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In the old days, if consumers wanted to buy a product or find specials, they turned to the Sunday paper, the radio, or simply visited their local store. Then, the Internet appeared, and everything changed. It became incredibly easy for consumers to find information and, at the same time, gave marketers more ways to push their messages to consumers. But now it seems as if we may be amid a new trend – voice search.
The two leaders in voice assistants are Amazon, with its Echo line, and Google, with its Home devices. A recent article in Forbes solidifies this upward trend in consumer use, focusing mostly on Amazon’s Echo, and how consumers are using it.
In a study of 39,000 Amazon Echo users, it was found that Echo owners spend more per year than non-Echo owners and purchase items more often. In fact, once consumers purchase an Amazon Echo their spending on Amazon jumps 29 percent. Not too shabby! While this is great for Amazon, other retailers are more guarded in their participation, since Amazon typically only pushes Amazon products.
Google, on the other hand, is a completely different story. Google Home may not have been first, but it’s catching up. And it is more attractive to retailers since, well, Google isn’t a retailer. According to the Forbes article, Google recently surpassed Amazon’s Echo in quarterly sales for the first time ever. While consumers can still do searches on Amazon’s Echo, Google’s knowledge-base is far larger; and their technology is designed to help consumers find what they want, when they want it, whether that be information or retail products.
Why does any of this matter to car dealers? Well, voice assistants aren’t going away. In fact, manufacturers recently began integrating Amazon Echo and Google technology into vehicles.
And then Google recently partnered with one dealership, Paragon Honda, to develop technology that makes it easier for consumers to communicate with the dealership. Consumers will eventually be able to schedule service appointments and pick-up and delivery through Google Home, without ever having to call the dealership.
In January, I wrote a blog about the future of marketing and autonomous vehicles that discusses the opportunities for marketers to get their messages in front of consumers who aren’t doing anything but riding in a vehicle. If voice assistants continue to grow in popularity, it’s inevitable that Google will figure out how to integrate marketing messages into their voice assistants – and, of course, create additional revenue.
It is even possible that, rather than using computers for a simple Google search, consumers will shift towards using voice assistants instead. This, of course, could put a dent in PPC revenue for Google that can only be recovered through integrating marketing into Google Home.
Amazon created two products that could be perfect at this – Amazon Echo Show and Amazon Echo Spot. Like the Echo itself, both are effective as voice assistants. And, they also recognize when a person is walking by and display messaging on their screens. Currently, these messages are about news, trending videos, weather, etc. But, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t easily become advertisements. AND, if a customer chooses to watch news via their Amazon device, advertisements could easily be included. Then that “click” that was once done with a computer, suddenly becomes a voice prompt from the customer.
In our technology-filled world, as a marketer you must keep on top of new technologies and think about all future possibilities, so you can capitalize on them once they appear. We can already write a book purely using voice dictation software. Is it an impossible thought that voice assistants will eventually create marketing opportunities?