm going to create. So I'm sure there's going to be tons of, tons of other ones, but, right now this one is going to be my first, and I'm babying it.

[00:01:49] We prepped a lot of stuff before we went on today's event. So I hope it pays off. Yeah, absolutely. We have our very first inaugural kickass here that I'm going to just talk briefly about here in a second, and what we're here to talk about today is Howie’s first and Howie, that's the name I call Howard.

[00:02:10] That's the nickname here. Howie’s first-ever online mastermind. Now, keep in mind, we usually meet four times a year, and it's just an amazing, awesone time that we have. We not only party, we have fun, we get the real secrets of people, have a little too much to drink. I'm not going to mention any names here, but among that and many other things, we also get to know one another.

[00:02:33] However, of course, thanks to the current pandemic that's going around in the world, we're not going to be able to do that this time. However, we improvised and we've come up with something that we think is going to be even more amazing, and it's deemed as the first ever inaugural Professors' Pandemic Event or the PPE event. We're not only going to talk about what's hot in Amazon right now, but

[00:02:56] we're going to talk about strategies and tactics that work in today's current new frontier of Amazon, because that's where we really see it headed. An entirely new frontier, and there's going to be strategies and tactics that we share that are going to help you, not only in your Amazon business, make some additional cash right now, but it's going to help you.

[00:03:13] In the next six to 18 months. So Howie, tell us a little bit more about that actual whole event and what people have to look forward to when they actually participate in that. So this event is mainly focused on how, what we see out there right now on the pandemic, How do we prepare ourselves for the next one?

[00:03:34] Or how do you make sure or bulletproof your FBA business. So we're trying to see what we can do in order for you guys to survive. Your, make sure that your business survive. So, we're going to talk about a lot of, about the state of the art technology that can help your Amazon business as well as right now it's going to be the year of external traffic.

[00:04:01] so, outside traffic, how to bring outside traffic into your Amazon listing and improve your ranking. That's one of the major goals that we're trying to do here at this event. Right. Absolutely. And you mentioned outside traffic, so who other than, bringing on the actual guests I'm about to introduce.

[00:04:18] But before I introduce him, let me just say, I want you to remember that this particular event is not like the typical masterminds where you obviously have a lot of interaction. You get to go out to the bar afterwards and do all sorts of crazy stuff that what happens is wherever it happens, stays wherever it happens.

[00:04:35] On this one, we're going to be live. We're going to be interacting with the audience as well as fellow Amazon introverts. Because, I do find that we're almost in a world of introverts so, what better way and place to do that than online in the comfort of your own home. So it's a little different. And, the actual guests have all been hand selected, handpicked, and we've got to make sure that they have the best of the best information as well as they are active.

[00:05:00] in the whole Amazon environment and pretty much the innovators of the space. So our first guest, none other than George.  George, now help me pronounce your last name because I don't want to mess it up. I can barely read sometimes. So just tell me. It’s fine.  It’s Meressa. George Meressa.  I just didn't want to butcher it. So George Meressa who, trust me when I say this, this is by far been exciting.

[00:05:23] One of the most exciting things of the week, and I can tell you that there's a lot going on right now in the world, but the information that I've actually learned about George excited me. And, how did you feel about it Howie, just out of curiosity, all the information. I know you've met with George multiple occasions, but how exciting is it for Amazon sellers?

[00:05:41] Well, when I first learned about what George did, I think it was a year or two ago, it was eye-opening how, what he could do with the knowledge that he has and the power of the technology that he provides other people. Absolutely. And you know, George, I don't want to butcher what exactly you do.

[00:06:02] So let's just play pretend here. So I'm going to go ahead and tag Team George. It's not that kind of show people. But I'm going to tag Team George with Howie. And what we're going to actually talk about, we're going to have, we're going to pretend that George and Howard are on an elevator. George, you're on an elevator with Howard and you know that he's obviously the man, the myth, the legend, and.

[00:06:23] You want to deliver the pitch of what you're so great at. So George, in a quick two minutes, give us the elevator pitch with Howie himself and how you would convince him that you're worthy of speaking at one of his events. Humor us.  Okay, great. I would say, Hey, Howard first, and then, I don't know.

[00:06:45] Yeah, so, I think, what I specialize in is Amazon DSP, which stands for Demand Side Platform. So this is Amazon's programmatic way of advertising. So to kind of simplify that, Amazon’s DSP is a form of display ads, it’s native ads. It's completely separate to what you see through sponsored ads and through vendor central or seller central, it lives in its own entity.

[00:07:14] And the demand side platform is one of the most powerful platforms out there right now, allowing you to re-engage with people who have purchased your products. And, allowing you to use Amazon's first-party data and look at other people's purchasing behaviors, what they're looking at to re-advertise to them, not only within Amazon, but also outside of Amazon and everything is tracked.

[00:07:41] So, I know you said that you're an expert on the DSP, the demand side platform, right? So can you tell me what area of that, that you're specializing? Why would Amazon themselves come to you and ask you how are you using, how are they using, how are you using their platform? What are they, what are their, where are they at?

[00:08:04] Right. That's a good question Howard. Before June last year, there were already sent out audiences that you can target. So you can target people who have kids aged between zero and six months, six months to 12 months, 12 months to a year, three to five years. So they've got these incredibly segmented groups, but we're limited to those groups.

[00:08:24] Now in June, July last year, they introduced the Beta and the Beta they introduced allowed people to create their own audience which is absolutely crazy. So you could, you could, you know, if you're selling yellow stools, you can target every single person who's selling yellow stools and you can target anyone who's viewed their listing.

[00:08:47] And you can have ads shown to them. If you're selling phone cases, you can target everyone who's just bought the latest iPhone, the latest iPhone 11, and you can target them in five days, 10 days into their purchase with a case, a phone case. So there's so many ways that we could use that. And actually, the person who

[00:09:10] created Audience Builder, he actually reached out to me and we've got discussion later this week because they want to understand how we're using the tool for our clients. But this tool basically, I think, is one of the most powerful tools in the whole digital space right now. Okay. So how do you think outside of the box compared to the other experts in your field?

[00:09:37] Right. Well, to be honest, there are not really many other experts in my field, so it's not hard to do that. But it's very closed. So there's two ways that you can get on to Amazon DSP and one is you go through Amazon directly and they ask for a large, large budget, a decent-sized budget, and it's quite a lot to commit to.

[00:09:56] Whereas with us, we're more flexible. We have an entity and we can take on accounts to manage and it's very closed. So we have our own entity, which we manage within Amazon. So that's kind of what makes us different. So we have the access and we were one of the first to actually do it. We were fortunate enough to have one or two clients at the beginning who gave us a whole load of cash, said spend it and test.

[00:10:25] So we were able to test a whole load of different types of advertising that's available through the demand side platform, to find out what works and what doesn't. We created a kind of a curriculum which I have, kind of taught the team on how to manage it efficiently. So at the moment it's not, there's not enough people to even let alone managing it properly.

[00:10:49] And I think at the moment, we're ahead of the game in terms of what we're doing and what we're testing and ask them what works through DSP. You know, George, you've obviously convinced me to have you not only show people all that you've actually discussed. But there's a lot of topics that come to my head just when I hear you talking about it.

[00:11:08] And also I hear your excitement and passion in the actual field. It really gets me excited. But one thing that you told me before this call, and I know there's several other topics you have in mind. But talk to people a little bit about what the actual, maybe three random topics that you could talk about that are going to absolutely wow them as Amazon sellers.

[00:11:31] Right. Okay. So I just want to simplify it again. For those of you who do Facebook ads, right? Facebook is a DSP.  It’s a Demand Side Platform. Now with Facebook, you can target audiences, right? And you can target ages, their interests. And sometimes, Facebook does buy third party data to try and kind of allow you to guesswork and find this audience.

[00:11:55] The most powerful thing about Amazon DSP and I know a lot of people find it hard to digest this, with dealing with first party data, this isn't guesswork. This is raw sales numbers that we can target right? And that's, I think, the craziest thing, the first craziest thing. Second is the ability to track outside traffic and generate sales and track the sales.

[00:12:21] I know Attribution Beta has come out. It's not there yet. Whereas DSP, it's there. Like we're seeing in some of our campaigns, the sales that come from outside of Amazon beat the rise of the sales that come from Amazon. There are features built into this that you just don't have access to within sponsored ads, you can target different States.

[00:12:44] You can target, you can target different times of the day. You have to separate mobile and desktop so you can have mobile focused ads. You can target iOS users only. You can target Android users only. You could target just the possibilities of this, It's just endless. That gets me kind of curious, George.

[00:13:05] I'm a hardcore Facebook advertiser. One of the things that I love about Facebook is lookalike audiences. Is there anything like that currently on DSP. Yeah. So there's something called similar, similar product views. So it looks at the ASINs you put in, and then it finds other ASINs that are similar to the ASIN.

[00:13:26] And that's an essence of kind of the lookalike. And then you can use that. But we  take it to another level. We actually just, rather than using Amazon's guesswork to find our audience. We just create it. So we just go through and find every ASIN and we'll be detailed about it. So we wouldn't just target everyone who's selling a similar item to you.

[00:13:46] We'll look at, okay, what do people recently purchased with your item. What is their recently bought together items. We could create an audience of everyone who's purchased similar items to what they would buy and then, and then re-advertise your product. One of the special things I'm going to be doing at Howard's event is I'm actually going to show everyone the interface.

[00:14:08] I've never done this before on any podcast anywhere. I'm going to show the interface. I want you to see with your own eyes what it can do. And I haven't even spoken about the report in, the report in itself is just insane. Like the amount of fields that you have and the amount of data Amazon gives you, it's unbelievable.

[00:14:34] So I know that Howie was going to start talking about you got all this incredible information right in front of you. Is there a more effective way, like how else can sellers benefit from this information other than just advertising? Is there anything extra like, you know, on Facebook we get not only,

[00:14:53] we can look at similar audiences and we can kind of guess what our demographic is searching for. But is there any other information that would help sellers become better at selling their thing? That is a good question. One example I can, I can share with you is it's just again, it's going back to the audience builder. If someone has had an incredible amount of publicity, through the ASIN

[00:15:21] I guess you could track how well it's done by serving ads to that audience. And there's been one or two occasions when someone's listing has been on the telly and has been kind of floating about in the media. And everyone who's viewed that product, we've showed our ads to them and we've seen crazy spikes in sales.

[00:15:42] So that's kind of one way kind of, I hope that answers your question. Yeah, I was just looking for like any other bits, but thank you so much for that answer. That's exactly what I’m looking for. I wanted to ask you so what, what problems are you seeing that Amazon sellers right now in 2020 in particular

[00:16:03] Like what problems do you see as a result of the pandemic? Yeah, I guess, I think the bigger picture, and this is something I've seen for quite a while now, is I’m seeing the same trend I seen in Google. Amazon have figured out, you know, this is a fantastic revenue stream for them. Amazon sponsored ads.

[00:16:24] It's an incredible revenue stream for them. And they've started to populate the real estate on the search result pages with sponsored ads. This is only gonna get worse. We've seen this kind of evolve often it’s going to look far more similar to organic rankings. This work that's going to help people click more on PPC rather than organic.

[00:16:47] And it's just going to be harder because it's going to become. You can't do what you did a few years ago as an Amazon seller and just start making sales organically. You need  PPC it’s now, it's not just an extra bonus add-on. It's foundation to any given account. Another thing that I'm seeing, Howard is, I'm seeing a lot of big four firms go onto Amazon.

[00:17:15] A whole lot of big firms, they're taking on individual sellers of doing really well, and they're getting them to help them put their listings up so they're doing it properly. So this is making the whole landscape aggressive, and these guys are not looking to get a good eight cost. They're not looking to make a profit.

[00:17:33] They're looking for aggressive market share. When you're, when you're competing against someone who doesn't care about how much money they make, and then they go in aggressively, it's going to have a massive knock-on effect on your business. And then if we add on how you just asked about the pandemic, that's an additional.

[00:17:53] kind of external factor. It's going to have a huge impact on businesses. We're fortunate enough that a whole load of our clients are sitting on the, on the winning side of this, and their business is absolutely flying. But this is the big issues we're seeing right now than Amazon.

[00:18:16] Yeah. And you know, that brings me to an actual interesting question, George, as a result of the pandemic, any idea on your, just from what you've seen, cause you're obviously an expert in paid advertising, is there more people advertising? Is there less people advertising because of the fact, I mean, I personally am running out of stock.

[00:18:34] faster than people. It’s indescribable how fast I'm running out of stock. I actually had to turn down all my PPC campaigns, but I was just curious what you've seen with all your clients, and I'm sure there's a lot of other Amazon sellers out there that are wondering the same thing and how is that going to affect us in the next six to 18 months?

[00:18:53] Do you see it coming back to normal or, Oh my gosh, yes, but I don't think people are seeing the bigger picture here, like if you take a step back, Amazon is just going through growth pains. This whole pandemic has educated more people that would have never used Amazon to now purchase on Amazon to buy the groceries. It’s safer to buy from home.

[00:19:19] So there's more people on Amazon. Amazon have had to slow push back in delivery days. They, they actually helped FBM rank a little bit better than FBA in certain times just so that they can keep up with the sales. What's going to happen is when everything opens up, when things go back to some form of normality, we're going to see that Amazon's going to come out of this stronger and bigger.

[00:19:49] And I want to, all I want to say is watch out, anyone selling outdoor equipment; anyone selling anything to do with going out. That's going to be the next blow up. That's going to be the next bit that just explodes. So I think as an Amazon seller, if you are in Amazon, you are in the right place right now.

[00:20:08] Like, you know, you might just be seeing some trends that are working against you if you're on the other side of this and the wrong side of this. But it will normalize it. Set a stage. And, um, and I know there's a, there's a, a few of our clients have been incredibly dynamic, so they've had issues with FBA and getting their products in.

[00:20:26] So they just found a free PL FBM and some of them even just started shipping this stuff to their house and delivering themselves and getting friends and family to help. So, there's been an incredible amount of creativity within this space that I've seen too. Right. And before Howard jumps into opportunities.

[00:20:45] I have one more question. And this is kind of like for the mid level Amazon sellers like myself, because although I've heard about DSP through Howard when he said that to me, I thought he was speaking another language and I had to remind him, Howard, I only speak English and some Spanish and some Russian.

[00:21:02] I don't speak that other language. But what that question is, what do these ads actually look like? Are they pretty standard headline sponsored ads, or are they the same ads that we're all seeing? Are those, is there any way to tell the difference between these DSP ads. And where they're coming out on or what, what sites.

[00:21:23] Easy. So, the display ads, they look completely separate, different to what you have what you see in sponsored ads. And these are the ads that, you know, if you go into a product and just under the buy now button, you'll see, uh, you'll see a DSP ad just below, just below the product.

[00:21:44] So just before you get to the enhanced brand content, there's a display ad on the, on the left hand side. When you're on the search results page, that tends to be a banner. In terms of these dynamic ads, there's so many benefits. You can copy and paste any section of any review onto the ad as long as you put a link so that I'm Amazon verified, it's genuine, and you've kind of kept word for word.

[00:22:08] You could put anything anyone said on that. You can upload a logo and put whatever headline you want on the ad. And then you can even go outside of that and create your own ads. You can create custom image ads with whatever message you want on there. So there's, uh, you know, you're going to see a whole load of different types of ads and it's  stuff that I'm going to share during the most of mine.

[00:22:32] I'm going to go into detail, show what these different types of items look like. We haven't even talked about video ads. We haven't even talked about that. And that's like, you know, that's another ball game. Now as we're looking now to test aggressively.  I just noticed on Wednesday last week, Amazon introduced a new video Beta Audience Builder.

[00:22:53] I don't know what that can do, but it's on, so my list now to test. Um, and I know, Amazon have acquired seismic, and they've done this so that they can track, say through the Amazon's DSP. And when that happens, you know, you know, it's like they're just on another level because that's, you know, you can be watching videos on Amazon prime or on IMDB and it can be served a custom ad.

[00:23:19] You know, who's doing that right now? So it's like, it's free. Yeah. Interesting space. So right now, there's some clients that me and you both know of, they're doing about three or $400,000 a day based on this pandemic. So I wanted to ask you, right now in 2020, what opportunities do you see for the Amazon sellers?

[00:23:48] In particular in particular, what opportunity do you see as a result of this current pandemic? Is this kind of focused on Amazon DSP or is it just a general question?  It’s general question.  If you have DSP, that would be great. But man, like, marketplaces are like shooting up everywhere.

[00:24:12] Walmart is just opening up. We're looking to get an agency account with Walmart now. So we're just in the process. The ratio of sellers to purchases on a Walmart is ridiculous. We've got a few clients doing a few thousand a day on Walmart with no PPC. So that's an interesting space. And the shop app, Shopify have created their own app, that so people can buy through mobiles, and that's already got 20 million downloads.

[00:24:39] And if you've got a Shopify store, you can apply to that. So that's another marketplace. Google shopping actions is one I'm watching very, very closely because the big issue of Google was always been, they don't own, take ownership of the complete process. So with Amazon, you can, you can use a sales and add to cart as a way to right as a way to see how well our products do in and then I, and help that product.

[00:25:06] Whereas if Google, they then lost the process from when they click on the website. Whereas with Google shopping actions, you, it's a marketplace just like Amazon on Google. Now, if they get this right, It's going to be a good contender of Amazon. It's not going to overtake, but it's going to be an incredible contender because in terms of traffic, Google wins. If they get the shopping sorted out, and an ad, ads express is gonna.

[00:25:30] It's gonna take preference to other shopping apps because they take a cut of every sale. So market places are opening up.  It's a fantastic opportunity for sellers to then move their listings on to other places, and it's incredible, there's incredible tools. Let me see if I can find one of them, mirror listings and I need to find the name of it.

[00:25:54] But there's incredible tools that will help you clone all of your listings on Amazon and put it onto these other marketplaces. So that's, I think, the biggest opportunity I see right now in this space. I think it's called Listing Mirror. Yeah, that's the one. That's the one I'm missing. You already know about it, Howard. Yeah, that sounds amazing, George and my, my question for you is, do you think that in the future, like obviously right now DSP has rolled out to agencies, but do you think, say, how long do you say that it is before Amazon actually starts rolling this out to individual sellers, or is it ever going to actually go there?

[00:26:30] I'll think, I'll think in about two years. I think in about two years I'll do that. But there's already symptoms of this. So, so the, the display ads that you see in your account, especially if you’re in the US, it was a Beta, but now a lot more, more and more sellers have it. That is a form of DSP. So they're trying to introduce light versions of it.

[00:26:49] The customization of it is so much more basic than what you can do in DSP, but that is DSP. Well, they've just recently allowed you to target customers, other people with ASINS, through a display ad. So they're trying to slowly evolve it by the moment. It's a complicated beast to, and to try and simplify it, they're going to have to do it in small chunks.

[00:27:11] So, so is the DSP is also the old AMG right? Or is that different? No, it's complete. No, it's just the old AAP that used to be called Amazon Advertising Platform. Okay. Yeah. So let's wrap it up. Are there any final words that you would want to leave our audience here? I, I guess what I'm saying is if you were in the Amazon space right now and you're doing good numbers, man, like the world's your oyster right now because I think it's going to get better.

[00:27:44] But that's literally. It's amazing. Thank you George so much for joining us. I learned a lot just listening to what you said as well. It's like the possibilities, the possibilities are endless. Particularly if you're already on Amazon and you have any knowledge  whatsoever. Even somebody like me who's at somewhere along the middle of the road, I mean, well, obviously not doing $300,000 a day, but the fact of the matter is some of the information that George shared.

[00:28:11] I'm excited for because I know that it's going to make my business better, so thank you so much. And, Howie thanks again, for hosting this podcast, I'm really excited about the Professor's Pandemic Event or the PPE event, and if you want more information on the Professors Pandemic Event. We'll need to go to PPE to find out more information.

[00:28:36] So that's pretty much a wrap. Thanks again for joining us. The first inaugural Professors Podcast.  Thank you guys. Welcome to the Professors podcast where we discuss the best strategies to massively improve the reach and bottom line of your business in the current virtual and economic landscape.  Your host, Howard Thai, generates over $5 billion for his clients annually using innovative tactics, both on and off Amazon.