Can Voice Assistants Be A Strategic Marketing Channel for Brands Today?

Our smartphones have become centerpieces of everything we do. It's estimated that the average amount of time spent is about five hours a day. That's a considerable number, a massive tell of where the customer experience starts. It gets more interesting when you account for voice interaction. Every smartphone includes a voice assistant with it, or has the ability install a voice assistant of choice. So within those five hours of smartphone time, your most significant potential for audience connection comes to life. 

With so much potential, let's go through some details on how a voice marketing strategy might work for you.

What is a Voice Strategy? 

Voice strategy refers to the combined marketing efforts using the vocal channel. Creating your approach involves making the following decisions:

  • Which voice channels would work best for our approach?
  • What is the best way to connect with people via this marketing channel?
  • Do our target customers primarily use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa?
  • How do we want to add voice to the overall marketing strategy?

When selecting a voice strategy, it's crucial to understand how it works. Knowing how people commonly use it will enable you to understand potential limitations better. It's also essential to maintain your brand voice throughout the strategy. Having a consistent marketing voice will enable you to continue to attract your target customers. 

Your best approach is to think about voice as another extension of your marketing strategy. However, there are some unique aspects worth mentioning:

Four Strategic Advantages of Using Voice Assistant Marketing

#1: Voice-Activated Ordering (When Selling Products or Services)

My Starbucks Barista, a voice-activated ordering service, enabled Starbucks to gain customers on command. Through a creative approach to voice activation, they use this unique channel to get people to order coffee remotely while driving to work. 

On Amazon Alexa, using the phrase, "Alexa, order my Starbucks," gives customers the ability to order from any Alex-powered smart devices. Undoubtedly, providing more ways to purchase your product gives people fewer reasons to object to buying your product. 

How Can Voice-Activated Ordering Be a Strategic Advantage? 

Leveraging voice technology when others aren't is an untouched sales channel. This channel is something that other coffee places have yet to engage with. Competitors will scramble to address the gap in their marketing channel, thus providing Starbucks another model for customer loyalty and brand awareness. 

#2: Making Hands-Free Payments (Financial Institutions)

More than 30% of people plan on making voice payments by 2022. Garanti BBVA, a Turkish-based banking company, is one of the early adopters of this technology. Being able to make a payment with your voice is something available on mobile devices with Google Assistant. This feature comes with Google Payment integration. Once again, this is a creative example of how vocal integration helps.

How Can Hands-Free Payments Be an Advantage? 

Voice-activated payments are something unavailable through other banks. Garanti can use it as a selling point for their business. Convenience is an excellent motivator, and fortune favors the bold...especially when others are wary about a new method of payment acceptance. 

#3: Upselling and Cross-Selling

When in product sales, the more general forms of voice marketing go back to upsells and cross-sale. You don't have to look far to see it, as the complete smart home solution relies on voice-activated features. For example, you will need an Amazon Echo (or Google Home) to control your home with voice.

When using the Echo, Amazon takes knowledge to suggest new books or products. Using Amazon Skills, you can keep your product at the forefront of your customer's minds. For example, Allrecipes uses this to deliver their recipes to the customer, often placing suggested products or utensils within these recipes. 

How Can Voice-Activated Cross-Selling Be a Strategic Advantage? 

Companies have excellent potential to push complementary products directly from a customer's smartphone, smart speaker, or smart home device. Amazon has been one of the first to make vocal recommendations using its in-home smart products. If you already have an active customer, you already have an "in" for selling complementary items. Doing so automatically can enable you to create unique advertising methods. 

#4: Personalized Services

Voice assistant usage works to help companies understand their customers. Waze provides an excellent example of this, as about 60% of people use voice services for safer driving. However, Waze uses your navigational data to find services they can advertise to you as you approach local businesses or key areas related to your destination. 

In this case, voice-enabled devices work more like an opening. So rather than voice shopping, it uses a voice-based service to target you more efficiently. Google Maps also does this but typically takes a more subtle approach beyond direct advertising.

How Can Voice-Activated Services Be a Strategic Advantage? 

Leveraging popular location-based services is a great way to advertise physical services. For example, gas stations on the internet can enable people to become aware of discounts. If you live in a commuter town, doing so might bring in business that other local gas stations might get due to being in a better position. Provide some unique reasons for people to come to your gas station over the others. 

Are Voice Assistants an Effective Marketing Channel Now?

Voice-enabled marketing is an underutilized aspect of many businesses. Whether you are a local business trying to draw traffic or a large corporation needing a unique approach, voice is an excellent step. 

As vocal search and voice assistants continue to grow, your target market will shift with this popularity. If you want to be part of this new age of companies leveraging voice applications, contact our team to see where you can start.