Biz Tips: Lessons Marketers Can Learn From Amazon

Biz Tips: Lessons Marketers Can Learn From Amazon

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Lessons Marketers Can Learn From Amazon

Image Source: Pixabay

In 1994 Jeff Bezos founded Amazon. The online site initially began as a bookseller, with a focused and determined goal to sell paper and ink. As it found success, though, it began to build on its online selling infrastructure and customer base until the “everything you might ever need” behemoth that we are now used to was born. From the history of its rise to the methods and marketing techniques used to get there, what is it that made Amazon such an incredibly unique success story in the modern era when so many other businesses have struggled?

Amazon’s Rise

From its humble beginnings in the ’90s, Amazon slowly and surely marched into the new millennium, and it wasn’t long afterward that the e-commerce giant began to flash some of the mammoth success that would follow. Along with offering an ever-widening array of different products, Bezos’ company began rolling out many of its different, more innovative projects, some of which have become regular parts of everyday life at this point.

Take, for example, Amazon Prime. Not only did Prime grow by leaps and bounds in recent years — literally 35 percent to roughly 50 million users in 2015 alone — but the concept of free 2-day shipping that it introduced has since become a staple expectation for many online shoppers, affecting other retailers in its wake who still require shipping fees and more time to deliver for their e-commerce goods.

As the years progressed, the burgeoning company began to overtake its competitors in numerous markets until it officially began to implement what some have dubbed the “Amazon Apocalypse,” eating up the competition everywhere it turned.

And the whole “eating the competition” bit has been quite literally true at times, such as when they bought Whole Foods in 2017 as a bid to enter the grocery market. With an endless appetite for growth, the company has shown no signs of slowing down and is poised for a long run of market dominance that could stretch far into the future.

Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

With Amazon’s success firmly established at this point, one question that quickly presents itself is how they managed to grow from a book-selling startup to one of the largest companies in the world. And the good news is that they didn’t use some kind of magical spell to get there. In fact, while Amazon may have hit the nail on the head when it comes to their marketing, many of the tactics that they use are perfectly reproducible within other company’s marketing strategies. These methods shouldn’t just be considered, but actively applied whenever possible.

Here are some of Amazon’s best branding and marketing tactics from over the years:

  • Take advantage of free press whenever you can. As an example, Amazon released nearly 250 press releases just in 2012 and part of 2013. Many of those releases came during a time of expansion and were loaded with succinct takeaways, not just legal and business jargon. The lesson? They kept everyone up to date (and kept Amazon on everyone’s minds) even when they weren’t in crisis mode. Take advantage of that free press whenever you can.
  • Keep an eye on your competition. This one is critical, as too many companies wait until the competition “comes to them” or at the least crosses their path before taking action. But often that’s too late. You want to stay aware of what your competition is up to, monitoring what brings them success and learning from their mistakes as often as possible.
  • Create a mission statement that is poignant and simple. Amazon’s mission statement revolves around two basic concepts: customer service and providing every product that their customers may need. Make sure your statement is simple and solid, and then take the time to regularly check on whether you’re sticking to it or not.
  • It’s not always too late to expand. Just because you see competition dominating a section of your market doesn’t mean you can’t start to work towards getting a cut of the sales yourself. Amazon has only recently started focusing intensely on its digital ads, and while it’s still miles behind Facebook and Google, it has set itself up for some smashing success down the pike in spite of its late arrival to the digital ads game.
  • Integrate and build on what works. Think about it: If you buy an Amazon Kindle, you’re going to have the easiest time using Amazon apps on it because they’re built to work together. The same goes for marketing. Amazon Prime was wildly popular, and now we have Prime Day. If you find something is successful, capitalize on it in whatever way you can.
  • Don’t be afraid of innovation. Amazon has been an innovator all along — and not just with cutting-edge technology, either. They’ve revolutionized age-old business models like supply chain management as well by introducing concepts like anticipatory shipping and one-click purchases. If you think you have a way to improve your industry, don’t shy away from exploring your options.

The Future for Amazon (and the Rest of Us)

While Amazon has used many other marketing tactics over the years, the overall concept at work here is that they’ve pursued what works, built on their successes, and kept up on their competition. All of their marketing models have set Amazon up for a long period of success, even in a world that is constantly changing at breakneck speeds. It’s worth learning what we can from the ultra-successful among us as we prepare to take on whatever the future of marketing has in store.

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Lessons Marketers Can Learn From Amazon was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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