The impact of Alexa on the Australian marketing industry
The Australian market is seeing increasing adoption of some of the world’s most sophisticated voice recognition speaker technology. Amazon Echo and Google Home have been making waves in the U.S. market with over 47 million citizens having access to either one or the other.
However, these devices are still taking their first steps here in the Australian market space with only half a million consumers. Still, they are being installed and used in an increasing number of Aussies.
For us here in Australia, Amazon Alexa can;
- Tell us where petrol is cheap today, what the traffic looks like on our regular commute to work and helps our kids with their homework and research questions.
- Activate routines, schedules, and automate tasks like turning on the lights, playing favourite music at certain times, showing certain images and videos on televisions, etc.
- Enable notification for various activities ranging from reminders, timers, and calls to the delivery of packages from Amazon and even pizza from local Domino stores.
- Provide support for radio and music and she plays music from Spotify and books from Audible.
- Amazon has also optimised Alexa for the Australian scene with the addition of local accents (debatable:)), skills and knowledge.
Although Alexa has enjoyed some measure of success over here, most of us are still divided on the topic, with some celebrating the arrival and others questioning its need. But these technologies are set to disrupt the Australian economy with industries such as media and marketing predicted to enjoy the most benefits.
How Alexa is revolutionising service delivery
Major Aussie brands like NAB, Qantas, Hipages, Seek, Energy Australia, and Airtasker are getting on board with these voice-based interaction platforms to expand their offerings to consumers and provide more qualitative and relevant services. For instance, Alexa owners can use the platform to allocate tasks via Airtasker using key phrases and commands such as, “Alexa, ask Airtasker to find me a plumber”, they can ask for the account balance with NAB, order an Uber, and ask Qantas for flight details.
Media companies such as SBS News and ABC News are using the platform to push their flash briefings for news, sports, and weather directly to consumers.
Other service examples are that Alexa owners can manage their EnergyAustralia’s electricity and gas accounts via the platform or use it to search for local qualified tradespeople on hipages. Individuals can also use it to perform job searches via SEEK, or make restaurant reservations on Dimmi.
These qualitative services can all be accessed by simple voice commands which is opening up great new opportunities to engage with- and offer value to customers in ways that truly resonate.
Alexa and the Australian marketing industry
With personalisation becoming more important in today’s ever-changing and increasingly competitive marketplace, stakeholders in the Australian marketing industry have begun searching for new ways to push more relevant content and ads to consumers. Although ad slots are not yet available, brands can utilize Alexa’s “Skills” feature to get in front of customers by creating a personalised service that provides value to end users.
Amazon launched over 10,000 Alexa Skills for the Australian marketplace, enabling businesses to leverage Amazon’s knowledge and pioneering work in the field of voice design. Some of the most popular categories of skills on Alexa include news, education, gaming, lifestyle, and novelty/humor.
The marketing industry is focussed on creating a more immersive experience for consumers and get ahead of the competition. Australian businesses are discovering new ways to adapt and integrate voice-based interaction technology to their business processes and service offerings to help us add value as well as personalise the experience with brands.
With Alexa Skills feature, brands can leverage its lead generation/management capabilities to accelerate lead conversion efforts and support their sales operations. Organizations have begun to replace/augment outbound telemarketing activities by pre-qualifying leads using IVR (interactive voice response) technology. By answering a few simple questions first, we all save time.
They can also enable customers to conduct simple transactions such as account information updates and bills payments. Integrating IVR within payment gateways increases convenience by allowing consumers to make payments via voice-activated technology, and assisting businesses to focus on payment collection activities.
These are just some of the opportunities open to Australian brands. With over 10,000 Alexa Skills available to the Australian marketplace, there is a world of opportunity for brands who are leveraging IVR technology to better their product and service offerings to consumers.
Innovation, integration and collaboration
Amazon Alexa and Cortana, the digital assistant for Microsoft products, are getting integrated now (Aug 2016) in the US market, which is an exciting development for future prospects of seamless and device agnostic access to a digital assistant of choice.
This is going to be an exciting space for businesses to engage in.