Is this another wake-up call for brands to invest in voice strategy and prepare for Alexa ads and other voice advertising?
Amazon has stated that they will be ‘taking it slow’ with Alexa ads. This new voice ad addition to the Amazon content eco-system is something to watch. We aren’t suggesting you go all-in on investing in voice strategy but definitely keep your eyes on this one.
No specific plans have been released as of yet, but we do know from several reports that Amazon has been in private discussions with Procter & Gamble, Clorox and others. It’s also worth noting that Clorox’s CMO, Eric Reynolds, has discussed collaboration with Amazon for Alexa ads in recent interviews, hinting at Amazon’s up-and-coming plans to continue to disrupt the advertising space.
Reynolds’ prediction? That voice and e-Commerce sales will grow much faster than marketers expect, which is all the more reason to be prepared before things suddenly take off.
How Will This Affect the Alexa Experience?
Perhaps it was inevitable that Alexa would not remain ad-free forever. As a developing platform, it’s unlikely that Amazon would have had such tremendous success with Alexa if ads were present from the get-go. Now that Alexa is in nearly 15 million homes, Amazon can now start to explore how to make more money from its captive audience.
If you’re thinking that Amazon’s ads will be similar to TV or radio commercials, you would be thinking way to conventionally. Instead, they will be subtle and quite targeted.
Let’s say you use your Amazon Echo to re-order Clorox Wipes. Alexa could suggest you add on another Clorox product to your Amazon cart and confirm with a simple yes or no voice confirmation.
Or, perhaps you ask Alexa the best way to remove a stain from a clothing item. Alexa could offer suggestions for products that may be helpful, even using past shopping history to inform the ads and products it suggests.
So, in other words — it will be a completely new and different (did we mention, personal) experience that is yet to be determined.
Amazon has to be careful in how they approach voice advertising via Alexa ads. If ads are coming up too often, Echo device owners are sure to become unhappy with the sponsored content. If suggested ads or promoted search results are off-base, frustrated users will stop using those features.
It seems as though for now that Amazon’s initial focus of ad partnerships will stay within the realm of household products and people who make frequent purchases of those items via its website. This provides a much narrower and predictable target, as opposed to someone who makes somewhat sporadic purchases on Amazon.
What to Do to Prepare
Ultimately, e-Commerce marketers have no choice but to prepare for voice advertising as voice-enabled speakers more than doubled in 2017 to 36 million units. Amazon is currently capturing 71 percent of the market, and the Alexa app recently topped the Apple App store.
From the above stats alone, it looks like Alexa is here to stay, and making your brand as voice friendly as possible should be more than just water cooler chat. Get ready for a new ad medium, coming your way!