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Targeting customers through voice-powered devices

As voice-powered devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant, are rapidly increasing in popularity, brands have started to develop applications for these devices to effectively target customers, according to a recent Financial Times article.

Businesses from almost every sector have begun developing these applications: the Campbell Soup application allows users to search for recipes, the Domino’s application allows users to order pizza, the Uber application allows users to call rides and the Capital One application allows users to check their account balances.

Yin Rani, Vice-President of Integrated Marketing at Campbell, says making the shift was an obvious choice. “Many places where we interact by screens today will ultimately become more voice or gesture-based,” Rani said.

Rani added that the company is taking notes from companies like Netflix, who offer “unique, personalised solutions” because consumers are beginning to expect this level of individualisation. Campbell’s voice app will try to achieve this by giving personalised dinner suggestions that include its own brands, which include Campbell’s soup, Pace salsa, and Pepperidge Farm bread, on the ingredients list when users ask for recipes.

Apps such as Campbell’s allow marketers the opportunity to understand customers’ preferences, thus allowing them to target consumers more effectively. “It’s a learning opportunity for brands to see, how do their customers react in this environment,” Norm Johnson, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Mindshare said.

Some customers are concerned that promotional material from these apps is intrusive. This mindset will make it difficult for advertisers to make their way onto these devices. “Sponsored opportunities will be a lot more limited,” Johnson said. “You’ll have to fight to make sure it’s useful.”