Alexa, add a house to my shopping list.
If you think the above statement is absurd, you’re right but it may be a typical inquiry in the next few years. Virtual assistants are becoming the way of the future rapidly. Such assistants are now available in many different forms from your in-house assistant, your car assistant, to other varying electronic assistants. Since their creation, assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, have increased their accuracy up to 90% (Schoon, 2018). With this growing accuracy and consumer need for ease, virtual assistants are the way of life for many individuals. But that’s not all. With consumers quickly moving their purchasing efforts toward virtual assistants, brands must follow their audience to these platforms.
What does this mean for brands who sell products and services? Currently, marketers for brands focus on interacting with their consumers through social media, publish their brands content through digital platforms, and promote their product or service through traditional marketing. This means that brands currently gain visibility on their own terms but with the growing use of virtual assistants brands will need to adjust their marketing strategy. In the introduction of, ‘Marketing in the Age of Alexa’, Lori makes her way through the day with the help of her virtual assistants. In this scenario, Lori has a home assistant, a car assistant, and is taking advantage of drone advancements. During her day, as Lori interacts with her assistants, they are continuously making purchasing decisions for her. The article specifically mentions Lori’s trust in her assistant when it comes to buying insurance, banking, and investment products (Dawar and Bendle, 2018). Her trust in her assistant shows that brands will eventually lose the ability to interact with and market directly to consumers unless they revisit their marketing strategies.
Brands and marketers alike will need to position their brands for virtual assistants instead of directly to consumers as these assistants will one day determine what consumers do and don’t need based on their preferences.
If you or your brand are unsure of the growing desire to own and take full advantage of virtual assistants, see the illustration below for more insight.
5 C’s of Virtual Assistants
- “What your car knows about you.” WSJ. August 18, 2018.
- Marketing in the Age of Alexa HBR May-June 2018.
- Studies Find Google Assistant the Most Accurate Virtual Assistant, While Alexa is ‘Most Improved’ 9to5Google April 2018.