Marketing Amazon's Alexa
To some, Amazon’s Alexa has become such a consistent part of everyday life that it’s like having a know-it-all roommate that you can actually put up with and knows like everything. To others, Alexa may seem like a rather frightening voice-activated robot who makes you feel like you’re never really alone and is an invasion to your most private moments. But she can tell us how to spell jalapeño and freestyle rap if she’s asked, so sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.
So with everything up-and-coming, we find ourselves asking, when will brands take hold of this and invade this technology with advertising? According to data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Alexa and Google Home have sold a combined 27 million devices in the United States. Honestly, we are not totally shocked by these numbers. In this fast-paced, instant gratification world we live in, it was only a matter of time there was an advancement in technology to save us even more time. More and more people are going to want to be a part of this technological wave, which means another opportunity for marketers to throw their creative minds at this to see how they can capitalize on this, without annoying consumers. It can’t be as simple as :15 ads. After all, nobody wants to hear a shampoo ad before Alexa answers your question about the weather.
The Tech Wild-West
Voice-assisted technology is still working it’s way through the market, gaining popularity as people become more and more comfortable with the concept that they can now talk to their computer, and it will answer them with a sweet, robot voice. The marketing features of Alexa are certainly in it’s infancy stage, but marketers have begun to fuse their branding into voice optimization through programming “skills” into Amazon’s Echo (a popular product utilizing Alexa). Brands can build custom, cloud-based skills that act as a service that Alexa can then utilize if a user enables it via their mobile device application. Already, big name brands have begun to get their hands dirty with simple, yet useful skills.
Revel's Top 3 Brand "Skills"
Tide has been on our radar lately after their Super-Bowl commercial that essentially made every other ad a “Tide-ad.” They found a simple, but extremely useful skill to incorporate with Alexa. Tide has developed a skill that allows Alexa to give you step-by-step instructions on over 200 types of common stains through their skill rightfully named Tide - Stain Remover. Genius, right? As we’re scurrying to rinse and dab the coffee off our shirts, we could simply launch an Alexa app, hands-free, and go along with Tide’s expert opinion while we curse the world for ruining our favorite white shirt. Way to go Tide, you nailed it.
For our fellow allergy-sufferers out there, spring can be a real ass-kicker, and you’ll probably reach for the allergy medicine, Zyrtec, a time or two. For that reason, Zyrtec created a skill named, “Daily AllergyCast”. Since Alexa is connected directly to the internet, she is able to store information like your location’s weather, pollen levels, etc, which in turn allows Zyrtec’s skill to provide it’s personalized Allergy Impact score. This essentially stores relative data to the users allergy influencers and let’s them know how the daily environmental factors will hit them. This Alexa skill is extremely beneficial for the person who needs to pop allergy meds like Tic-Tacs during this time of year and is an awesome avenue for branding. Reminding consumers that they’ll need a Zyrtec today keeps people using it and allows the sales to keep flowing.
For those of you who follow Revel’s Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you know that pups are a big deal around here, so we are particularly interested in what skill Purina developed. Ask Purina is basically a tool to help people find the right dog for them. Alexa will respond to question’s like, “Tell me about dogs that are good with children,” “Tell me about dogs that don’t shed,” or “Find breeds that are good in apartments.” You might be thinking, I could just Google that. Yes, you’re absolutely right, but that’s not the point. The point is we now have a more tech-savvy, time-saving way to get our answers and kudos to Purina for giving it a go.
And just for the hell of it; the Revel dogs, enjoy!
Well, there’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that we know the answer and the bad news is that the answer is….nobody knows. What we do know is that these smart brands are at the forefront for voice recognition software marketing, and their applications are generally useful, but is this the limitation of how these products will be used by brands? Will the voice-recognition product frenzy continue? Alexa, what do you think?
Revel specializes in developing marketing strategies for companies of all sizes. Have any questions on how we can help you develop your business’ marketing plan? Give us a call or shoot us an email, we’re ready to help! firstname.lastname@example.org