Amazon Prime Air – Behind the Curtain of an Amazing Marketing Case Study

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    5 Best Practice Marketing Tips from an Online Giant

    Watch this (and TWEET about this astounding Amazon Prime Air Video.)

    Amazon Prime Air Drone test flight

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    Click this link to view Amazon footage from a Prime Air drone test flight (Use the Back Button to return to this page.)

    The Inspired Marketing of Amazon Prime Air

    The online giant Amazon.com does it again with gorilla marketing & PR tactics. I invite you to take a closer look at the reviews and marketing “take-aways” offered by industry gurus. This campaign looks clean & professional BUT DOES AMAZON’S CEO HAVE ULTERIOR MOTIVES? Some suspect so.

    Amazon Prime Air by Lisa Chapman

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    Amazon Prime Air’s Launch

    The video you watched (above) was originally imbedded on the Amazon page above. The creators of this page use lots of ‘best practice’ promotional tactics, starting with:

    • announcing the drone’s launch with excitement: “We’re excited” are the very first 2 words.
    • using share buttons in the lower left corner. These days, you’ve gotta have them on EVERY post, pdf, web page – everywhere.
    • using short promotional copy. Readers really only scan. Really. (See how I bold the key points?)
    • offering imbed links – HTML code – for visitors to use in their blog.
    • linking to more content on their site: The supportive FAA letter, and even cross-selling job openings with Amazon Air.

    CBS’ 60 Minutes’ Charlie Rose interviewed Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. In its world debut, he revealed the astounding new delivery service. According to Bezos, Amazon Prime Air will send customers their 4-5 pound packages within 30 minutes after they click the Buy button. His “optimistic” estimate to 60 Minutes was that Prime Air will be available to customers within 4 to 5 years.

    NOT JUST great marketing tactics?

    While it looks unassuming, with standard promotional elements, the launch could be hiding a much bigger, more urgent strategy for Amazon’s stakeholders. The parties involved? Everyone AT THE TOP, including the CEO. Could the Board be involved?

    According to a post on HubSpot, “these drones were not designed to carry packages, but to give a lift to Amazon’s image. For one thing, today (12/2/13, the day after this 60 Minutes episode aired) is Cyber Monday, the day when everyone goes shopping online. Amazon somehow got CBS and 60 Minutes to create a 14-minute free ad spot for Amazon on the eve of this huge shopping day.”

    “Did Amazon control the timing of the story and insist that the piece must run on the night before Cyber Monday? Was this a condition of the deal in exchange for getting access to Bezos? I think you’d be naive to believe otherwise, but who knows? Maybe it was just a lucky coincidence.

    Another factor at work

    “But there’s another factor at work here. Bezos and Amazon are still reeling from the recent publication of a not entirely flattering book by BusinessWeek reporter Brad Stone. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon portrays Bezos as a ruthless tyrant and a “penny-pinching ball buster,” as Gawker put it.

    As soon as the book came out, Amazon swung into action trying to discredit Stone. Jeff Bezos’s wife MacKenzie Bezos published a scathing negative review of the book (on Amazon, of course) in which she claims the work contains “numerous factual inaccuracies.” Craig Berman, VP of Global Communications at Amazon, issued his own statement blasting the book and criticizing Stone for not making an effort to get his facts right.

    Amazon is usually “tight-lipped”

    “This is a very big deal. Amazon PR typically doesn’t say anything to anyone. They’re the most tight-lipped bunch in the business, right up there with Apple. Suddenly they were all over the place. Worse, the spin campaign didn’t work. Stone’s book became a best-seller, and even won the prestigious Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award.

    Depressing? Or Brilliant?

    “Those of us who work in marketing should offer a tip of the cap to our peers at Amazon. These marketers just couped a major TV network and got 60 Minutes, a legendary investigative journalism program, to carry their water for them and help bury a book that contains some serious, and critical, journalism. Depending on your point of view, that’s either incredibly depressing or incredibly brilliant. Maybe both.”

    Bravo! For more detail on one person’s opinion, access the full story.

    If you finished reading this post, others will too, so please take 5 seconds (!) to share on Facebook, Twitter or your favorite social scoop. Thanks!

    Use the following HTML code to imbed this video in your Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn posts:

    <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/98BIu9dpwHU?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Marketing and Social Media.

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    ABOUT Lisa M. Chapman:

    Lisa Chapman helps company leaders define, plan and achieve their goals – both online and offline. After 25+ years as an entrepreneur, she is now a business and marketing consultant, business planning consultant and social media consultant. Online, she works with clients to establish and enhance their brand, attract their Target Audience, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert them into Buyers. You can reach her via email: Lisa (at) LisaChapman (dot) com. Her book, The WebPowered Entrepreneur – A Step-by-Step Guide is available at: