by Steve McClellan  @mp_mcclellan

North American marketers are more likely to increase their marketing budgets for Amazon in the next year than they are for Google, Bing, Facebook or Twitter, according to new research. 

A study by ClickZ Intelligence, produced with GroupM search shop Catalyst, has found that 63% of companies advertising on Amazon are planning to increase their Amazon budgets over the next 12 months, compared to 54% for Google, 53% for Facebook, 27% for Bing and 23% for Twitter. 

The report also found that only 15% of marketers agree they are using Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to its full potential, while only 17% say they have a fully defined AMS strategy. 

The report is based on a survey of more than 250 North America-based business-to-consumer marketers conducted in July, and in-depth interviews with a subset of those actively using Amazon as a marketing and sales platform for their own brands or on behalf of their clients. 

As part of the research, ClickZ also carried out an online survey of 1,600 U.S. consumers, looking at usage of Amazon, and comparing research and buying behavior for eight categories of retail including grocery, clothing, home electronics and pet care. 

The consumer survey, which was conducted in August, found that 66% of consumers surveyed had bought clothing from Amazon in the previous 12 months, compared to 64% for personal care products and 63% for furniture or home décor. 

The survey also found that 43% of consumers had purchased grocery products through Amazon in the last 12 months. That figure is likely to grow as Amazon scales up both AmazonFresh and Amazon Prime Pantry programs following its acquisition of Whole Foods. 

Chris Humber, Head of Search, Catalyst/GroupM, stated, “Amazon has transactional data, it knows who you are and what you are purchasing. It’s the Holy Grail, and what Google would like to have, the missing piece that allows Amazon to move from predictive to prescriptive search, so they can recommend proactively.” 

The research also explores the use of Amazon’s Alexa voice service by consumers, and the extent to which brands are planning for the growth of voice search. 

According to the consumer survey, 14% of consumers own an Amazon Echo, and a further 32% are considering it. The marketer survey found that only 15% of businesses have developed Skills on Alexa, with a further 23% of companies planning to do so later this year. 

The report can be accessed here (registration with ClickZ required).

This story was originally published on MediaPost.

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