In just a quarter of a century, Amazon has transformed itself from its humble beginnings in a garage to a multinational giant employing thousands of people. Today, people all over the world rely on the platform to purchase books, movies, music and a range of products from the retailer itself and hundreds of partner companies. But how did it get here?
An oft-cited Millward Brown Digital Study found that 63 percent of Amazon Prime members, and 13 percent of non-members, will buy something during a visit to the website. With a loyal customer base, and prioritization of low prices and fast, inexpensive shipping, Amazon’s marketing model is obviously working. Here are five lessons to garner for your own business.
- Keep an Eye on the Competition
Amazon has an internal team dedicated to maintaining the platform’s competitive advantage by seeking out, monitoring, and expanding intelligence on Amazon’s competitors. While it does you no service to become obsessive about your competitors, it does make sense to keep your ear to the ground on changes to your business environment.
Doing so will not only help you anticipate your competitors’ next moves but might also shine a light on areas of your business where your marketing strategy could do with a brush-up.
- Seek Out Good Public Relations
According to the publication Construction Business Owner, “Public relations is arguably the most cost-effective form of promotion under the marketing umbrella.”
Indeed, it is essential that your messaging is consistent, and stays on point. Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos himself is personally involved with all of Amazon’s outgoing press releases and shareholder letters. After all, these communications are widely read across the world.
- Be Patient
It took Amazon a painstaking nine years — almost a full decade — until the retailing giant was able to report its first full year of profit. In this age of instant gratification, Amazon’s long journey is an important narrative to keep in mind.
Chief Strategy Officer at GEM Advertising, Peter Kozodoy, uses these four strategies to help cultivate patience as you pursue the long-term, step-by-step success that you’re truly aiming for:
- Fill the gap with questions – start with the question, “what should I be asking about this situation that I haven’t yet thought to ask?”
- Consider all perspectives – be patient in considering all perspectives before you act. Doing so is sure to position you more strategically and effectively in the long-run, even if it looks like you are dawdling in the short-term.
- Reflect on past experiences – the price of impatience is a high one. Impatience only leads to more time wasted, potential revenue and profit squandered, the loss of respect and trust of your stakeholders, or much worse.
- Be honest about the limits of your leadership – be conscious of your tendencies to rush into new initiatives. Be patient, and you’re more likely to avoid having to backtrack.
At the end of the day, the internet has shifted the balance of power from the producer to the consumer. In this day and age, brands must compete with wisdom and a solid communications strategy. Savvy consumers will know if you’re cutting corners.