Alexa, What is a Voice Marketing Strategy?

“Always think about how to get your audience’s attention” was the first marketing tip that Gary Vaynerchuk, the chairman of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia, shared during the Adobe Imagine 2019 Conference. However, getting your audience attention is becoming more and more difficult as competition increases and people’s attention span decreases.

In Forbes article about the future of marketing, Bill Boulding, Dean of the J.B. Fuqua Professor of Business Administration, revealed that understanding your consumers is key to getting their attention.
He shared that understanding your consumers today means knowing everything about them from their specific patterns, decisions, and experiences. This understanding helps brands go beyond even grabbing their audience attention to building trust and encouraging their transition from consumers to brand advocates. One thing that has gotten a lot of attention and trust lately is voice technology because it is simple to use, efficient, and familiar.


The technology has become more common on mobile devices, for example using Siri and google. Also, through the presence of voice assistants like Alexa/Echo, Google, and Apple’s voice-enabled Internet of Things in houses. According to data collected by Search Engine People, 60.5 million people in the U.S. are already using voice assistants when making decisions about products and placing orders. ComScore says that by 2020, 50 % of all searches will be voice searches.


In addition, this technology is becoming smarter every time it is used. The artificial intelligence behind it is evolving to not only service consumers but to predict their intent and behaviors.

Voice technology is changing how consumers search and make decisions about products, services, and sometimes experiences. In a recent Bright Local Survey, 58% of consumers surveyed answered that they have used voice technology to search a local business in the past year.

Based on all that, voice marketing has become one of the strategies that marketers are considering in their strategic marketing plans. In addition, audio marketing is making its reappearance slowly but surely. Now how fast will brands take advantage of this technology is what will make a difference. This is all a new era and it will take some trial and error.

One brand that already took advantage of the opportunity is Domino’s Pizza. The brand introduced an easy order option and made it available on Alexa in the U.K. Also, it launched a pizza brand’s personality, called Dom. Dom responds to the consumers’ questions in the brand’s tone of voice. According to Nick Dutch, head of digital for Domino’s UK, 20% of customers had used Alexa to order pizza just two months after launching.

If voice technology is becoming one of the fastest technology in understanding audiences and getting their attention, what should we expect next from Alexa and Siri? Will companies be paying top dollar to have an ad randomly spoken to you from your Google Home? Or will the devices become our future influencers suggesting sponsored brands?
Imagine what would marketing and communications campaigns look like ten years from now?

 

 

Sources:
https://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/07/31/dominos-turns-amazon-echo-let-customers-order-pizza-using-only-their-voice
https://www.cmo.com/features/articles/2019/5/15/10-marketing-tips-from-gary-vaynerchuk-at-adobe-imagine-2019.html#gs.v71s9w
https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/just-say-it-future-search-voice-personal-digital-assistants/1392459
https://www.martechadvisor.com/articles/content-marketing/marketers-need-to-know-this-about-the-future-of-voice-audio-in-2019/
https://www.brightlocal.com/research/voice-search-for-local-business-study/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2018/05/31/is-voice-set-to-be-the-next-big-thing-in-marketing/#585f99d7d5f0

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9 Responses to Alexa, What is a Voice Marketing Strategy?

  1. Nancy Velasquez says:

    Hi Nagham,

    This actually is a little scary to think about, I have an Alexa at home and we have it connected to our lights and also our televisions. I always wonder if she is listening to me and my conversations. However, I never thought of the possibility that the Alexa or a home device would be used to randomly market to you while you are at home! At the moment, the only time Alexa communicates on her own is when we have notifications about an Amazon package delivery. I can imagine the use of it though for marketing purposes, also suggesting specific brands instead of others. This really is a crazy time to think of the way that marketing communications will change over time.

    Thanks for you post!

  2. Ben says:

    Hi Nagham,

    This was a really timely post for me in the job I work at actually – the electrical engineering department at USC. We have a few industry-leading researchers working on voice technology at the moment. One thing that they’ve been trying to address is the next step in voice recognition: emotion and tone.

    I think this is going to play a much bigger role in voice marketing as well. It’s one thing for voice recognition to get better and better at understanding what we’re saying. But they’re trying to get these systems to recognize anger, frustration, sarcasm…and do it all across more than one language!

    I think that this aspect of the technology is going to add such a whole new dimension to what can be done with voice recognition and I’m pretty interested to see where it’s going to go from here.

  3. Mahogany says:

    Nagham,

    I have to agree with Nancy, I love the article, but all of this “know your consumer” mumbo jumbo is actually a little…cryptic. I think that voice marketing and AI crosses a thin line between knowing your audience and borderline spying on your audience. In one of the quotes, the speaker mentioned knowing the habits and patterns of consumers and as a marketer, I completely agree that having that sort of research on your target audience is key for knowing how to well…target them (lol). But, as a consumer, I always feel extremely vulnerable when I’m talking to a friend about Papa John’s or look up a pizza recipe, then pizza ads begin popping up everywhere! I’m being silly, but I did appreciate this article, good job!

  4. Marcia says:

    Hi, Nagham,

    You are really picking our minds with this one. I can’t even imagine a future where technology voices are more frequent than human conversation. Even just the reaching out to ask a question or receive an opinion is now dependent on devices. Just think how the pioneering of Google for answers or asking our phones with voice for questions is just automatic. I don’t know if I will ever get used to depending on technology over another human being, or even my own relevance in someone else’s life. Have you noticed in conversation, someone will ask a question and then follow with, oh, nevermind, I’ll just Google it. I know friends who are uncomfortable with Alexa being in the bedroom, and even when it is silenced, it feels like they are not alone! I guess we still have a lot to learn and accept, but I do hope in the advancement of all of this, we still continue to depend on and talk with each other. Where humans respond from may be imperfect, but emotions and reactions, even expressions of excitement, awe and puzzlement cannot be replaced. There is a reason we as humans are wired as we are, for the true benefit and connection with those around us.

    Marcee

  5. Jason Dove says:

    Negham,

    I think this is a very timely article considering the times. This data centric way of marketing to people by knowing as much as you can about a person so you can predict their next move is very much the wave of the future. Cambridge Analytica proved that if you can build a good enough model you can predict people’s moves.

    The new audible collection devices that are coming out should make people very wary about what they are actually giving up when they install these devices. The benefits they provide are very alluring to people. Just this past weekend I was hanging out with my cousin and she had the google device. It was easy to request a song or get information about things going on around Las Vegas, but it made me think that google had effectively listened to us talk all weekend long. It was actually a little creepy to think about.

  6. Tripp Whitley says:

    Hi Nagham,

    Great post! So relevant, especially as you hear more and more stories of the various AI’s listening in on our conversations, then our shock as advertising of related products show up in our feeds. To your point about the future, I imagine we’ll see marketers take further advantage of this… perhaps upping the ante on how to capture or engage with an audience that expressed an interest in a product that was “overheard” by Alexa or Siri.

    Recently, I had a conversation in my car about buying a mountain bike, and sure enough Trek [bike manufacturer, just in case] was all over that in my Instagram feed. That’s ok, I wasn’t surprised at all, plus I think I had already followed them. But if I were a marketer at Trek, how about I show up with a couple of bikes somewhere near by zip code, and say “hey come ride these!?” I imagine they could come directly to my house, but pretty sure that would break the “creepy” barrier. That being said, I’ve already been normalized to the eavesdropping-to-ad phenomena, and just accept that I get 40 spam calls a day (no joke!) on my iPhone… so I can imagine a future where marketers swarm find out you want a new bike and swarm you like the taxi drivers at the Cancun airport.

    More likely, I think the future looks like the advertising environment depicted in Minority Report, and the Alexas and Siris of the world are just more devices gathering our preferences so we can be marketed to directly based on those, and then will be more likely to make a purchase. Eek! Someday we’ll probably look back on the peaceful banner ads we saw, or how we didn’t mind that our AI’s eavesdropped and then collaborated with other AI’s to organize a quick pitch.

    Great read!
    Tripp

  7. Leonard Revilla says:

    Hi Nagham,

    AI information posted in your article always fascinates me. This is such a relevant and important topic for marketers. Voice AI technology is just beginning to predict human thought and emotion processes. Tech such as this will shop for us and find the lowest costs. All this sounds like something from a science fiction movie but it has become reality. Anyway, for marketer it means becoming better storytellers by focusing on human experience. Nice work!

  8. Benita says:

    Hi Nagham,

    Technology is taking over! I don’t think I like it. There is no going back. As AI gets smarter and smarter, consumers will not be “bothered” with Alexa recommending a pizza for dinner or a visit to the a new local restaurant. Who would have thought we would could pick up the phone today and unknowingly talk to a non-human to make a reservation at a restaurant or schedule a haircut? We are slowly being programmed to accept technology for what it is. Ten years from now, we will look back on what we are learning here today in our MCM program and we will be amazed how far we have come.
    Great post!

  9. Becky says:

    I’ve joked with my husband about my secret boyfriend Jersey Mike, because his sandwiches have a hold over me. I’m ashamed I didn’t think of Dom myself! Though I am creeped out by the privacy issues, I am also wondering HOW MUCH PIZZA ARE DOM USERS EATING? Yikes.

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