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Alexa, Grow my Brand

A few weeks ago, I attended the Data & Marketing Association (DMA)’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas. I heard about some innovative ways marketers are integrating data and new technologies into their marketing plans. I hope to share a few of these in upcoming blogs – here’s one to start.

Growing brand recognition on the Amazon Echo (a.k.a. Alexa) –

Alexa, grow my business

In 2014, Amazon introduced us to the Amazon Echo, more commonly known as “Alexa”. Since that time, over 33 million voice-first devices like the Echo have been purchased in the U.S. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of consumers will be browsing via a voice commanded device, such as the Echo or Google Home.

What does that mean for marketers? It means that marketers need to develop new plans and strategy for how to grow brand in a voice-only environment. You may think your radio marketing experience would be a similar, but it is not. With Alexa, the game is very different. Alexa doesn’t allow brands to interrupt content for advertising. Instead, to grow brand recognition with Alexa, marketers need to rise to a new challenge and begin thinking creatively about their products and services through the development of a “skill”.

A skill is similar to a mobile phone app – it provides the user with a service, information or entertainment in a specific and targeted way. But, because advertisers have lost their ability to interrupt in this environment, sponsored skills need to be creatively derived based on potential consumer need and usefulness. Marketers need to determine the most logical place their brand is going to intersect with the consumer. What value can be provided in that moment?

Here is an example. Zyrtec, the allergy medication, has a skill that offers consumers their daily allergy forecast. Start your morning off with a dose of Zyrtec and your allergy forecast. Smart marketing.

Tide offers consumers information on stain removal. Did you spill some coffee on your shirt? Ask Alexa (and Tide) how to remove it.

Several brands have created skills that tie into services they offer. Call yourself an Uber from your Echo, order a Domino’s pizza, or shop for items from Amazon. All of these things can be done in a hands-free environment through a skill on Alexa.

Here’s the good news. The number of brands who are finding success with Alexa skill marketing is growing.

Here’s the bad news. There are a number of brands already finding success with Alexa skill marketing…and growing.

With over 30,000 skills to choose from, the skill your brand puts out must be easy-to-use, useful to consumers and present content that goes beyond a commercial. It will take creativity, ingenuity, measurement and ongoing testing.

If you are considering skill development and marketing through Alexa, I’d love to hear how your experience goes. The B2E team can help develop a testing plan and assist in KPI setting and monitoring.

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