A Look Under the Hood, Amazon’s DSP

As the third-largest ad seller in the country, Amazon has secured its stronghold in the advertising landscape. With its millions of products available for consumers to peruse, research and purchase, it has become the go-to source for a great deal and quick delivery time. In a similar way, Amazon has also become a valuable resource for advertisers with its DSP – a programmatic advertising platform with many benefits for those who have the privilege, and expertise, to access it.

We sat down with our own Amazon Certified Programmatic Traders for a brief Q and A session to cover some of the basics of Amazon DSP.

1. What is the Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP is a demand-side platform that enables advertisers to programmatically buy display, audio and video ads at scale. Mindstream Media Group uses this DSP along with others to execute successful client campaigns.

2. Can ads be placed outside of Amazon when using Amazon DSP?

Yes, ads can be placed outside of Amazon through the Amazon DSP. Audiences can be reached on third-party websites and apps, and through other exchanges like AppNexus, OpenX, etc.

3. What are the benefits of using Amazon DSP?

Advertisers are able to leverage Amazon’s exclusive, first-party shopper (in-market) audience to target potential customers and track product purchases/subscriptions. This access to this first-party data is especially valuable as third-party cookies face elimination.

Source:  Amazon

Another benefit of using the Amazon DSP is that advertisers have access to high-quality, guaranteed inventory across premium publications like A&E, Hulu, Forbes, CBS and FOX. Brand-safe environments like these uphold quality standards to ensure ads do not appear next to inappropriate content.

The platform also provides granular conversion and Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) tracking. This allows performance to be measured at the individual product level for maximum transparency to influence optimization strategies.

4. What are the requirements to use Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP can be used by advertisers regardless of whether they sell products on Amazon. As for the minimum spend requirement, the threshold may vary based on service option and country, but a minimum spend of $35,000 is typically required.

5. What advertising goals does Amazon DSP help support?

Amazon DSP can be used to support a variety of advertising goals including brand awareness, consideration, driving sales and increasing customer loyalty.

Common KPIs unique to Amazon are CPDPV (Cost per Detailed Page View) and Amazon ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).

6. Who can use Amazon DSP?

Although selling products on Amazon is not required, brands that do can utilize all of the features available for a more complete picture to track product sales, ROAS and leverage valuable shopper data. Because of its extensive reach, Amazon DSP is best suited for advertisers who want to programmatically buy advertising at scale.

7. What are the advantages of having an agency partner manage Amazon DSP?

By using an agency partner to manage Amazon DSP, brands benefit from enhanced visibility, elevated campaign learnings and granular conversion reporting.

Using an agency like Mindstream Media Group to manage Amazon DSP campaigns provides deeper insight and recommendations to advertisers. Our expertise within the platform has helped clients optimize their advertising investment and better understand the nuance between audience and media types, and more.

8. What kind of performance data is available when using Amazon DSP?

Performance data such as impressions, clicks, product page views, ROAS and more are available inside Amazon DSP. Brands get performance visibility down to the product level to gain insight and help improve future campaigns. Having an agency partner with certified traders can help advertisers take full advantage of the platform’s capabilities.

Source:  Amazon

9. How are ads created?

Advertisers can use their own custom ads or quickly produce creative options using Amazon templates and creative builder platform.

Source:  Amazon

10. How can brands get started with Amazon DSP?

Mindstream Media Group’s Amazon Certified Programmatic Traders can help your brand maximize ROAS with complete campaign transparency and insight into optimizations and reporting.  Contact us today to determine if Amazon DSP is right for you.

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The agency landscape has changed dramatically as a result of numerous challenges across the marketplace. Learn more about how we’re filling the gap for agency partners that have found themselves with limited media and research capabilities. In this episode of Fast-Forward the Conversation, VP of Business Development Fabio Ramos and Planning Strategist Misty Castellanos join President Zac Keeney to discuss the value Mindstream can provide not only to agencies but to their clients as well.



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[Case Study]: Media Restructure Delivers 55% Lead Efficiency in Pandemic Year

The Graduate Management Admission CouncilTM (GMAC) is a global, mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools. They own and administer the Graduate Management Admission TestTM (GMATTM), the most widely used exam for graduate business school admissions. Mindstream Media Group has had the pleasure of partnering with GMAC for several years to hone strategic media initiatives that grow their business, even in spite of the difficulties created by the coronavirus pandemic.


GMAC found themselves facing simultaneous challenges. The issue of potential MBA candidates opting out of business school to go straight to the workforce, combined with the increase in schools dismissing the need for the exam when recruiting new students, were already a trend impacting the business over the last several years; moreover, the 2020 pandemic caused all global test centers to shut down for months at different times as the virus progressed in each country. This resulted in a large decrease of their primary revenue source (in-person testing), considering at that point all tests were conducted in person.

These challenges needed to be overcome with less resources compared to previous years, due to the impact of the pandemic.


In order to solve these complex challenges, we gathered data and insights from previous years of campaigns and built a robust, yet lean, paid media funnel where the target audience (potential MBA candidates) could be nurtured through their journey from initial awareness and engagement, to the purchase of test preparation products, all the way through to the exam registration.

Based on the historical data, we completely restructured GMAC’s campaigns across all platforms involved, resulting in a channel mix allocation which included paid search, paid social and programmatic display. Creative focused on each step in the customer journey to resonate with users whether they had not yet considered graduate management education, were merely considering it or were ready to purchase study materials or register for the GMAT exam. Specific and measurable KPIs were identified within each stage to gauge campaign success.

The carefully planned funnel, along with remarkably close monitoring of data through our analytics technology and intel, allowed for agile adjustments on all types of allocations from channels, to creatives, to global regions, with the objective of maximizing the efficiency of every marketing dollar.


At the end of the most challenging year in recent times, the overhauled marketing strategy and implementation of the paid media funnel yielded extraordinary results. In 2020, there was up to a 55 percent improvement (decrease) in Cost per Lead and a 70 percent improvement (decrease) in Cost per Registration compared to the previous year (2019). We anticipate continued improvement throughout 2021 as well as funnel stage allocations are adjusted to fine-tune the structure.

55% YoY Decrease in Cost per Lead


70% YoY Decrease in Cost per Registration


Julie Slovin, GMAC Senior Director of Strategic Marketing notes, “The funnel performed so well that the performance gains that we saw this year I think were so significant that they sort of outweighed the market losses that resulted from the pandemic, from an advertising and marketing effectiveness and efficiency standpoint.” Click here for the full interview.