Voice in the Marketing Mix

Voice apps have often been afflicted by discoverability issues — brands with skills and actions may struggle to sustain momentum because users might not know that these applications exist. To gain more awareness, brands have started weaving their voice presences into broader marketing campaigns utilizing promotional tools to drive users to their experiences and apps. Cadbury’s Google Assistant action in India that supports the 5 Star chocolate bar’s “Do Nothing” ad campaign is one recent example. This week, we discuss two companies bringing voice experiences into their marketing campaign efforts. First, TripAdvisor partnered with Abu Dhabi’s tourism department for a virtual tour skill to provide entertainment and exploration for homebound travelers. Secondly, Bayer launched an effort targeting smart speaker radio listeners with interactive audio ads. As consumers continue to spend time at home with voice-enabled devices, businesses are figuring out how to develop voice strategies that are more connected with their overall marketing efforts and serve as unique campaign extensions.

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Alexa the Tour Guide

Tripadvisor is tackling cabin fever with the release of the first virtual voice tour on Amazon Alexa devices. In partnership with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, the skill guides UK Alexa users through a voice tour of Abu Dhabi. Using voice commands, virtual travelers can choose their own journeys including nature tours, restaurants, sightseeing spots, and other destinations selected from Tripadvisor’s data and customer reviews. The skill is one of several digital channels supporting a broader campaign for Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Department. Additionally, the group is utilizing audio ads to help drive Alexa users to the experience and boost discoverability. More on The Drum

Nuance Acquires Saykara

Nuance, provider of voice AI solutions for healthcare professionals, recently acquired Saykara, a startup whose product is a mobile voice AI assistant for physicians. Doctors used the Kara assistant to take notes and handle paperwork with their voice. Nuance will embed these capabilities and Saykara’s technology into its own expansive voice suite. As the healthcare industry looks for ways to reduce the administrative burden of professionals and drive efficiencies, acquisitions like this are indicative of how companies are tapping into a growing opportunity and utilizing voice assistants to enhance employee experiences. More on GeekWire

Voice for Vitamins

Pharma company Bayer launched interactive smart speaker ads for its Berocca vitamin brand. Amazon Echo smart speakers users listening to Global Radio stations can hear an audio ad about the Berocca products and then ask Alexa for more information about the Berocca Boost line or to order the product. In the past year, brands have piloted interactive voice ads on streaming platforms including Spotify, Pandora, and NBCUniversal’s Peacock. Additionally, companies like Instreamatic have been exploring voice-enabled radio ads for mobile listeners. With this momentum, brands may see new value in the traditional radio ad experience and opportunity to reach a broader audience inclusive of smart speaker listeners. More on Campaign Live

Stats Don’t Lie

67% increase of voice interactions on Alexa devices in India in 2020.
data from Amazon via Voicebot.ai)

860,000 requests per day by Indian customers to control Alexa-enabled smart home devices. (data via Amazon)

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RAIN on The Alexandra Mysoor Show

RAIN CEO Nithya Thadani joins The Alexandra Mysoor Show to discuss the state of voice technology and how assistants are being adopted by both consumers and businesses. Additionally, Nithya shares insight on how RAIN has worked with notable brands and where she sees the future of voice technology headed.

Listen to the episode here.