In the Q2 2018 earnings call, Amazon CFO Brian Oslavsky said that Amazon’s advertising business is “now a multibillion-dollar program and growing very quickly." To help support this growth, Amazon is expanding into a new office in downtown Boulder, which will soon be filled with Amazonians innovating for the company’s advertising business. In addition to Boulder, Amazon has advertising teams in several locations across the U.S., including Seattle, New York City, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and Austin.
Tim Craycroft, Amazon’s Vice President of Multichannel Advertising, has been with the company for over 12 years. Tim shares insights on the mission of the ad team in Boulder, key innovations, and the reasons why Boulder is such a great place to live and work.
When did you start building up the ad tech team in Boulder?
We opened a small office in Boulder in July 2017. We’ve grown quickly – which is why soon we’ll be moving into our new office in downtown Boulder with dozens of Amazonians.
What does the advertising team in Boulder focus on?
In Boulder, our team focuses on measurement infrastructure, algorithms, and products for Amazon Advertising. This includes defining and building new ways to help agencies and advertisers understand, and continually improve, performance for their Amazon advertising campaigns. It’s still early, but most of our programs in Boulder share a common focus on advertising analytics and measurement - giving teams more opportunities to interact, learn together about Amazon’s culture, and develop a strong local community of our own.
Can you speak to some of the distinct program areas?
All the programs in Boulder ultimately help advertisers better measure and optimize their advertising, which helps customers discover more relevant products and services. At the infrastructure layer, Boulder programs include things like Anomaly Detection to manage data quality through rule-based heuristics and machine learning, and new primitive services like a control plane that enables near real-time management and elastic scaling of storage and compute resources like AWS Elastic Map Reduce clusters.
What makes Boulder an appealing location?
Boulder has a strong tech community, including a dynamic startup ecosystem and a number of more established companies. Boulder also has a strong concentration of advertising tech talent.
Then there’s the actual city itself. Boulder is a great place to live and work, especially if you enjoy outdoor adventure. Awesome road and mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, fishing, and skiing – are all at your doorstep or a short drive away. Three hundred days of sun per year doesn’t hurt either.
What do you like to do for fun in Boulder?
Skiing is my passion and something I do with my family every winter weekend. I’m getting back into mountain biking and camping, and have my eye on fly fishing, but must confess I spend a lot of the warmer months planning to ski again…
How will the innovations coming out of the Boulder office help our customers?
Advertising drives product discovery, helping customers find brands and products they may not know about on Amazon.com. Our ability to show customers highly relevant ads also drives better performance for these advertisers – which include vendors, sellers, and authors – and helps them grow their businesses on Amazon.