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Definition, Data Types & Benefits



Definition, Data Types & Benefits

Amazon advertisers have historically relied on pull-based Amazon Ads API calls to monitor their intraday performance on the platform. In 2022, this manual process was given a literal reporting ‘push’ in the right direction with the beta release of Amazon Marketing Stream.

In this article, we’ll unpack what Amazon Marketing Stream is, how it functions, available data types, why it’s so important for advertisers, and examples and use cases for making the most of it in understanding and optimizing your campaigns.

What is Amazon Marketing Stream?

Amazon Marketing Stream is an advertising data streaming service that sends near real-time hourly metrics about campaign performance to advertisers’ AWS account. Advertisers are able to subscribe to different data sets they would like to regularly monitor for performance insights and budget concerns.

Amazon Marketing Stream’s push-based notifications eliminate the need to manually pull intraday insights from the API, solving for any throttling issues. AMS enables advertisers to improve efficiency in a number of ways, including:

  • Use AWS services natively for receiving and processing performance data
  • Improve data integration patterns
  • Significantly reduce or eliminate the need for multiple daily API calls

As shared by Amazon in the AMS announcement:

“Once subscribed, Amazon Marketing Stream will deliver hourly performance metrics, with details such as targeting expression performance by placement and budget consumption messages in near real-time.”

Data Types Available in Amazon Marketing Stream

AMS provides advertisers with two categories of data—reporting data and messaging data.

AMS hourly reporting includes processed advertising performance data itself—traffic and conversions—and the necessary data dimensions for analytics. Retail data is not currently available in AMS.

Messaging data can be thought of more as alerts. These timely notifications are sent in near real-time so advertisers can act quickly and accordingly.

You can get this info for the following datasets: Sponsored Products traffic, Sponsored Products conversions, Sponsored ads budget usage.

Current messaging includes:

  • Campaign changes
  • Ad group changes
  • Ad changes
  • Targeting entity changes
  • Budget usage updates (a notification is sent if a budget allotment is changed by 5% or more)

AMS also provides advertisers with optimization recommendations for existing campaigns, and suggestions for new ad campaigns.

Why is Amazon Marketing Stream Important for Advertisers?

If AMS was choosing a sorority, we have a feeling it would pledge Tri Delta! Rather than focusing on aggregate metrics, AMS pushes delta values to better illustrate performance fluctuations over time.

For example, if you wanted to see the delta of a given keyword’s performance during the 08:00 hour, your query might look something like the below.


In this hypothetical example, the tabular data you could expect that query to return is shown in the below snippet.

AMS hypothetical query output


Being able to zone in on the parameters that can have a very real impact on your campaign strategy is essential to staying ahead in an increasingly busy marketplace.

“The more data you have, the smarter, more intentional and targeted you can be in your campaign optimization. Amazon Marketing Stream helps in uncovering the time blocks that are most active and least active for your brand and category, enabling you to efficiently amplify efforts during the chunks of the day that matter most.”

Ben Gemkow

Ben Gemkow, Commerce Media Manager at Tinuiti

New capabilities for campaign optimization

AMS doesn’t just make optimization insights easier to discover and digest; it brings new capabilities beyond what API-based reporting can deliver.

Advertisers using the reporting API are provided with a daily performance breakdown while AMS reporting provides summarized traffic and conversion data hourly. This level of granularity is essential for many advertisers, particularly those who want to zero in on the hours that matter most for consistently reaching their target audiences.

In addition to improved granular reporting, Amazon Marketing Stream provides a greater number of reporting dimensions.

For comparison:

API-based Reports: Show performance at the placement level or ad level
AMS: Show all available dimensions in a single dataset

API-based Reports: Show performance at the target ID, placement level, or ad level
AMS: Show data for all above dimensions together. This unlocks new granular data that isn’t available anywhere except AMS, to include keyword performance for a specific placement

Get timely data for campaign reporting

AMS gets advertisers as close to real-time data insights as possible. Hourly updates are automatically pushed to your AWS account, ready for review whenever you want or need them. This is especially valuable if you have clients who regularly request campaign performance and/or budgeting updates, enabling you to easily consider the most up-to-date information possible in what you provide.

Course-correct campaigns for operational efficiency

With AMS, busy advertisers are given the information they need when they need it, reliably delivered every hour. They don’t have to remember to do an API pull—or worry about potential throttling issues when they do! This makes it easier to more regularly monitor your campaigns for potential issues or opportunities you can address or leverage.

Who is Eligible for Amazon Marketing Stream?

Amazon Marketing Stream is available to Amazon sellers, vendors, tool providers, and agencies like Tinuiti, including integrated partners and self-service advertisers. AMS is accessible via the Amazon Ads API using your existing credentials; all regions supported by the Amazon Ads API have AMS access as of February 2023, including the United States, Canada, and Mexico in North America.

As noted by Amazon:

“Amazon will not charge advertisers any fees to use Amazon Marketing Stream or to store your data in an Amazon-managed service. However, you might incur costs associated with using AWS, depending on the scope of your data. Learn more about AWS pricing.”

Use Cases for Amazon Marketing Stream

Tinuiti’s team of Amazon advertising experts has been experimenting with AMS since its launch, evaluating the best ways to act upon the near real-time insights it provides. Below, we unpack two Amazon Marketing Stream success stories to consider in your own campaigns.

Soda Brand Sees Refreshing Results Through Strategic Intraday Bid Increases

In both the paid and organic search marketing space, improving visibility for high-value, single-keywords or short keyword phrases can be difficult. In addition to single keywords and short phrases having a greater variety of search intent, they also typically have significantly stiffer competition in both quantity and quality.

So what if you wanted to rank for “soda?” And how could Amazon Marketing Stream data help make it possible?

Our Amazon ads team recently set out to answer those questions for themselves during Prime Day 2023. With a goal of increasing visibility and market share for the keyword “soda” for a soda brand client, Tinuiti’s team increased bids during the highest traffic/highest conversion hours of the day.

To determine the best hours to make the most of a bid increase, they identified historical sales data by time of day through AMS.

After evaluating AMS data, the team built a strategic plan to increase bids by 40-55% during key shopping windows, considering both traffic and the likelihood of conversion. As they were simultaneously focused on scaling visibility and growing Share of Voice (SOV) in the account, they did not reduce bids throughout the day.

And now for the sparkling results…

  • SOV doubled (+104%)
  • Traffic and sales volume increased across the “soda” keyword overall, regardless of the specific test campaign
  • The test campaigns were focused in Sponsored Products, and yet we saw stronger sales volume and new-to-brand (NTB) metrics through the corresponding Sponsored Brands

Overall Account Period over Period (PoP)

  • Impressions: +34%
  • Clicks: +73%
  • Spend: +96%
  • Sales: +273%
  • NTB Units: +570%

Test Campaign PoP

  • Impressions: +29%
  • Clicks: +46%
  • Spend: +74%
  • Sales: +120%

“Optimizing based on AMS Time of Day Insights had a direct positive impact on both the focus keyword and the account overall as it allowed us to capitalize on high-conversion times of day and stand out when we knew the customer was most interested.”

Jessi Shapp

Jessi Shapp, Sr. Specialist, Marketplaces Search at Tinuiti

Intraday Bidding Helps Boost Book Sales for Author

Our Amazon ads team wanted to increase revenue for top evergreen titles written by a specific author for a publishing client. Using AMS data, the team was able to determine which specific days and times were likely to yield the best results.

After identifying the overall busiest days—and specific hourly windows on given days—the team built an intraday bidding plan that would increase bids by 15-30% during these heightened hours of opportunity. The additional percentage amount allotted to each boosted hour (between 15-30%) considered traffic, with bids never being decreased below their typical amount.

You don’t have to wait for the sequel to read all about the results…

  • Impression Change: +73%
  • Clicks Change: +56%
  • aCPC Change: -6%
  • Spend Change: +66%
  • Sales Change: +72%
  • ACOS Change: -2%

“I was really surprised by the results of this test. While I expected to see impressions and sales increase, the scale at which we immediately saw improvements was beyond what I had expected. This really emphasizes the importance of meeting your shoppers where they are at on Amazon and making sure you get your products front and center when you know they’re doing their browsing/shopping.”

Nicole Cooper

Nicole Cooper, Senior Specialist, Marketplaces Search at Tinuiti

The team plans to take their learnings from this campaign into the holiday season, expanding intraday bidding to more seasonal campaigns where bid adjustments would be happening much more frequently/at higher percentages—and overall Amazon competition is much more aggressive.

More Data is Better (over-optimization isn’t)

The greater granularity of data offered by Amazon Marketing Stream is undoubtedly advantageous for brands and advertisers. However, while it’s important to gather and analyze that data, you shouldn’t always rush to make changes based on it. Remember that you don’t have to act on every insight; some performance fluctuation is a natural part of advertising.

It’s also important to give the data collection enough time to offer statistically significant insights. AMS can be a crucial discovery tool whose findings help shape your campaign through different optimization levers.

Ben Gemkow, Commerce Media Manager at Tinuiti, explains:

Ben Gemkow

“Our teams are primarily leveraging Amazon Marketing Stream to better understand when we should allocate more budget during certain periods of the day. Most of the time, this includes an overnight budget reduction and spend increase during the morning, day, and/or early evening, but it truly varies by client and category in ways we couldn’t as easily determine before AMS.

Other ways we’re utilizing AMS data in campaign optimization is through more strategic use of features like dynamic bidding. Through down-bidding we can be more conservative during times when a conversion is less likely, only increasing our bid in auctions where we’re confident we’re going to win. This is an especially helpful efficiency boost for clients who already have strong consumer awareness, or aren’t as concerned with new-to-brand growth in particular.

On the flip side—for brands who want to grow visibility even in instances where they might not win an auction—we can bid more aggressively through dynamic bidding to help get their name out there and in the running.

Or maybe you have a moderate mix? In any scenario, intraday bid adjustments are a valuable tool but aren’t always necessary if you’re savvy with your bid placements and are really in tune with your dynamic bidding model. In combination with bid rules, dynamic bidding, and top-of-search placements, intraday bidding can become another part of your overall bidding strategy, not a full replacement. Take time to digest and react strategically rather than overly responsively to the larger patterns and trends AMS data unlocks for you.


Amazon Marketing Stream provides advertisers with near real-time performance and budgeting updates that facilitate making the most efficient, strategic optimizations possible on the platform. Rather than requiring an API pull, these updates are automatically pushed to the designated AWS account hourly.

To learn more about AMS, check out the Amazon Marketing Stream onboarding guide. To learn more about how Tinuiti can help you realize Amazon selling success, contact us today to chat with an expert!

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The marketing lifecycle: An overview



The marketing lifecycle: An overview

Remember when digital marketing was simple? Create content, throw it over the wall, hope for the best.

Note that we said “simple,” not effective.

To be effective is more complicated, and this keeps accelerating. There are so many options, so many channels, and so many audiences, that effective digital marketing requires a term to which people often react strongly—


Very few people inherently like the idea of “process.” It brings forth visions of rigidity and inertia.

But there simply has to be a framework in which to produce and publish effective marketing assets. Without this, you have nothing but chaos from which productive work gets done accidentally, at best.

How did it get this way for the enterprise? How did things become so interconnected?

  • Marketing isn’t a point in time, it’s an activity stream. It’s a line of dominoes you need to knock over, roughly in order. Lots of organizations do well at some, but fail on others, and thus break the chain of what could be an effective process.
  • Marketing activities overlap. It’d be great if we could do one thing at a time, but the marketing pipeline is never empty. Campaigns target different audiences at the same time, and new campaigns are being prepared as existing campaigns are closing.
  • Marketing involves a lot of actors at vastly different levels. There’s your content team, of course, reviewers, external agencies and contractors, designers, developers, and—of course—stakeholders and executives. Each group has different needs for collaboration, input, and reporting.

Some of the best business advice boils down to this: “Always understand the big picture.” You might be asked to do one specific thing in a process, but make sure you understand the context of that specific thing—where does it fit in the larger framework? Where does it get input from? How are its outputs used?

In this article, we’re going to zoom out for an overhead view of how Optimizely One helps you juggle the complete marketing lifecycle, from start to finish, without letting anything drop.

1. Intake 

Ideas are born everywhere—maybe with you, maybe with your staff, maybe with someone who has no connection with marketing at all, and maybe from an external source, like an ad agency or PR firm. Leading organizations have found a way to widen the top end of their pipeline—the start of their content marketing funnel—and take in more ideas from more sources.

Good ideas combine. Someone has one half of an idea, and someone else has the other half. The goal of effective collaboration is to get those two pieces together. One plus one can sometimes equal three, and more ideas mean better ideas overall. Creativity is about getting more puzzle pieces on the table so you can figure out which ones fit your strategy.

How do you manage the flow of ideas? How do you make sure good ideas don’t get dropped, but rather become great content? The only way to publish great content is to get ideas into the top end of the pipe. 


Optimizely One can streamline and accelerate your content intake using templated intake forms mapped to intelligent routing rules and shared queues. Everyone in your organization can know where content is developed and how to contribute to ideas, content, and campaigns currently in-process. Your content team can easily manage and collaborate on requests, meaning content development can become focused, rather than spread out across the organization. 

2. Plan

Campaigns don’t exist in a vacuum. They share the stage with other campaigns—both in terms of audience attention and employee workload. Leading organizations ensure that their campaigns are coordinated, for maximum audience effect and efficiency of workload.

Pick a time scale and plan it from overhead. What campaigns will you execute during this period? In what order? How do they overlap? Then, break each campaign down—what tasks are required to complete and launch? Who owns them? In what stage of completion are they in? What resources are required to complete them? 

Good marketing campaigns aren’t run in isolation. They’re a closely aligned part of an evolving body of work, carefully planned and executed.


Optimizely One provides comprehensive editorial calendaring and scheduling. Every marketing activity can have an easily accessible strategic brief and dedicated workspaces in which to collaborate. Your content team and your stakeholders can know, at a glance, what marketing activities are in-process, when they’re scheduled to launch, who is assigned to what, and what’s remaining on the calendar.  

3. Create 

Good content takes fingers on keyboards, but that’s not all. 

Content creators need frameworks in which to generate effective content. They need the tools to share, collaborate, structure, stage, and approve their work. Good content comes in part from tooling designed to empower content creators. 

Your content team needs a home base—the digital equivalent of an artist’s studio. They need a platform which is authoritative for all their marketing assets; a place that everyone on the team knows is going to have the latest schedules, the latest drafts, the official assets, and every task on the road to publication. 

Content creation isn’t magic—it doesn’t just appear out of the ether. It comes from intentional teams working in structured frameworks. 


Optimizely One gives your editors the tools they need for the content creation process, AI-enabled editing environments for fingers-on-keyboards, all the way through intelligent workflows for collaboration and approvals. Authors can write, designers can upload and organize, project managers can combine and coordinate, stakeholders can review, and external teams can collaborate. All within a framework centered around moving your campaigns forward. 

4. Store 

Leading organizations look at content beyond its immediate utility. Everything your content teams do becomes an incremental part of an evolving body of work. Content doesn’t appear and disappear; rather, it continually enlarges and refines a body of work that represents your organization over time. 

Good creative teams remix and transform old ideas into new ones. They can locate content assets quickly and easily to evolve them into new campaigns quickly. They don’t reinvent the wheel every time, because they lean on a deep reservoir of prior art and existing creative components. 

Digital asset and content management should store content in a structured, atomic format, allowing your organization to store, retrieve, organize, and re-use marketing assets quickly and easily. 


Optimizely One gives your content team a place to store their content assets, from text and rich media. Content can be archived and organized, either manually, or by using AI to automatically extract tags. Content can be stored as pure data, free from presentation, which makes it easy to re-use. Your content team will always know where to find work in progress, media to support emerging campaigns, or assets from past campaigns. Brand portals make it easy to share assets with external organizations.

5. Globalize 

Business happens all over the world in every language. To effectively compete around the world, your content needs to be globalized. 

Globalization of content is a holistic practice that affects every part of the content lifecycle. Words need to be translated, of course, but you also need to consider cultural globalization—images and symbols that might change—as well as globalization for numbers, currency, and time zones. Going even deeper, you might have to make design changes to accommodate things like differing word lengths and the flow of text. 

Beyond simply changing content, your work process is affected. When does translation happen? Who is authorized to order it? Who can perform it? How do you bring external translation companies into your internal processes, and how does this affect the flow of content through your organization?  


Optimizely One helps you manage the entire globalization process, whether it’s done in-house or automatically via one of our translation partners. Your customers can be served content in their language and culture, and you can carefully control the alternate, “fallback” experience for languages not yet available, or when you’re not translating all of your content.  

6. Layout 

Some experiences need to be visually composed from a palette of content and design components. Designers and marketers want to see exactly what their content looks like before they publish. 

In some cases, this is easy—everyone should be able to see what a web page looks like before it goes live. But what about your mobile app? What about display advertising? A social media update? 

And what happens when you’re modifying content based on behavior and demographics? If you want to see how your web page will look for someone from California who has visited your site before and already downloaded your whitepaper on their iPhone…can you? 

Content no longer leaves your organization on a single channel. Composition and preview is always contextual—there is no single, default experience. Leading organizations want full control over their visual presentation and they know that they need to see their content through the eyes of their customers.  


Optimizely One provides the tools to visually compose experiences across multiple channels and can preview that experience when viewed through the personalization lens of whatever demographic and behavioral data you can dream up. And this works regardless of channel: web, email, display advertising—everything can be previewed in real-time. 

7. Deliver 

Content can’t do any good unless it can reach your customers. You need to publish your content to them, wherever they are, which means having the flexibility to push content into multiple channels, in multiple formats. 

A consumable piece of media is an “artifact.” Your content is the idea and message that make up that artifact. Leading organizations develop their content separate from any concept of an artifact, then transform it into different formats to fit the channel that will spread their message most effectively. 

Sure, make a web page—but also push that content to your mobile app, and into your social networks. Broadcast a text message, and an email. While you’re at it, push the information into the display panel in the elevators. Let’s be bold and broadcast it on the TV screens that play while your customers fill up with gas. 

The key is delivery flexibility. The world of content delivery has changed remarkably in just the last few years. It will no-doubt change more in the future. No platform can anticipate what’s coming, so you just need the flexibility to be ready to adapt to what happens. 


Optimizely One provides complete delivery flexibility. Our systems store your content separate from presentation, and allow multiple ways to access it, from traditional websites to headless APIs to connect your content to mobile apps or other decoupled experiences. Your content can be combined with internally-stored content or third-party content to provide a seamless “content reservoir” to draw on from all of your channels. 

8. Personalize 

Throughout this lifecycle, we’ve moved from content, to artifacts, and now on to “experiences.” 

One person consuming an artifact—reading a web page, listening to a podcast, watching a video—is an experience. Just like one piece of content can generate more than one artifact, one artifact should enable thousands of experiences. 

Technology has advanced to the point where all of those experiences can be managed. Instead of every customer getting the same experience, it can be personalized to that specific customer in that specific moment. 

You can do this using simple demographic or technographic data—perhaps you cut down the information and make your content more task-oriented when you detect someone is on a mobile device. However, the real power comes when you begin tracking behavior, consolidating information about your customers, and giving them specific content based on what you’ve observed. 

Leading organizations have a single location to track customer behavior and data. For every experience, they know exactly what this customer has done, how they’ve interacted with the organization, and they can predict what they’ll do next. Content and artifacts will morph themselves to fit each individual experience. 


Optimizely One connects both customer behavior and demographics along with the tools to activate that data to affect your customers’ experiences. Our platform allows you to track customer behavior and match that with customer demographics—this includes behavior tracking for customers you can’t even identify yet. Based on that behavior and stored data, editors can modify experiences in real-time, changing content and design to match to what each individual customer is most likely to respond. Or let the machine do the work, with personalized content and product recommendations. 

9. Experiment 

No matter how much you know, customers will always surprise you. The right answer to persuading your customer to take an action might be something you’re not even thinking of. Or, you might have an idea, but you’re not confident enough to bank on it. And let’s face it—sometimes, you just love two different ideas. 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could publish more than one thing? 

You absolutely can. And you absolutely should.

Leading organizations let go of the idea that an experience is bound to one version of an artifact. Don’t just write one title for that blog post—write three. Publish them all and show them randomly. Let your customers tell you—by their next action—which one was the right one to use. 

Experimentation allows you to try new things without the inertia of re-considering and re-drafting all your content. Ideas can go from your mind to pixels on the screen quickly and easily, and you can see what works and what doesn’t. Try a new title, or next text on a button. Does it give you better results? If so, great, keep it. If not, throw it away and try something else.

Refine, refine, refine. The idea that you publish content in one form and just hope it’s the right one is a set of handcuffs that can be tough to shake. But the results can be impressive.


Optimizely One allows you to quickly create and publish multiple variations of content and content elements to any channel. You can separate your content into elements and try different combinations to see which one drives your customers to move forward in their journey, then automatically route more traffic through winning combinations. You can manage feature rollouts and soft-launches, enabling specific functionality for specific audiences in any channel. 

10. Analyze 

The key to a learning and evolving content team is a transparent and unflinching look into what happens to your content after it’s published.

Analytics need to be considered in the context of the entire content domain. What content performs well but has low traffic? What content is consumed often but never moves customers down their buying journey? Customer behavior needs to be tracked carefully, then used to segment customers into audiences, based on both your content team’s observations and insights provided by AI. 


Optimizely One offers complete behavior tracking and content analysis, showing you what content works, what content doesn’t, and what your customers are doing during every step of their relationship with your entire digital estate. 

Juggle the entire lifecycle 

“Publishing myopia” prevents most organizations from truly benefiting from the power of their content and marketing technology. Too many ideas are undercut by an obsession with the publish button. We rush content out the door and just throw it over the wall and hope it lands. 

Within that mode of thinking, great ideas get trapped under the surface. Great content is delivered to only one channel in one language. Great experiences never see the light of day because content exists in only one form. And every customer sees the same thing, no matter how their own experience might benefit from something else. 

Remember: the marketing lifecycle is a series of stages

Each stage builds on the last and allows content to grow from a random idea your team takes in from the field and turns it into a spectacular multi-channel experience which rearranges and modifies itself to fit each customer. 

Juggling all of the steps in the marketing lifecycle can be done, but it’s easy to lose the forest for the trees and get too myopic about individual steps in this process. Leading organizations step back, consider the entire cycle from start to finish, and make sure their ideas, their products, and their messages are enhanced and strengthened in every step. 


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Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat



Building Customer Trust: Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat

Addressing customer issues quickly is not merely a strategy to distinguish your brand; it’s an imperative for survival in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace.

Customer frustration can lead to customer churn. That’s precisely why organizations employ various support methods to ensure clients receive timely and adequate assistance whenever they require it.

Nevertheless, selecting the most suitable support channel isn’t always straightforward. Support teams often grapple with the choice between live chat and chatbots.

The automation landscape has transformed how businesses engage with customers, elevating chatbots as a widely embraced support solution. As more companies embrace technology to enhance their customer service, the debate over the credibility of chatbots versus live chat support has gained prominence.

However, customizable chatbot continue to offer a broader scope for personalization and creating their own chatbots.

In this article, we will delve into the world of customer support, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of both chatbots and live chat and how they can influence customer trust. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of which option may be the best fit for your business.

The Rise of Chatbots

Chatbots have become increasingly prevalent in customer support due to their ability to provide instant responses and cost-effective solutions. These automated systems use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to engage with customers in real-time, making them a valuable resource for businesses looking to streamline their customer service operations.

Advantages of Chatbots

24/7 Availability

One of the most significant advantages of custom chatbots is their round-the-clock availability. They can respond to customer inquiries at any time, ensuring that customers receive support even outside regular business hours.


Custom Chatbots provide consistent responses to frequently asked questions, eliminating the risk of human error or inconsistency in service quality.


Implementing chatbots can reduce operational costs by automating routine inquiries and allowing human agents to focus on more complex issues.


Chatbots can handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously, making them highly scalable as your business grows.

Disadvantages of Chatbots

Limited Understanding

Chatbots may struggle to understand complex or nuanced inquiries, leading to frustration for customers seeking detailed information or support.

Lack of Empathy

Chatbots lack the emotional intelligence and empathy that human agents can provide, making them less suitable for handling sensitive or emotionally charged issues.

Initial Setup Costs

Developing and implementing chatbot technology can be costly, especially for small businesses.

The Role of Live Chat Support

Live chat support, on the other hand, involves real human agents who engage with customers in real-time through text-based conversations. While it may not offer the same level of automation as custom chatbots, live chat support excels in areas where human interaction and empathy are crucial.

Advantages of Live Chat

Human Touch

Live chat support provides a personal touch that chatbots cannot replicate. Human agents can empathize with customers, building a stronger emotional connection.

Complex Issues

For inquiries that require a nuanced understanding or involve complex problem-solving, human agents are better equipped to provide in-depth assistance.

Trust Building

Customers often trust human agents more readily, especially when dealing with sensitive matters or making important decisions.


Human agents can adapt to various customer personalities and communication styles, ensuring a positive experience for diverse customers.

Disadvantages of Live Chat

Limited Availability

Live chat support operates within specified business hours, which may not align with all customer needs, potentially leading to frustration.

Response Time

The speed of response in live chat support can vary depending on agent availability and workload, leading to potential delays in customer assistance.


Maintaining a live chat support team with trained agents can be expensive, especially for smaller businesses strategically.

Building Customer Trust: The Credibility Factor

When it comes to building customer trust, credibility is paramount. Customers want to feel that they are dealing with a reliable and knowledgeable source. Both customziable chatbots and live chat support can contribute to credibility, but their effectiveness varies in different contexts.

Building Trust with Chatbots

Chatbots can build trust in various ways:


Chatbots provide consistent responses, ensuring that customers receive accurate information every time they interact with them.

Quick Responses

Chatbots offer instant responses, which can convey a sense of efficiency and attentiveness.

Data Security

Chatbots can assure customers of their data security through automated privacy policies and compliance statements.

However, custom chatbots may face credibility challenges when dealing with complex issues or highly emotional situations. In such cases, the lack of human empathy and understanding can hinder trust-building efforts.

Building Trust with Live Chat Support

Live chat support, with its human touch, excels at building trust in several ways:


Human agents can show empathy by actively listening to customers’ concerns and providing emotional support.

Tailored Solutions

Live chat agents can tailor solutions to individual customer needs, demonstrating a commitment to solving their problems.


Human agents can adapt to changing customer requirements, ensuring a personalized and satisfying experience.

However, live chat support’s limitations, such as availability and potential response times, can sometimes hinder trust-building efforts, especially when customers require immediate assistance.

Finding the Right Balance

The choice between custom chatbots and live chat support is not always binary. Many businesses find success by integrating both options strategically:

Initial Interaction

Use chatbots for initial inquiries, providing quick responses, and gathering essential information. This frees up human agents to handle more complex cases.

Escalation to Live Chat

Implement a seamless escalation process from custom chatbots to live chat support when customer inquiries require a higher level of expertise or personal interaction.

Continuous Improvement

Regularly analyze customer interactions and feedback to refine your custom chatbot’s responses and improve the overall support experience.


In the quest to build customer trust, both chatbots and live chat support have their roles to play. Customizable Chatbots offer efficiency, consistency, and round-the-clock availability, while live chat support provides the human touch, empathy, and adaptability. The key is to strike the right balance, leveraging the strengths of each to create a credible and trustworthy customer support experience. By understanding the unique advantages and disadvantages of both options, businesses can make informed decisions to enhance customer trust and satisfaction in the digital era.

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The Rise in Retail Media Networks



A shopping cart holding the Amazon logo to represent the rise in retail media network advertising.

As LL Cool J might say, “Don’t call it a comeback. It’s been here for years.”

Paid advertising is alive and growing faster in different forms than any other marketing method.

Magna, a media research firm, and GroupM, a media agency, wrapped the year with their ad industry predictions – expect big growth for digital advertising in 2024, especially with the pending US presidential political season.

But the bigger, more unexpected news comes from the rise in retail media networks – a relative newcomer in the industry.

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain how these trends could affect marketers or keep reading for his thoughts:

GroupM expects digital advertising revenue in 2023 to conclude with a 5.8% or $889 billion increase – excluding political advertising. Magna believes ad revenue will tick up 5.5% this year and jump 7.2% in 2024. GroupM and Zenith say 2024 will see a more modest 4.8% growth.

Robert says that the feeling of an ad slump and other predictions of advertising’s demise in the modern economy don’t seem to be coming to pass, as paid advertising not only survived 2023 but will thrive in 2024.

What’s a retail media network?

On to the bigger news – the rise of retail media networks. Retail media networks, the smallest segment in these agencies’ and research firms’ evaluation, will be one of the fastest-growing and truly important digital advertising formats in 2024.

GroupM suggests the $119 billion expected to be spent in the networks this year and should grow by a whopping 8.3% in the coming year.  Magna estimates $124 billion in ad revenue from retail media networks this year.

“Think about this for a moment. Retail media is now almost a quarter of the total spent on search advertising outside of China,” Robert points out.

You’re not alone if you aren’t familiar with retail media networks. A familiar vernacular in the B2C world, especially the consumer-packaged goods industry, retail media networks are an advertising segment you should now pay attention to.

Retail media networks are advertising platforms within the retailer’s network. It’s search advertising on retailers’ online stores. So, for example, if you spend money to advertise against product keywords on Amazon, Walmart, or Instacart, you use a retail media network.

But these ad-buying networks also exist on other digital media properties, from mini-sites to videos to content marketing hubs. They also exist on location through interactive kiosks and in-store screens. New formats are rising every day.

Retail media networks make sense. Retailers take advantage of their knowledge of customers, where and why they shop, and present offers and content relevant to their interests. The retailer uses their content as a media company would, knowing their customers trust them to provide valuable information.

Think about these 2 things in 2024

That brings Robert to two things he wants you to consider for 2024 and beyond. The first is a question: Why should you consider retail media networks for your products or services?   

Advertising works because it connects to the idea of a brand. Retail media networks work deep into the buyer’s journey. They use the consumer’s presence in a store (online or brick-and-mortar) to cross-sell merchandise or become the chosen provider.

For example, Robert might advertise his Content Marketing Strategy book on Amazon’s retail network because he knows his customers seek business books. When they search for “content marketing,” his book would appear first.

However, retail media networks also work well because they create a brand halo effect. Robert might buy an ad for his book in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal because he knows their readers view those media outlets as reputable sources of information. He gains some trust by connecting his book to their media properties.

Smart marketing teams will recognize the power of the halo effect and create brand-level experiences on retail media networks. They will do so not because they seek an immediate customer but because they can connect their brand content experience to a trusted media network like Amazon, Nordstrom, eBay, etc.

The second thing Robert wants you to think about relates to the B2B opportunity. More retail media network opportunities for B2B brands are coming.

You can already buy into content syndication networks such as Netline, Business2Community, and others. But given the astronomical growth, for example, of Amazon’s B2B marketplace ($35 billion in 2023), Robert expects a similar trend of retail media networks to emerge on these types of platforms.   

“If I were Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, HubSpot, or any brand with big content platforms, I’d look to monetize them by selling paid sponsorship of content (as advertising or sponsored content) on them,” Robert says.

As you think about creative ways to use your paid advertising spend, consider the retail media networks in 2024.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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