“We need to be the best AMC agency out there and highlight that while we are an Amazon agency, and can optimize your spend there, AMC enables us to support your omnichannel strategy and success better than ever before.“
At Amerge, we are fortunate to have a remarkable team of individuals who continually inspire us with their hard work and passion. Today, we are thrilled to introduce to you our brand-new Managing Director of the US market, Anna Atkin. Let’s delve into Anna’s captivating journey in this insightful interview.
Welcome to the team Anna! Before we dive in, could you share a bit about your background and how you embarked on your professional journey?
I have been in advertising for 14 years starting with TV, then digital, to Amazon where I have spent the last 8.5 years with opportunities to work in Seattle, London, and New York. My north star has been creating meaningful and lasting relationships and helping clients solve business problems with solutions I truly believe in. Staying true to that has served me very well and led me to Amerge!
What inspired you to join Amerge as the Managing Director of the US market?
The main word that comes to mind when thinking of this role is innovation. I joined Amazon when their Advertising business was a small, scrappy business unit. It was a great opportunity and I’m proud that it’s now a huge organization and a key growth lever for the broader Amazon business. That said, I really loved the building phase. Seeing some of my former Amazon colleagues build a customer-obsessed agency and watching them grow from salespeople to visionaries has been really inspiring. The consistent flow of new ideas, agility to serve customers, and ability to create bespoke solutions drew me to Amerge and I’m excited to join on that mission.
Could you describe your prior experience working with Amazon and the roles you held?
Amazon was an incredible journey for me. I joined in 2015 when a recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn and wanted to discuss roles at Amazon in Seattle. I was living in Chicago at the time working for Discovery Communications, and the opportunity piqued my interest. I was then relocated by Amazon to Seattle and worked as an AE. I did that for about two years across publishing and then auto. Next, I transferred to the UK office as an AE in Home Improvement. A year later, I was moved into management. I started the 3P team in the UK and then moved over to manage one of the largest revenue teams in CPG. After 5.5 years in London and two babies, my husband and I decided to move back to the US and landed in New York. Since January 2022, I have managed a team in Home Improvement and Recreation in Amazon’s large customer sales group (LCS).
What specific skills or expertise do you bring that will contribute to the success of Amerge?
The combination of a deep understanding of both Amazon Advertising solutions as well as the advertising landscape outside of Amazon allows me to truly understand how Amazon can fuel a company for success both on and off Amazon. I have seen Amazon’s solutions and reporting evolve over the years from PPC to Streaming TV and from no ROAS reporting to AMC. I have also worked with customers of all shapes and sizes (small family-run businesses through global enterprises) and understand the different strategies to support each.
What initiatives or strategies do you plan to implement to ensure Amerge stays ahead in the highly competitive Amazon industry?
AMC, AMC, AMC. Amazon Marketing Cloud is the tool I have been waiting for almost 9 years to bring to customers. It allows clients to not only see how Amazon’s solutions work together through Path to Purchase but also has the capability to layer in 3rd party inputs to showcase omnichannel impact. Amazon is not resourced currently to help every client utilize AMC and that is why an agency partner like Amerge is pivotal. We need to be the best AMC agency out there and highlight that while we are an Amazon agency, and can optimize your spend there, AMC enables us to support your omnichannel strategy and success better than ever before.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges a US Managing Director might encounter when collaborating with clients and partners in the Amazon ecosystem?
One of the biggest challenges I foresee is the number of agencies that exist in the US. There are hundreds of agencies that make honing our craft even more important. We need to be clear on what differentiates us and I believe we are already starting to do that by being the first agency partner to receive four Amazon awards.
How do you plan to address these challenges and overcome potential obstacles?
I have the advantage of having been on the inside and noticing the areas where Amerge sets itself apart from other agencies. This is the main reason I joined the team.
Amerge is positioned very well to help many clients in the US for two main reasons:
- We are Amazon experts focused on Amazon Advertising. Many other agencies scale too quickly, they take on more accounts than they can serve with the right level of customer support and they rapidly scale to other retail channels (Target, Walmart, Best Buy, etc.). While an omnichannel approach can be appealing to clients, I truly believe in Amerge’s focus and partnership with Amazon. The depth of experience we offer to improve the performance of Amazon Ad spend, our partnership which gives us access to all of Amazon’s capabilities, and the agility we bring allows us to be nimble in our approach to align with our clients’ goals both today and in the future.
- Amerge’s technology blows me away. A common pain point of my salespeople at Amazon was that not all the systems spoke to each other and in turn, representing holistic reporting was a challenge. One of the best parts about Amerge’s solutions is they truly work together, and they do that very well. The problem that Amerge has solved is how to show that in a clear, digestible way that provides not only a holistic picture but also better insights. And again, they are nimble with this tech and constantly adding new features and value to clients. Amerge also has the advantage of being part of the AMC Partner Accelerator Development program to ensure we are implementing all of the levers and reports available.
How do you stay updated on industry trends and changes to adapt and navigate these challenges effectively?
I always take a consultative approach when working with clients. I want to hear from them. What are their challenges currently? What are their goals? What do you struggle with in how Amazon’s ad solutions work? This allows me to find the best solution to solve their needs. Clients selling on Amazon have all sorts of unique challenges that ebb and flow and having the agility to address those challenges as they change is key. I also stay up to date with the trades and trends in the market. The current economic climate has clients even more focused on the performance of every media dollar they spend. Reporting and transparency are incredibly important to navigate successful client relationships and economic challenges.
What keeps you motivated and driven in your professional life?
Professionally I like to be excited and challenged in my day to day. I like to have the space to come up with ideas and be in an environment where I can turn those ideas into reality. Most importantly, I want those ideas to provide value and in-turn RESULTS that help my customers.
How would you approach expanding our agency’s client base and penetrating new markets?
I am going to approach my job at Amerge the same way I approach work with clients. My first plan of action is to set a goal for myself. This requires aligning with my leaders to understand what success in the US looks like in year one. Then we can start to build a longer-term vision, where we plan to be in 3, 5, and 10 years, and what we need to do in order to get there.
Secondly, I need to make sure that Amazon Advertising US knows our name. Beyond our name, we need to make clear our value proposition, differentiate ourselves, and start to build trust through customer success both with Amazon and clients. Having led Advertising within Amazon, I know how important it is that customers understand not only new products, but how they work, and how they impact their primary goals, whether it’s topline sales, product launches, or branding.
I also want to always prioritize quality outcomes over scale. I want to be thoughtful of whom we take on and how we can uniquely serve them. I will be selective in bringing the agency to the right customers where there is a clear business problem we can help solve. Quality outcomes stack up and form the foundation of your reputation. I plan to build Amerge’s US reputation through positive customer outcomes in year one.
What advice would you give to a brand that is starting to sell on Amazon?
My advice would be simple: start to sell on Amazon when you have a long-term vision and a marketing budget that affords your brand a chance to succeed. There are so many products in each category sold on Amazon and having a trusted advisor, such as Amerge, is more important than ever. We can help ensure they are using the right tools, pulling the right levers, and getting the right insights to support that long-term vision. In short, play the long game, and don’t be afraid to use an expert to help you get there.
How can potential clients get in touch with you?
Anna, this was very inspiring! Thank you so much for your time and insightful answers! We wish you great success in building Amerge on the US market!