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22/08/2012 by

Why Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Is The True eCEO?

Most eyes are on Google, Facebook and Apple. But Amazon might be the true global digital empire. Is Jeff Bezos the global eCEO and the ‘new’ Steve Jobs?

I have been an Amazon client since 1995,  and fan since day one. Here you might learn why the company is named after the Amazon River, one of the longest rivers in the world.

When it comes to shopping online, Amazon has the largest global audience within the domain retail sites, beating Wal-mart, Apple and eBay, as well as China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Amazon had 20 percent of the worldwide audience (15+ years) among retail and auction sites in June 2011, according to comScore reports, which said Amazon drew 282,2 million unique visitors in June 2011. All people with purchase intent…

Number 2 was eBay with 223,5 million visitors, or 16,2 percent of the global audience. China’s had 156,8 million visitors, or a 11,3 percent reach. started as online bookstore in 1995, but Jeff Bezos has been looking at consumer insights and innovations since then. And he kept re-engineering the Amazon offerings and brand numerous times.

Maybe that’s what CEOs and CMOs could learn from Jeff Bezos: the power to keep transforming the company and brand very fast when needed?

Another thing CMOs could learn from Bezos: don’t put all your money in media and advertising, invest in your own channel or platform, becuase the biggest thing Amazon got right was its platform, CRM engine and great customer experience.

And maybe, Jeff Bezos might not be a charismatic leader like Steve Jobs, but let’s take a look at a few of Bezos’ powerful moves the last 17 years. Are you ready?

Amazon’s path to predictability and profit?
Amazon was the first global brand to launch an affiliate program. In its first year Amazon had already 300,000 small affiliate sites, increasing it’s aided brand awareness tremendousely, and pulling its first customers through the funnel in a no cure no pay way.

Jeff Bezos has always had a crystal clear vision on the why. Why he was doing things. Why consumers would embrace the new offerings. Why he should transform his Amazon again and again.

However, several ignorant and short-sighted analists have critized Bezos’ approach many times, mainly looking at the What: What are the short-term revenues and profits?

They did not seem to understand that Bezos’ strategy was about building a long term love brand, and forgot to see that Bezos had a why, a purpose and a loing term vision.

Amazon moved from books to its own eReader called Kindle and the Kindle Fire. And Bezos kept being on the move.

More recently Bezos launched the Amazon App Store, taking it up against the undisputed heavyweight world champion in App generated revenues: Apple iTunes. See our previous story The App Battle: Apple vs Amazon vs Google.

In 2011 Amazon spent $4.6 billion on warehouses, the company’s largest operating expense, Bloomberg reported.

In 2012 Amazon acquired Kiva Systems for $775 million. Kiva is a company that designs robotics aimed at increasing supply chain optimization.

So Bezos has been re-engineering his platform and servcies since the start of his company. And he has been refreshing his brand with innovations over the years.

To the analysts that do not value his vison and approach, I would like to say: It takes an architect to vision and build cathedrals, everything else is just bricks in a wall.

This was the last part of the Amazon trilogy. But there might be more stories in the future.

I hope you will find the time to read part I and 2 as well:
What CMO’s Could Learn From
What CMOs Can Learn From Amazon – Part II

What About You?
Are these stories about Amazon helpful to you? I would love to read your feedback in the comments below.

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About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairman at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 3 digital agencies (sold to WPP) and global chief social officer at Mindshare. Now he is ‘freejack’ consultant and a sought after keynote speaker.


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