David Zimmerman of DDZIM/PPC published his “Review of All Amazon Advertising Tools” on YouTube in July. The review analyzes some 43 tools — including the Finch Advertising Management Platform — for advertising on Amazon. I’m happy to report that David ranked Finch 7th in the review.
I’m also happy to report that in David’s analysis, Finch is the only tool with auto-create for campaigns for new products for Sponsored Products. Finch is also the only tool with the possibility of optimizing for keyword rankings, profit, and inventory levels, which I discussed with David in a video call. An important note is Finch auto-creates campaigns for all ad platforms, not just Amazon.
“Finch was indeed the only one that had automation based … on keyword rankings, profit, and inventory levels. …I did not expect any tool to even have two of those. So to have all of them basically, that’s pretty awesome.”
— David Zimmerman
Before we get into my conversation with David, let me share a little about David.
About four years ago, David worked at Sellics, an Amazon Advertising specific software provider. While at Sellics, he gained significant expertise with Amazon Advertising. He then decided that he wanted to do his own thing and consult. Today, he describes himself as an Amazon Advertising consultant and PPC geek.
There are a lot of Amazon Advertising software providers and David was always getting asked by people which one they should choose. As a result, early on in his consulting career, David chose to focus on offering transparency about Amazon PPC providers. To help companies fill the gap, he started doing annual reviews of available Amazon Advertising solutions. Which is what brought us together — when Finch placed 7th in his 2020 review.
Before we dig into our conversation, let’s look at the scoring methodology for David’s review.
Review Scoring Methodology
Even though David summarizes his scoring system in his review, shared as a video on YouTube, I summarize it here also.
David and his team give each tool:
- Three points if the tool gets a “super” rating for automation features that show in green on the review sheet.
- Two points if the tool gets a “yes” for an automation feature.
- One point if the tool has a variation of an automation feature, but not the full feature (“partly”).
- Two points if the tool gets a “super” rating for basic analytics and manual optimization features that show in blue on the review sheet.
- One point for a tool that gets a “yes” for having basic analytics and manual optimization features.
- A half of a point if the tool has a variation of basic analytics and manual optimization features, but not the full feature (“partly”).
Essentially, a “super” rating means the tool has advanced settings for a feature. A “yes” means the tool has the basic feature that most tools have. A “partly” means that the tool offers the feature for some Amazon ad types, but not all.
David shared that he and his team think automation features are important, “because that’s what’s really going to save users a lot of time.” You can learn more about David’s scoring system in the review on YouTube from the three-minute to six-minute marks.
And you can find the timestamps for specific features covered in the video’s details on Youtube.
I asked David about some of the specific features during our conversation, which I share here.
My Conversation with David Zimmerman About the DDZIM/PPC Amazon Advertising Tools Review
Me: What would you say the most important features you looked at were, specifically for Amazon Advertising solutions?
David: Definitely bid management. That’s the one thing that all of these tools started with.
You just want to be profitable at the end of the day. And that’s what bid management does. After that, target harvesting, that’s the next big thing that will save a ton of time. And really, it’s so important in terms of getting that right campaign structure and then making use of that campaign structure. So that’s the second big automation feature.
As you can see in the video, I didn’t put more value on those, because you know if I start giving different scores to those kinds of different automation features, it becomes complicated and people don’t agree.
Me: Having seen all of the features and capabilities of so many tools, if you had a big engineering team, what would you recommend they build as the next thing or at least the direction that they should focus on for the next year or so?
David: I would definitely focus on target harvesting and to make that perfect. Not sure any tool has it perfect yet; to be able to make that campaign structure work as you want it.
That’s also where most customers ask me as a consultant, which tool can really do this for me and move the essence to that specific campaign and then maybe move certain search terms to negative, exact in that campaign, negative phrase, and the other campaign, and so on. And also move branded keywords to another branded campaign, for example. So to make that all possible, and yet to really save people a lot of time. I think it’s the biggest differentiator that people can build right now.
Me: I’m obviously from Finch, so I’m going to take the chance while I’m talking to you to ask you a bit about our performance. Is there anything that stuck in your mind when you were looking at the Finch Platform where you thought, that’s an interesting insight or that you didn’t see in other software?
David: Finch was indeed the only one that had automation based on external data for all of those points. In other words based on keyword rankings, profit, and inventory levels. So that was actually a big surprise for me. I did not expect any tool to even have two of those. So to have three of them to have all of them basically, that’s pretty awesome.
David shares his surprise at learning that Finch has all three automation capabilities scored for in the review — keyword rankings, profit, and inventory levels.
The keyword rankings thing; that’s I think the most powerful one, perhaps even the feature that after the target harvesting, I would put as the next big feature to work on for tools. So if you can kind of ensure to always be in that top page and always have that visibility. If you want to really try to dominate that market, if you feel you have a product that can dominate that niche, that is extremely powerful.
David shares the importance of keyword rankings automation in competing in the digital ad space.
Me: Many people share that the reporting in Amazon Seller, Vendor Central, and Advertising is not that helpful in many cases. Would you agree with that? Or how do you see the importance of external or your own reporting on Amazon?
David: That’s why there are so many tools, Amazon’s reporting is just not sufficient. However, I think they are catching up in terms of reporting. They are improving a lot, and the way to go for tools will eventually be automation. That’s just where they can differentiate from Amazon, especially with things like external data, like profit. Amazon will never be able to provide it because people don’t give the product costs to Amazon. So things like automation especially will be what’s important to tools in the future.
Me: For the software providers ranked above Finch, there’s only one that also does Google Ads and that surprised me a lot. I thought the big ones would be all cross-channel providers and cross-channel platforms because we think cross-channel reporting would be extremely important. Is that something you would focus on as well, or is that something you haven’t taken into account much?
David: It’s not in the scoring system specifically. It would make it too complicated to include that. But it is, of course, very powerful. And I was a little bit surprised that only three or four or five tools offer Google Ads. But I think most of them come from the Amazon space only. So they have at least a lot of other tools, SEO especially. So that’s certainly powerful. And social advertising as well would be powerful to include here to have that in one tool would be great.
Me: Next to reporting, one of the biggest features that Finch has is a lot of emphasis and focus on account management. We come from a Google background where it’s almost impossible to offer something without account management. Do you think that on Amazon it’s also important to have management account management included in your platform or service?
David: Obviously, it cannot hurt to have it. Especially in the start to have somebody guide you to what strategies you should be following can be extremely important.
That’s something that I was pondering to add to this sheet. I only have this managed services column here, which is again something kind of different. But it’s really difficult to say who has account management as such because everybody has some kind of support and the lines are just blurry. But you’re right, if it’s good account management, wonderful.
David shares his thoughts on the importance of account management as part of a digital marketing software solution.
Connecting with David and the Full Review
I closed out my conversation with David by letting him know that my colleagues at Finch and I found his review insightful. I also asked him how people can connect with him if they have questions.
David stressed that he doesn’t offer people access to the review spreadsheet. He does though offer a breakout of features covered and the timestamps where they can be found in the review video’s details on YouTube. I’ve included the video here. You can also watch David’s full analysis on YouTube.
You can see Finch’s score and feature checkboxes at the timestamp of 25:25 to 25:35.
To connect with David, find him online at the following links:
David updates the Amazon Advertising Tools Review each year. If you connect with him, you’ll be able to see next year’s update when it’s released and where Finch, of course, will be number one.
If you want to know more about Finch and how we can help you automatically optimize search, shopping, and display on Amazon, Google, Bing, and DSPs, reach out and connect with us.